UNITAMS delegation to asses situation in North Darfur after UNAMID withdrawal
A high-level delegation of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), headed by the Deputy Head of the mission, arrived in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher on Wednesday. The Wali (governor) of North Darfur called on the UN delegation not to link the provision of humanitarian aid and development programmes in Darfur with the political conditions that Sudan is currently facing.
The goal of the UNITAMS delegation, led by Khardiata Lô Ndiaye, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, is to asses with the overall situation in North Darfur on the ground, following the drawdown and withdrawal of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeeping operation.
The delegation, that includes representatives of a number of the UN agencies and international bodies. met with the Wali (governor) of North Darfur, Nimir Abdelrahman, and informed him on the aims of their visit.
In a press statement via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) after the meeting, Wali Abdelrahman said that he briefed the delegation on the humanitarian and development situation in the state, and the progress of the peace process after the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, adding that he called on the UN agencies to continue their work in implementing development projects and services in a way that coincides with providing humanitarian aid in order to mitigate the impacts of war.
The Wali called on the UN delegation not to link the provision of humanitarian aid and the implementation of service and development programmes in Darfur with the political conditions that Sudan is facing.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, the ongoing insecurity in Darfur, often partly exacerbated by the vacuum created by the UNAMID drawdown, has meant that the practicalities of the handover of UNAMID sites and facilities have not always gone as planned.
On June 5, two people were killed and eight others sustained injuries when a former UNAMID site in Shangil Tobaya, Dar El Salaam locality, south of El Fasher in North Darfur was looted.
The site was handed over to the Government of Sudan on May 25. It was the last of 14 deep field sites handed over to the Sudanese government. At the time, the North Darfur government and the Sudanese government’s joint task force strongly reconfirmed their commitment to ensure civilian use of the former site.
Since the mission ended its mandate at the end of 2020, various former UNAMID sites handed over to local authorities to be used as schools or training centres, have been looted. In February, a site in North Darfur’s Saraf Omra that was earmarked for use as a vocational training centre was looted and ‘levelled’ just weeks after it was handed over to the Sudanese government.
*UNAMID (Source: UN)
During UNAMID’s 13-year mandate, more than 100,000 military and police peacekeepers were contributed by dozens of countries from around the world. At its peak deployment in 2011, it had nearly 23,000 troops and police.
At the beginning of the drawdown period in January 2021, 7,000 military, police, and civilian personnel remained to be separated and repatriated, with over 6,000 now repatriated.
UNAMID, one of the largest peacekeeping operations in the history of the United Nations, created a security environment in Darfur and will be departing with a history of achievements supporting the protection of civilians, particularly the internally displaced persons, community stabilisation and rule of law support, the provision of humanitarian aid as well as supporting the implementation of the peace process. The Mission also worked to empower women; addressed sexual and gender-based violence; protected and promoted human rights; and helped with the fight against COVID-19.
Facts and Figures
Protection of civilians
- 38,000 peacekeeping patrols conducted annually to protect hundreds of thousands of IDPs.
- 120 meetings, dialogue forums and peace campaigns with farmers and nomadic herders to mitigate intercommunal violence, promoting peaceful coexistence and facilitating amicable use of scarce shared natural resources.
- 500+ quick impact projects were implemented in Darfur, including 94 water boreholes and water points were established in hotspots.
- Rehabilitation of classrooms, construction of prosecution offices, community security and small arms control, provision of solar panels and temporary job creation for at-risk youth.
State Liaison Functions (SLF)
- 46 million USD allocated to SLF in 2 years.
- 10 UN Agencies, Funds and Pgrammes participated in SLF programming.
- $1.9 million USD allocated by UNAMID/UNCT for COVID-19 response in FY 2019/20 – SLF 4
- Training of trainers workshops and sensitisation sessions on COVID-19.
- 30+ different types of PPE donated to communities in Darfur (goggles, gloves masks, etc.)
Police and Rule of Law
- 45 Sudan Police Force stations/posts, 15 prosecution offices, 19 District Courts, 14 prisons and 14 rural courts to support policing services, dispensation of justice and addressed intercommunal conflicts and criminality.
- 1,300+ former child soldiers released who were registered by Sudan Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC) in Darfur.
- 11,000 ex-combatants were demobilised and benefitted from reinsertion packages.
- 54 Women’s Protection Networks supported across the five Darfur States which provide real time information as first responders to security threats, including incidents of physical assault, rape, killings and abductions in the field to the security apparatus, for quick response.
- 120 women were brought to Juba peace talks from Darfur.
- 14 team sites handed over in less than 4 months.
- 5 team sites looted, 3 team sites faced criminality.
- 7,000 personnel at start of drawdown. 6,000 separated/repatriated.
- 363 police will remain with Guard Unit during liquidation period.
- 103 SLF activities remained to be implemented in January, 28 core programmatic projects.
- 99 UNAMID staff were embedded with AFPs to support the implementation (during drawdown.
- 5 contingents’ COE has been sent/returned to home country (2 Jordanian FPU, Senegalese FPU, Kenyan military police unit).
- 60 trucks of COE leave the Logistics Base/day en route to Port Sudan.
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