Why NCP blackmails the AU, UN Forces in Darfur?
By : Abdellatif Abdelrahman.
On February 2008, Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was signed between the UN-African Union and the Government of Sudan, furthermore; the Sudanese Government and the UNAMID signed on December 29,2009 additional protocol to enhance safety measures to ensure the security of the peacekeepers working in Darfur. However, according to the above mentioned (SOFA) agreement, the Sudanese Government is responsible of the security and protection of UNAMID peacekeeping personnel and their assets.
The reason t
hat stirred me to write this article is; the
continuous attacks on the African Union and United Nation forces in Darfur by the Ruling National Congress Party in Sudan and itís allied Janjaweed militias.
The most recent of these attacks was the attacks
on the Egyptian forces that brought the total deaths of UNAMID forces in Darfur to 24
personnel; since the beginning of their mission in Darfur on February 2008. In addition to sporadic continuous abduction to this forces which the latest was kidnapping of four South African police advisers.
These killings and abductions, consequently shade lights on the politicized nature of these attacks and kidnappings, and also shows how the NCP uses the stands of certain countries to attacks their forces on the ground; in order to force them change their positions or soften their stands, pertaining to the indictment of the fugitive President AL-Bashir or on the ongoing bleak political situation in Sudan.
I donít want to indulge deeper in commenting on these prejudiced agreement, but it is clear that (SOFA), was tailored in some parts to please the genocide regime of Khartoum, because those who drafted it would not be non other than those who overnight made pro-government rebel out of U.N official ( Al-Tigani Sessei), to serve their special interests and agendas. Some body might say, having something is better than nothing, and the SOFA agreement was dictated by the situation of adamant resistance of Al-Bashirís to accept foreign troops in Darfur. Yes, nobody can deny the fact that (SOFA) is the product of itís time, thus it has numerous flaws and shortcomings. But; why the Genocide regime is entirely responsible of the security and protection of the UNAMID? And if the Government attacked the UNAMID in a way or another, as is happens today, what are the measures to keep those accountable or leave it to Khartoum to keep its people accountable? I am sure that the architectures of the lame agreement have never thought of addressing such loopholes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On 7th of may 2010 a convoy of Egyptian peacekeepers with three vehicles and 20 military personnel was a ambushed near Katilla village, 85 KM south of Edd al Fursan former Edd al-Khanam), in South Darfur. As a result, two soldiers were killed and three others were injured. However; its well known to UNAMID THAT the most areas where the UNAMAID forces are attacked including the Egyptian forces, are free of rebel groups. But let us go back to the political climate between Sudan and Egypt, which coincided with the attacks on the Egyptian forces. The attack came few days, after the Yemeni Government blocked the Arab Parliamentarian Conference on Darfur under Sudanese government pressure. The Egyptian MP from the Wafd Party, Sober Mohamed Hassan told the Elaph on line;
ďI regret as Egyptian representative coming to meet Arab Parliamentarian for Darfur, in order to offer suggestions and cooperation that would contribute to the resolution of this crisis. Unfortunately I am surprised by the cancellation of the conference which for me is suspicious I feel sorry for the Arab regimes, this is why we are backwardĒ.
This is an insult to the Arab Parliamentarians whether from the Yemeni authorities or the intervention of the Sudanese Government and unfortunately in this manner they create the counter effect in the Darfur crisis, and in this mental state Sudan will be divided to five countries and not only twoĒ. He concluded.
The attack also came in a time when Egyptian Government invited the Justice and Equality Movement, after they suspended their participation in Doha talks, the move which roused fury of the regime in Khartoum.
In continuation of
itís never Ėending cycles of abductions and attacks, also on April 11,2010, when Janjaweed militias belongs to the border guards from Niyala named ď peopleís Democratic Struggle MovementĒ, abducted four UNAMID police advisers from South Africa. We did not need political analyst, to tell us why South African personnel were abducted in the middle of Niyala the capital of Southern Darfur State. If we cast casual glimpse on President Zumaís unbudging statements to the media, vis-ŗ-vis Al-Bashirís facing to the justice in the ICC and Sudan Governmentís blaming to the Republic of South Africa of assisting the SPLM/A. I confidential source confided to me that, a high-ranking NCP official told, South African Government representative that, ďLook!!! Your Government is assisting South Sudan to secedeĒ. While the respond from South Africa was; ďwhat is wrong with that since secession is already written there in the CPAĒ.
Furthermore; in August last year ( 2009), a group of armed men kidnapped two French UNAMID staff members( one woman and one man) in Zalingei, they were released in mid-December. The targeting of French staff within the UNAMID, plus others abducted in Kabkabiyya from Medicine Sans Frontiers- France, for sure, had its political dimensions.
Having explained all above; the question lurks in is:
how many people needed to be killed or kidnapped from UNAMID so that they can be given rights of self-protection?
Not only to protect themselves, but also to protect the civilians where the purpose of their mandate in Darfur is to protect vulnerable innocent civilians from being constantly killed and rapt by Sudan Government and its militias before their own eyes.
I believe that, UNAMID, although it was ill-equipped and below the number, nevertheless, is doing super job, and it will be a crime to leave them vulnerable to the Government attacks all the times. The head of UNAMID,
Ibrahim Gambari, and the AU-UN Joint Special Representative in Darfur, said in an interview with UN Radio on Tuesday that they want to make it clear that an attack on international peacekeepers is a war crime and a violation of international criminal law. Yes, Mr.Gambari you are absolutely correct, attacking peacekeepers constitute a heinous war crime, but when you are faced with a situation whereby, a stubborn dictatorship regime like the NCP does not fear committing those crimes on your troops or abide by any protocol, you have to rethink your policies and your rules of engagement.
Last not the least my condolences to the UNAMID forces a long with their countries and families who lost their loved ones on their noble duties and may God rest their souls in Peace. AMEN.
The writer is based in Kampala, he can be reached on: [email protected]