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Canada joins UN efforts to promote rule of law in Darfur

February 21 - 2018 KHARTOUM
In Khartoum on February 21. Second to right is Canadian Ambassador Salah Bendaoud with UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Marta Ruedas (M) (UN)
In Khartoum on February 21. Second to right is Canadian Ambassador Salah Bendaoud with UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Marta Ruedas (M) (UN)

The Canadian government has contributed $952,000 to the United Nations in order to build the capacity of justice institutions in Darfur, where some areas have been depleted of justice for years.

The contribution goes to the Joint Programme for Rule of Law that was launched in November 2016, following wide consultations with the Sudanese government, civil society organisations, donors and UN agencies at all levels.

It has been set-up to strengthen rule of law institutions, improve people’s access to justice and enhance mechanisms to address land issues in Darfur. For years, the protracted conflict in Darfur has severely weakened rule of law institutions in the region, which has been standing in the way of reaching stability.

The Canadian contribution will be used for some key initial interventions: $589,000 is allocated to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to strengthen community policing, $261,000 will be dedicated to working with law enforcement institutions. In this matter the government has an action plan to end recruitment of child soldiers and violations against children carried out by UNICEF.

This in addition to $105,000 assigned to Unamid to work with the corrections (prison police) area in Darfur. The programme further addresses the root causes of the conflict in Darfur, by supporting rights-based resolution of land issues.

In an event held to celebrate Canada’s contribution in Khartoum today, attended by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Marta Ruedas among others, the Canadian Ambassador Salah Bendaoud stated: “Canada remains committed to supporting Government of Sudan and the international community initiatives to strengthen supremacy of law and human rights, and to achieve a lasting peace for the benefit of the people of Sudan.‎”

Lawlessness

During and after the armed conflict which started in 2003, the waves of hostility resulted in areas where police and judicial authorities had left. In North Darfur’s Kutum, for example, the state governor imposed the State of Emergency in 2012 and appointed the military to take on police duties.

The result was that the 55,000 people of Kutum locality lived in a security vacuum for years. The population was often terrorised by gunmen, who beat, rob, and abduct people, in the absence of the police and the judiciary, activists and residents reported to Radio Dabanga in the past. Starting 2015 the first police and prosecutors gradually were deployed to return to the town in an attempt to fill the security vacuum.


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