Sudanese civilians ask Security Council for protection

Sudanese civil society representatives have asked the UN Security Council on Friday in a closed door session to protect civilians in Darfur and to maintain the peacekeeping mission in Sudan.

Several Sudanese civil society representatives have informed the UN Security Council behind closed doors. Hawa ‘Jango’ Abdalla Mohamed Salih urged the members to keep the Unamid peacekeeping mission in Sudan ‘until other international forces are able to protect the civilians in Darfur’.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga she narrated her testimony in the UN Security Council explaining what she had experienced as an internally displaced person in Abu Shouk camp in North Darfur. She asked the members of the Security Council to impose a no-fly zone in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile to protect civilians. "These people are facing indiscriminate aerial bombings on almost a daily basis. The Security Council should also order Sudan to allow international aid organizations to provide humanitarian support, like food, protection, shelter and clean water to the people in Darfur without the requirement for a prior government approval."

Tabit mass rape

Hawa Jango asked in particular support for pressing authorities ‘to arrest the perpetuators of the mass rape in Tabit’. She asked for an open independent international investigation

Also Hina Jilani, former Darfur Commission of Inquiry-member and Abdelrahman Gasim of the Darfur Bar Association, briefed the members of the UN Security Council.

Abdelrahman Gasim underlined the importance to support the activities of the International Criminal Court and the warrant to arrest president Omar al Bashir. “The Sudan judiciary is not capable and willing to bring justice. The general persecutor of so called Darfur’s crimes is just a drama”, Abdelrahman, a lawyer himself, explained the members. He added that he told the Security Council that there is no rule of law in Darfur. He explained them how the Doha peace agreement had failed. “The ineffectiveness of partial agreements started in Abuja and continued until after Doha. The suffering only increased. What is most needed, is a comprehensive peace agreement”.

Land taken

He mentioned to the Council that the problems are growing deeper: “The displaced people do not only have just a miserable life in the camps, but they also see how their lands have been taken from them and how they are increasingly becoming occupied by foreigners”.  

No Russia and China

After hearing the Sudanese civil voices, US Ambassador Samantha Power said: “Their stories make clear that Darfur continues to burn after more than ten long, bloody years. The takeaways from the meeting are clear: now is not the time to give up on Darfur; now is not the time to withdraw UN peacekeepers; and now is not the time to abandon the people of Darfur”.

She called for UN sanctions and an arms embargo on Darfur to be enforced: “It's time to move beyond the failed peace processes and broken agreements" toward a political solution, starting with a real cessation of hostilities”.

China and Russia did not attend the closed-door session.