Title: عاجل ... الحكومة تطلب من يوناميد المغادرة
Date: 22-11-2014, 08:40 PM
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan has asked a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in its western Darfur region to prepare plans to leave, a senior official said on Friday, amid a dispute between the United Nations and Khartoum over an alleged mass rape in the area.
Sudan initially refused to let the UNAMID peacekeepers visit a village to investigate the rape allegations. They were later allowed in and found no evidence that Sudanese troops had raped about 200 women and girls there, but the U.N. complained of a heavy military presence during interviews.
"Sudan formally requested - I formally requested - that UNAMID make an exit strategy. That does not mean it will pack up its things and say goodbye," foreign minister under-secretary Abdallah al-Azraq told reporters, suggesting the mission's departure would take a long time.
Azraq gave no reason for the request but said it had first been submitted a few weeks ago, before the media reports of mass rape. Sudan has denied any wrongdoing by its soldiers in Darfur and says the rape allegations are part of an international plot to mar its image.
A UNAMID spokesman contacted by Reuters could not say whether it had received the request to draw up an exit strategy.
The U.N. peacekeeping office in New York said a Security Council resolution passed in August had mentioned an exit strategy as an option. It also said an assessment would be ready by the end of February for the U.N. Security Council, which will decide the mission's eventual fate.
UNAMID has been deployed in Sudan's western Darfur region since 2007. Law and order had collapsed in many places after mainly African tribes took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination.
Azraq said Sudan had rejected a fresh U.N. request to visit the village of Tabit, saying: "We look at this statement as an attempt to create an atmosphere for further escalation and decisions against Sudan."
Last month, an internal U.N. review said UNAMID had failed to provide U.N. headquarters in New York with full reports on attacks against civilians and peacekeepers. The review was ordered after media reports alleged that UNAMID had deliberately covered up details of deadly attacks.
The conflict in Darfur has killed as many as 300,000 people and displaced two million, the United Nations says.
(Reporting by Maaz Alnugomi; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Gareth Jones
Title: Re: عاجل ... الحكومة تطلب من يوناميد المغادرة
Date: 08-12-2014, 09:27 PM
Issue #: 3413, Issue Date: 9th December, 2014
Sudan No Longer Welcomes UN/AU Blue Helmets in Darfur
The United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was established in July 2007 in accordance with the UNSC resolution (1789) to provide protection to the people of Darfur and work with Sudanese authorities to achieve security in addition to supplying humanitarian aid, enhancing human rights and restoring the rule of law.
Accordingly, UNAMID started its mission in Darfur with its mandate renewable annually, the last of which was undertaken on 31 August, 2014. The mission was initially made-up of above 25,000 military personnel and peacekeepers including a police unit, but the number decreased to around 15,000 staff.
UNMAID also employs more than 1000 national staff. The mission in accordance with the UNSC resolution is mandated to take necessary measures to protect its personnel, equipment and facilities in all of its regions of operations across Darfur, in addition to ensuring the secure mobility of its personnel and preventing attacks on its personnel without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Sudan.
President Al Bashir had earlier demanded UNAMID specify a clear programme to withdraw from the country, arguing that the presence of UNAMID peacekeepers constitute a security burden on the country, accusing them of being unable to protect themselves.
Al Bashir went on to accuse the Darfur peacekeepers of failure to protect the civilians and of being involved in protecting rebels instead. “Therefore, we want them to pull out of the country,” Al Bashir was quoted as saying.
He said that recent allegations concerning the rape of 200 Darfuri women by government forces were fabricated by foreign parties to distort stability in the region.
“They want to escalate the issue to distort remarkable stability and development going on in the region,” Al Bashir said.
Clearly, UNAMID’s presence in Darfur does not seem to be useful as the peacekeepers have blatantly failed to provide protection for themselves let alone civilians. Further, intertribal clashes have increased and security conditions have remained as was, despite the presence of UNAMID in Darfur over the past seven years.
UNAMID forces have become an easy target for rebel movements and have been subject to repeated abductions, which undermine their performance in different parts of Darfur despite tremendous facilities provided by the government of Sudan to the peacekeeping mission to ensure their satisfy their mandate and restore peace and order in Darfur, which is yet to materialise.
The mission announced an intention to set-up a new strategy for its operation; the announcement was greeted with reservations by the government of Sudan, which felt that the mission is seeking a new resolution beyond its mandate. However, a UNAMID official assured that no plan or strategy would be taken without serious discussions and consultation with the government of Sudan and in line with the country’s sovereignty.
No matter whether the UNAMID forces secured new powers or not, many believe that the peacekeepers are unlikely to change the situation and restore security; peace and order, something which they have failed to do over the past seven years.
The mission and the UNSC are blamed by Sudanese authorities for not highlighting the murders and destruction being committed by rebel factions, rather, they are accused of negative reports and incidents aimed at soiling the image of Sudan.
Sudanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Ali Karti was quoted as saying that what is happening is an attempt to extend the mission and mandate of peacekeepers in Darfur; therefore, the government rejected a call for reinvestigation into rape allegations in the Darfur village of Tabit.
Sudan argued that the recent sagas about the rape allegations in Darfur are untrue, inaccurate and illogical, asserting that it is impossible to rape 200 women without resistance by the victims and that most of the members of Sudanese armed forces personnel in the regions hail from the very village and are married to local women.
Amid accusations by the government, UNAMID failure to carry out its mission to protect civilians properly, inability to secure mobility of its staff or protect humanitarian workers from abduction or safeguard its facilities and prevent alarmingly growing carjack operations, the government of Sudan remains insistent that it is time for the mission to set a date for its withdrawal from the country.
However, observers hold that it is illogical for the government of Sudan to demand UNAMID leave the country because the mission is neither established by Sudan nor came into the country at the behest of the government; but was formed in accordance with an international mandate. The observers went on to say that the government cannot do anything about the presence of UNAMID, which it deems no longer necessary or useful, whether it is satisfied with its performance or not.