In a press release today, the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (Unamid) has expressed its concerns about recent media reports in Sudan that the Mission has deliberately delayed assisting the Sudanese Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC).
Unamid’s role in the ongoing disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration (DDR) process in Darfur is guided by the provisions set out in the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
The DDPD provides for Unamid to support the SDDRC in its endeavour to disarm and demobilise former combatants from the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) and the Justice and Equality Movement breakaway faction, led by “Dabajo” Bakhit Abdallah Abdelkarim (JEM-Sudan).
The SDDRC requested Unamid to extend its cooperation to the demobilisation of troops from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the Popular Defence Forces (PDF), as well as those armed groups earmarked by the 2006 Abuja Agreement, the press release reads.
The peacekeeping mission declined to support the proposed demilitarisation of the SAF and PDF on the grounds that this is a demilitarisation as opposed to a DDR exercise, which falls outside the remit of the Doha peace accord. Yet, it agreed, in principle, to assist with the ex-combatants identified by the Abuja Agreement, provided that the Commission presents a complete master list of potential combatants to be demobilised.
However, up to the present time, Unamid says, it has not received this list, causing a delay in processing the Abuja Agreement caseloads.
The UN-AU peacekeeping mission mentions several other delays in the timelines for the DDR process of the signatory movements, on account of the movements not being forthcoming with necessary details. Despite such operational hurdles, Unamid stresses, it has managed to successfully complete the demobilisation of 534 ex-combatants in 2014, and is currently working with the SDDRC to demobilise the LJM caseload.
Unamid calls on the SDDRC to engage positively with the Mission to successfully conclude outstanding DDR activities, stating that it has encouraged the Commission on several occasions to seek bilateral support for the demilitarisation of the SAF and PDF.
The Mission further stresses that it will continue to “take its DDR mandate in full earnest, and exert every possible effort to expedite, as well as swiftly execute, the DDR tasks assigned, within its capability and in the framework of the DDPD”.