December 2007 | Joint NGO Report

25 Dec

UNAMID Deployment on the Brink
The Road to Security in Darfur Blocked by Government Obstructions

UNAMID Deployment on the Brink
The Road to Security in Darfur Blocked by Government Obstructions
When the United Nations Security Council authorised a new “hybrid” United Nations/African
Union peacekeeping operation (UNAMID) in July 2007, it was hoped that Darfur’s struggling AU
peacekeepers would be rapidly reinforced by UN troops with the capacity to effectively protect
civilians in Darfur. Five months later, on the brink of transfer of authority to UNAMID, little if
any additional capacity has been deployed or is on the horizon. Barely a third of the promised
force is expected to be in place by 31 December.
Far from facilitating deployment of UNAMID, the government of Sudan is actively obstructing
and undermining it. However, rather than challenging Sudan to fulfil its commitment to
Security Council Resolution 1769, politicians and members of the international community are
instead wrangling over details and shirking their own responsibilities to support the force. The
disgraceful failure of capable UN and AU member states to contribute critical equipment
required by UNAMID, such as helicopters and trucks, only serves to reinforce the government
of Sudan’s attempts to undermine it.
Transfer of authority to a force that is as weak as the current African Union Mission (AMIS) –or
failure to hand over authority at all– would embolden abusive armed groups and put the
civilian population at even greater risk.
The government of Sudan is obstructing deployment of UNAMID in at least five ways:
1. The government has failed to formally approve the list of UNAMID troop contributions
for more than two months.
2. The government has rejected troop units from Nepal, Thailand and Nordic countries,
insisting that they will only accept African contributions. Each of the proposed units is
critical to the force, and there are no alternatives that are ready to deploy.
3. The government has taken many months to allocate land for bases in Darfur, and as of
13 December had yet to allocate sites for the Zalingei area.
4. The government has attempted to insert provisions into the Status of Forces
Agreement that would allow it to temporarily disable UNAMID’s communications
network when the government undertook “security operations”, and that would
require UNAMID to give Sudanese authorities prior notification of all movements of
troops and equipment.
5. The government has refused to grant permission for UNAMID forces to fly at night and
continues to impose curfews on peacekeepers in certain areas.
While the government of Sudan pursues its calculated campaign of obstruction, the people of
Darfur continue to suffer rape and killings, massive displacement, and critical obstacles to
humanitarian relief including violent attacks on humanitarian workers, as they have for almost
five years. This will continue as long as there is no effective peacekeeping force on the ground
in Darfur.
The United Nations Security Council should issue a strong Presidential Statement condemning
the government of Sudan for its obstruction of the UNAMID deployment, and requiring the
government to take explicit action to remove each of these obstacles. If the government of
Sudan fails to take those actions within 30 days, the Council should immediately impose
targeted sanctions on key government officials, including President Omar Al-Bashir, for noncompliancewith Sudan’s obligations under resolution 1769.

United Nations and African Union member states should immediately fill the critical gaps in
equipment and capabilities that have already been made public by the United Nations and
African Union, especially air and ground transport and helicopter units.

Read the full report PDF.

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Posted by on December 25, 2007 in Africa, Bookmarks


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