Over eight years after the conflict in Darfur began, the security situation for the population in Darfur remains very dangerous. Systematic attacks on civilians and I.D.P.s have continued and UNAMID has been unable to protect civilians. Since December, violent attacks have left over 100,000 civilians displaced, often without humanitarian assistance. Increasingly, there have been reports […]

http://www.unmultimedia.org/s/photo/detail/460/0460892.html

Over eight years after the conflict in Darfur began, the security situation for the population in Darfur remains very dangerous. Systematic attacks on civilians and I.D.P.s have continued and UNAMID has been unable to protect civilians. Since December, violent attacks have left over 100,000 civilians displaced, often without humanitarian assistance. Increasingly, there have been reports that the government of Sudan has brought in foreigners to occupy villages in Darfur, further hindering peace and stability in the region.

On April 20, 2011 the member states of the United Nations Security Council (U.N.S.C.), with U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and the Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Atul Khare, held a meeting to discuss the future of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). UNMIS was authorized in March 2005 by the Security Council with a mandate to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the North and South. UNAMID was authorized in July 2007 to protect civilians in Darfur.

Before the meeting, members of the Darfuri Diaspora, represented by thirty-two human rights and advocacy organization, sent a letter to the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calling on leaders to make the protection of civilians in Darfur a priority. The letter highlights the efforts by the Sudanese government to block aid to civilians in addition to carrying out attacks on civilians. Furthermore, it explains how Khartoum’s efforts to divide Darfur along tribal and political lines will create further conflict over shared resources. According to them, the U.N.S.C. should prioritize strengthening and renewing the mandates of UNAMID and UNMIS, better reporting and verification mechanisms for these missions, and increased pressure on Khartoum. The priorities listed by members of the Darfuri Diaspora must be implemented for the protection of civilians in Darfur and peace to be attainable.

Atul Khare, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38160&Cr=unmis&Cr1=

Khare updated the U.N.S.C. on the Darfur peace process taking place in Doha saying that mediators plan to submit a draft peace agreement by April 27. Additionally, he noted that UNAMID has received reports of increased Sudanese Government forces in north-western areas of North Darfur and that many questions remain unaddressed in the successful implementation of the C.P.A. In light of reports on continued violence in the region, and echoing the calls of the Darfuri Diaspora, the Secretary General concluded the meeting by recommending that the U.N. Security Council extend the UNMIS mandate, which is schedule to expire on April 30, until July 9, 2011.

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