June 25, 2015
DARFURIS AND HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS DEMAND RENEWAL OF UNAMID
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York: Ahmed H.Adam, Tel. +1 347 567 1491 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kampala: Abdelrahman Gasim, Tel. +256 7 51 90 77 77 or email@example.com
Geneva: Abdelbagi Jibril, Tel. +41 78 300 23 53 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 80 Sudanese and Human Rights Groups Urgently Petition the UNSC as UNAMID Mandate Set to Expire
NEW YORK, KAMPALA and GENEVA – Wednesday, June 24, 2015 – Today, 83 organisations and activists addressed an open letter to the fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council demanding the renewal of the mandate of the African Union and United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) for one additional year. They described the situation in Darfur as “the genocide of the twenty-first century par excellence.” Listing the most recent data and incidents that represent violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, the letter argued that the horrific security and humanitarian crisis that necessitated the deployment of UNAMID in 2007 is still intact. They expressed their fears that the withdrawal of UNAMID meant that the infrastructure and logistics, built by western donors, currently used by UNAMID will be used by the government army and pro-government militia groups to enhance their ability to commit international crimes in Darfur. The letter reminded members of the Security Council that previous regional and international responses to end the genocide in Darfur have failed and it has further stressed that the people of Darfur deserve a robust, strong and independent peacekeeping mission.
- The letter calls on the world to unite in its resolve not to abandon the people of Darfur at this time of greatest need or to turn its back on them. It recommended a number of measures to be taken by the UN Security Council:
Immediately renew UNAMID’s mandate in Darfur.
- Stop any plans or negotiations for the reduction of UNAMID’s troops or accept a partial withdrawal or exit strategy.
- Embark on an evaluation and reform strategy of UNAMID. The mission needs to be further empowered in effectively implement its mandate. UNAMID could and must do more in order to be able to regularly and publicly report on human rights violations that are being committed by all parties to the conflict. The UNSC should explicitly instruct UNAMID in this regard. This would indicate a break from the mission’s past culture of non-disclosure or under reporting of the situation on the ground as far as civilian protection is concerned. This is the best way for the mission to re-build trust with the people of Darfur.
- It is imperative that the mission undertakes a comprehensive threat analysis so it can provide protection to civilians in the most vulnerable areas (such as through the establishment of temporary forward operating bases).
- The Security Council Committee established by resolution 1591 should add to its consolidated travel ban and assets freeze list the names of Brigadier Hemeti Daglo and any others who “constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities.”
- UNSC should end its support of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). A new framework for peace across Sudan is needed. The UNSC should be an advocate for lasting peace, stability and genuine political transition in Sudan, rather than supporting the piece-meal approach that serves GoS’s objectives and prolongs the suffering of growing numbers of civilians all over the country.
The organizers of the letter to the UNSC are Ahmed H. Adam, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development (IAD), Cornell University; Abdelbagi Jibril Vice President, Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre in Geneva; and Abderhaman Gasim, External Relations Secretary of the Darfur Bar Association in Sudan. All three are from Darfur.
Available for download: pdf of the press release and letter.