Security Council extends mandate of Unamid in Darfur with one year
The mandate of the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (Unamid), with 15,845 military personnel and 1,583 police officers will be extended until 30 June 2016, as a consequence of Resolution 2228 on Darfur, unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council today.
The resolution, drafted by the UK, was approved by all UN Security Council (UNSC) members, including China and Russia. A potential exit strategy of the peacekeeping mission is made entirely dependent on benchmarks rejected by the Sudanese government.
This means that the UNSC has not accepted the demands of Sudan to schedule a gradual exit in the coming year. One of the benchmarks is the unhindered access of humanitarian aid.
The Security Council condemns the fact that Khartoum is blocking the provision of humanitarian support to hundreds of thousand displaced in Darfur. Any change of policy will have to be authorised by the UN Secretary-General, and “be based on progress against the benchmarks and the conditions on the ground” while being “implemented in a gradual, phased, flexible and reversible manner”. In case some changes will be made due to progress, it can be reversed in case the situation worsens again.
The UNSC has confirmed that Unamid has collected evidence of two air-dropped cluster bombs in Kirigiyati in North Darfur. The peacekeepers have disposed of the cluster bombs safely.
The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. It also requires destruction of stockpiles, clearance of areas contaminated by remnants, and victim assistance.
The accepted UN resolution also continues the mandate under chapter VII of the UN Charter. With regard to the protection of civilians, it calls on Unamid to continue to move in the direction of a more preventive and pre-emptive approach, while engaging in effective and active patrolling in high risk areas, including in areas where large numbers of displaced took refuge. Concerning humanitarian access, it calls for such access to be unhindered, safe and timely, while also noting the peacekeepers mission’s role in protecting humanitarian workers.
Like last year’s resolution, the draft text paints a dire picture of the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur. It expresses deep concern over the deteriorating security situation in the region and its effect on civilians. It highlights the heightened fighting between the government and rebel forces and an escalation of inter-communal violence. Aerial bombardments, criminality, banditry, inter-communal conflict, and attacks by government forces and rebel groups are among the factors noted that undermine the security of civilians.
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