In the last two weeks, 8 peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur. Commenting on the loss of 5 Rwandan soldiers, Rwanda Defense Force spokesman Jill Rutaremara said: I imagine if UNAMID had better equipment, for instance, if they had attack helicopters, if they had surveillance aircraft and other logistical support, and if their number was […]

In the last two weeks, 8 peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur. Commenting on the loss of 5 Rwandan soldiers, Rwanda Defense Force spokesman Jill Rutaremara said:

I imagine if UNAMID had better equipment, for instance, if they had attack helicopters, if they had surveillance aircraft and other logistical support, and if their number was 26,000, as it was planned, I’m sure the situation would not be the same on the ground.

These comments underscore the relationship between the unacceptably slow deployment of UNAMID, and the dangerous situation on the ground in Darfur today. UNAMID was supposed to add 17,000 additional troops to the 9,000 AMIS troops already on the ground. To date, less than 1,000 troops—or less than 6% of the total—have actually been added

But what is the story behind this unacceptably slow deployment? A review of published UN reports shows an embarrassingly inadequate effort so far:

  • According to the most recent UN report, “the only deployment to be completed since the transfer of authority (from AMIS to UNAMID) has been the Egyptian Signals Company, which deployed in May 2008.”
  • Since that report, a Chinese engineering unit composed of 315 individuals has also deployed after months of waiting for their equipment to arrive in Darfur. The Chinese Engineering Company’s equipment was originally scheduled to arrive in Nyala by the end of December 2007. The deadline was pushed back to April, and the equipment finally arrived just before the July 7 Secretary General’s Report.
  • The Egyptian Engineering Company’s deployment was delayed 4 times from mid-February to July 2008 and is now delayed indefinitely until damaged equipment is repaired.
  • The Egyptian Transport Unit was delayed 5 times from mid-February to late August 2008, and the Bangladeshi Logistics Company was also delayed to August. The original deadline was late March 2008.
  • The first Ethiopian battalion – approximately 800 troops originally scheduled to be fully deployed by 15 May 2008 –is now slated for deployment “before October.”

This is simply unacceptable. The people of Darfur desperately need a comprehensive and rapid deployment. Although UNAMID provides the framework for an appropriate response, a robust mandate is not enough. UNAMID needs supplies, equipment, police, hospitals, and military support now – not tomorrow, if it is to satisfactorily fulfill its mandate.

Both the UN and the Government of Sudan bear responsibility for these delays. UNAMID needs political support from UN member states to overcome hurdles erected by the Government of Sudan. Once this support is granted, change will come at a more rapid pace; deadlines will come closer to being met; lives will be saved; and Darfur will move one step closer to peace.

UNAMID Deployment Deadlines and Delays by Unit

(All quotes taken from Secretary General’s Reports on UNAMID)

Chinese

  • Engineering company
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…equipment is expected to arrive by the end of Dec. The cargo readiness date for the main body of the unit has yet to be provided, and the unit’s full deployment is expected by the end of Mar. 2008.”
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “…(equipment) is currently being loaded and shipped”
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “The unit’s main body…is scheduled to completely its deployment to Nyala by 5 Apr.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “The main body of the Chinese engineer company and its equipment are expected to arrive in Darfur in Apr.”
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “While the advance party…has been on the ground for several months, the main body of the unit can deploy only once the movement of its equipment from Port Sudan to Darfur is completed. Some 75% of the equipment is now en route to Darfur, but 25% remains in Port Sudan.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “Sufficient contingent-owned equipment…has now arrived at the Nyala supercamp for the advance party to build the main body’s accommodation, and the main body is expected to arrive in July.”

Egyptian

  • Engineering company
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…will deploy by mid-Feb. 2008”
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “…(equipment) is currently being loaded and shipped”
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “…scheduled to arrive in El Geneina on 24 Mar.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “…started deploying in Mar. with the arrival of (its) equipment. While a portion of the equipment has arrived in Darfur, much of it has yet to leave Port Sudan. The personnel…are expected to arrive in Apr. 2008.”
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “…the equipment…which is currently in transit will arrive in El Fasher in the coming weeks.”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “The majority of the equipment…is also in transit to El Fasher.”
      • “…the deployment of the advance parties…originally anticipated for June, is likely to be delayed until July.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “As of 15 June, a large portion of the contingent-owned equipment…had arrived in El Fasher, where the Company is due to deploy in July. Much of the equipment was damaged en route to El Fasher, however, and the deployment date of the company will depend upon the ability of the maintenance party to repair it quickly.”
  • Medium transport unit
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…will deploy by mid-Feb. 2008”
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “…(equipment) is currently being loaded and shipped”
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “…scheduled to arrive in Nyala on 16 Mar.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “…started deploying in Mar. with the arrival of (its) equipment. While a portion of the equipment has arrived in Darfur, much of it has yet to leave Port Sudan. The personnel…are expected to arrive in Apr. 2008.”
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “The movement by road of the equipment…from Port Sudan to Nyala has yet to commence…”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “…the equipment…arrived in Port Sudan on 31 Jan. 2008, but only 15% of it had arrived in Nyala as at 29 May.”
      • “…the deployment of the advance parties…originally anticipated for June, is likely to be delayed until July.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “Owing to delays in the transportation of contingent-owned equipment…units are not expected to arrive in Nyala until late Aug.”
  • Signals company
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…will deploy by mid-Feb. 2008”
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “…(equipment) is currently being loaded and shipped”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “…started deploying in Mar. with the arrival of (its) equipment. While a portion of the equipment has arrived in Darfur, much of it has yet to leave Port Sudan. The personnel…are expected to arrive in Apr. 2008.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “As a result of related delays, the only deployment to be completed since the transfer of authority has been the Egyptian Signals Company, which deployed in May 2008.”
  • Battalion
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “…the Egyptian battalion is expected to deploy its lead company group to Nyala on 19 Mar., the remainder of the battalion completing its deployment on 15 Apr.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “The advance-party personnel…is expected to arrive in Apr., and the main body in May 2008.”
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “The equipment of the advance party…was flown into Darfur on 15 Mar. and is en route to its base in Northern Darfur.”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “Pending the completion of the camp construction, UNAMID plans to airlift the equipment from El Obeid and deploy the advance party…by early July.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “The advance party…is expected to deploy by the end of July…”
  • Formed police units
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “…it is expected that…Egypt will finalize deployment preparations in the coming weeks, with a view to deploying (its) formed police units to…Greida (Southern Darfur)…”

Bangladeshi

  • Logistics company
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…deploy by the end of Mar. 2008”
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “…(equipment) is currently being loaded and shipped”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “The equipment and vehicles…arrived in the Sudan and are expected to reach Nyala…in Apr., with (its) personnel following in May 2008.”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “…only 14% of the equipment…which arrived in Port Sudan on 21 Feb., was in Nyala at time of drafting.”
      • “…the deployment of the advance parties…originally anticipated for June, is likely to be delayed until July.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “Owing to delays in the transportation of contingent-owned equipment…units are not expected to arrive in Nyala until late Aug.”
  • Police unit
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “Currently only the unit from Bangladesh is in the mission area, although the seven-week delay…prevented the Bangladeshi unit from becoming operational before the end of Jan. 2008.”

Pakistani

  • Engineers company
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…deploy by the end of Mar. 2008”
  • Level III hospital
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…deploy by the end of Mar. 2008”
  • Aerial reconnaissance unit
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…deploy by the end of Mar. 2008”

Nigerian

  • Level II hospital
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…deploy by the end of Mar. 2008”
    • Feb. 14, 2008:
      • “…(equipment) is currently being loaded and shipped”
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “…scheduled to arrive in El Geneina on 5 Apr.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “The equipment and vehicles…arrived in the Sudan and are expected to reach…El Geneina…in Apr., with (its) personnel following in May 2008.”
  • Formed police units
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “…it is expected that Nigeria…will finalize deployment preparations in the coming weeks, with a view to deploying (its) formed police units to El Geneina…”

Nepalese

  • Police officers and police units
    • Dec. 24, 2007:
      • “…by Feb. 2008”
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “…major equipment arrived in Port Sudan on 18 Feb.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “The equipment of the Nepalese formed police unit arrived in Port Sudan on 18 Feb, and the unit’s main body will deploy once the equipment arrives in Nyala. It is estimated that the five formed police units will be deployed in Darfur by the end of July 2008.”
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “The equipment…which arrived in Port Sudan on 18 Feb. is still in transit to Nyala.”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “The equipment…arrived in Port Sudan on 18 Feb., but only 11% of the equipment had arrived in Nyala as at 25 May.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “The contingent-owned equipment…has arrived at Port Sudan and the main bodies are expected to deploy by Aug. provided the equipment is transported in time…

Ethiopian

  • Battalion
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “The Ethiopian battalion’s lead company group is scheduled to arrive in El Fasher on 7 Apr. The remainder of the battalion will complete its deployment of 15 May.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “The equipment and personnel of the advance party…is expected to be flown into El Fasher in Apr. It is anticipated that the main body’s equipment will arrive in the Sudan in Apr. and in Darfur in early May, with the personnel arriving in May 2008.”
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “The movement of the equipment of the advance party…began on 2 Apr. and the equipment is expected to arrive in Darfur by mid-May. The advance party…will deploy in May, and the main body is due to begin to deploy in June.”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “The equipment of the advance party…is en route from El Fasher to Kulbus (Western Darfur).”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “The advance party…is expected to move forward in July. The Operation is also using all means possible to accelerate the movement of the…equipment to Kulbus in order to permit the deployment of the main body before Oct. 2008.”
  • Transport company
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “The final contingent-owned equipment…arrived in Port Sudan in late Apr.; however, 72% of the contingent-owned equipment is still in Port Sudan awaiting movement into the mission area.”
  • Logistics company
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “The final contingent-owned equipment…arrived in Port Sudan in late Apr.; however, 72% of the contingent-owned equipment is still in Port Sudan awaiting movement into the mission area.”

Indonesian

  • Formed police unit
    • May 9, 2008:
      • “The equipment…arrived in Port Sudan on 25 Apr. but has not yet been released from Customs.”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “The equipment…arrived in Port Sudan on 25 Apr. and has been cleared by the Sudanese customs authorities. However, the Indonesian equipment has not left for Zam Zam (Northern Darfur), owing to a breach of contract by the local companies contracted to move the equipment.”
    • July 7, 2008:
      • “The contingent-owned equipment…has arrived at Port Sudan and the main bodies are expected to deploy by Aug. provided the equipment is transported in time and the land required…is provided.”

Sudanese

  • Land
    • Mar. 25, 2008:
      • “The Government has still not provided UNAMID with the land it requires in El Geneina, Western Darfur.”
    • Apr. 14, 2008:
      • “…(UNAMID) has been provided land in El Geneina…however, to date the mission still has not received land in Seleia…”
    • June 17, 2008:
      • “…the land required to expand the Kulbus camp has not yet been appropriated by the Government. UNAMID has requested the Government to allocate land in Kulbus and all other locations.”
      • “Land for new camps must also be obtained and prepared in Korma, Seleia, Buram, Habila and Um Dukhum. In its request of 9 May, UNAMID sent the Government a comprehensive list of the land required in a total of 35 locations; a formal response has not yet been received.”

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