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His Excellency, Ban Ki- Moon Secretary General of the United Nations,United Nations Headquarters, New York

05-20-2008, 02:52 PM
ابراهيم بقال سراج
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Registered: 10-12-2005
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His Excellency, Ban Ki- Moon Secretary General of the United Nations,United Nations Headquarters, New York

    His Excellency, Ban Ki- Moon
    Secretary General of the United Nations,
    United Nations Headquarters, New York
    Cc: His Excellency, Chairperson of African Union Commission,
    African Union Headquarters, Addis Aba ba

    Dear Sirs,

    We, the undersigned, representing the Sudanese party representatives in the cease-Fire Commission, would like to respectfully bring, on behalf of them, to the attention of your Excellencies the problem of outstanding issues after mission end as stated below

    A. REFERENCES:

    1. Agreement with the Sudanese parties on the Modalities for the Establishment of the Cease-Fire Commission and the Deployment of Observers in Darfur, Addis aba ba, 28 May 2004
    2. Letter of Request by party representatives dated 30 March 2008
    3. SG Report to SC dated 24 December 2007
    4. SG Report to SC dated 14 February 2008

    B. BACKGROUND:

    The nucleus of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) and, subsequently, the United Nations- African Union Mission in Darfur ( UNAMID ) was the African Union Cease-Fire Commission( AUCFC ) established in accordance with the provisions of the 28 May 2004 agreement with the Sudanese parties signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the basis of the earlier Humanitarian Cease-Fire Agreement ( HCFA) signed between the Sudanese parties to the conflict in Darfur on the 8th April 2004 in N’djamena, the Republic of Chad. The 28 May document (AGREEMENT WITH THE SUDANAESE PARTIES ON THE MODALITIES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CEASE-FIRE COMMISSION AND THE DEPLOYMENT OF OBSERVERS IN DARFUR) states in Article II, Para 1 (on the composition of the Cease-fire Commission) that the Cease-Fire shall be composed of the Sudanese Parties being as principal members with other members from the African Union member states and with representatives from the UN, the EU and the US being participants as observers. According to Article II, Para 4 of this Agreement, the operational arm of the Cease-Fire Commission shall be the African Union Monitoring Mission, composed of Observers from the Parties, the Chadian Mediation, the African Union Member States, and other representatives of the International Community. The Agreement further states in Article II, Para 5 as follows: To ensure command and control, all observers shall be answerable to the Chief Military Observer ( CMO ) to be designated by the AU, who, in turn, shall be answerable to the CFC. Additionally, and in order to ensure unity and discipline of command, all observers participating in the monitoring, investigation and verification exercise, as well as members of the CFC, shall be funded through the budget of the CFC.

    The Cease-Fire Commission continued sincerely working throughout until the transfer of authority from AMIS to UNAMID on 31 December 2007. However, it was clear that there was a tendency to ignore the role of the CFC and, consequently, the role of the Sudanese parties to the conflict in Darfur within the process of preparation for the transfer of authority and it was eventually neglected by the time this transfer completed. The Cease-Fire Commission was not even informed of this event in any form of formal or direct manner. To neglect the CFC, which is one of the main mechanisms dealing with the Cease-Fire Process, is a deviation from the spirit of all Cease-Fire Agreements through out the Peace Process in Darfur, particularly the Darfur Peace Agreement. One of the main aspects of the Hybrid Operation, according to Resolution 1769, is the early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.

    C. THE PROBLEM

    Following the transfer of authority, a vague and confusing body was invented. This is the "CFC Staff", with a head named Chief of CFC Staff. Wonderful ! CFC Staff without CFC !! this new body is composed of some elements from the former CFC Secretariat and of other new elements. Although its role is not clear, it claims, and partly seems, to play the role of a liaison body. Far from this issue, which seems of a political nature, there is the natural issue of entitlements for peace-keepers or observers at the end of mission.

    The Sudanese party representatives who worked successfully, efficiently and ably to the end of the mission expected treatment on the same basis of equality with their colleagues from African Countries and from other parts of the world. They expected to be paid their Mission Subsistence Allowance ( MSA ) to the end of the African Union Mission in the Sudan, to the 31 December 2007. They expected to be awarded medals and certificates of Service and letters of end of mission. At the beginning when inquiries were made on these issues the answer for the issue of the unpaid MSA was that AMIS was short of money. Even the matter of money was used by some elements from the former CFC Secretariat as an excuse for not issuing the certificates.
    When, with the passage of time, the attitude of the CFC Staff members, as a liaison body between the reps and the new mission, turned into a mixed kind of behavior characterized by non-transparency, dodging, deception and procrastination, on 30 March 2008 we, as Sudanese party representatives, wrote a letter of request to all immediate concerned bodies, including the UNAMID Force Commander and Chairman of CFC and the African Union Mission Liquidation Team. This letter included, inter alia, the following points:
    1. That the Party representatives be paid their outstanding Mission Subsistence Allowance for the Months October, November and December 2007.
    2. That the party representatives be awarded end- of -mission medals and certificates of service.
    3. That the party representatives be given airlift assistance and access to their former duty locations in AMIS to collect their personal items and property.

    Since the day we submitted that letter in March 2008, we have been knocking the door of the CFC Staff Office for feed back but in vain!. Those elements of the CFC Staff continued their behavior of procrastination, dodging and sometimes brazen and outright denial of these entitlements and legitimate rights.

    Despite this irresponsible behavior we kept following up these issues until we were surprised by the facts that we found in the UN SG Reports to the SC concerning the issue of Outstanding Payments of Mission Subsistence Allowance owed to party representatives in the Cease-Fire Commission. In this respect we are pleased to make the following quotation from the Report of the SG to the SC, distributed on 24 December 2007:

    38. With regard to the outstanding mission subsistence allowance owed to those members of Darfur rebel movements participating in the Ceasefire Commission, I am pleased to report that the African Union has identified funds to make final and conclusive payment. I have written to key donors who have pledged funds to the African Union Commission to cover associated costs, encouraging them to make these monies available as soon as possible so that this matter can be brought to a close. The payment of mission subsistence allowance to rebel movement participants in the Ceasefire Commission will not continue after the transfer of authority to UNAMID, making it all the more urgent that this issue be resolved as quickly as possible.
    ( Report of SG S/2007/ 98, 24 December 2007 ).

    Also from the Report of the SG on the Deployment of the United Nations- African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur submitted to the SC in February 2008 we make the following quotation:

    21. The African Union Commission informed UNAMID on 6 January that it had received the funds required to cover the outstanding payments of mission subsistence allowance to party representatives of the Ceasefire Commission. Efforts are ongoing to complete the final payment by the end of January and remove movement representatives from UNAMID premises until the parties agree on an inclusive ceasefire regime during the ongoing political process.
    ( Report of SG S/ 2008/98, 14 February 2008 ).

    It is beyond doubt that the two paragraphs above make it clear that the Secretary General had written to key donors, urging them to make monies available for the African Union Commission for the payment of outstanding mission subsistence allowance owed to the Sudanese party representatives in the Ceasefire commission, the donors responded positively, and the African Union Commission received the funds required to cover these outstanding payments. The final payment should have been completed by the end of January and movement representatives been removed from UNAMID premises. However, facts on the ground tell something different. For party representatives' removing from UNAMID premises, yes they were told to leave UNAMID premises even long time before the end of January. They were not given even the time required to collect their personal items and property from their former duty locations of AMIS. Some of the party reps, specially from the movements, were also treated by some elements of the current CFC staff, who were elements of the former CFC Secretariat, provokingly, without the slightest respect and appreciation for the role they played in the mission and as senior officers and as representatives of their respective parties. Means of transportation and offices were taken without been given time required to collect their items, including important documents. They were and have been, exceptionally, denied access to former AMIS locations, particularly former AMIS FHQ in El-Fasher through instructions by a member of the former CFC Secretariat.

    With respect to the issue of the outstanding mission subsistence allowance payments, the party representatives, in spite of the continuous efforts they have been making, have not been paid for the months of October, November and December 2007.
    Since the African Union Commission has already received the funds required to cover these outstanding payments of the MSA almost for five months now, the question which arises is why the reps have not been paid these entitlements until now?

    D. CONCLUSION:

    Dear Sirs,

    We respectfully appeal your Excellencies to urgently intervene to resolve the following outstanding issues:
    1. Payment of mission subsistence allowance for party observers for the months of October, November and December.
    2. Settlement of the issue of compensations for the victims of incidents involving AMIS in Darfur, including those party observers killed during duty.
    3. Medals and certificates of service in AMIS for the Sudanese party observers
    4. Assisting these observers in the area of transportation and giving them access to their former duty locations in AMIS to collect their personal items and property.
    5. As reward, former party observers be given the privilege of travelling on UNAMID flights as Non- UN Personnel

    We writing this letter and are fully confident that your Excellencies will spare no efforts in resolving these issues.





    Signed
    Col. M. A. MERGHANI
    For GOS REPS

    Signed
    Col. A. A. WAR
    For SLA( M ) REPS
    Signed
    Col. Abdo ISMAIL
    For SLA ( NSF ) REPS

    Signed
    Lt. Col. Adam AHMED
    For SLA-Free Will REPS
    Signed
    Lt. Col. M. DAWOOD
    For JEM Peace-Wing REPS

    El-Fasher, 17 May 2008








    Copy to:

    - UNAMID Force Commander and Chairman of CFC
    - Head of African Union Mission Liquidation Team
    - UNAMID Chief of Staff
    - Respective Sudanese Party Leaderships
    - Chief of CFC Staff
    - Other Competent Parties
                  

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