UN ex­tends Dar­fur mis­sion de­spite Su­dan op­po­si­tion

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

KHAR­TOUM—The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has ex­tended the man­date of an in­ter­na­tional peace­keep­ing force in Dar­fur for a year de­spite fierce op­po­si­tion from the Su­danese gov­ern­ment.

On Wed­nes­day, the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ex­tended the man­date of the UN-African Union Mis­sion in Dar­fur (UNAMID) to June 30 next year, say­ing that the sit­u­a­tion in Su­dan threat­ened global peace and se­cu­rity.

About 18,000 troops and po­lice from more than 30 coun­tries will con­tinue to de­ploy as part of the peace­keep­ing mis­sion in Dar­fur, a re­gion the size of France where tens of thou­sands of civil­ians have been killed since 2003.

The UNAMID mis­sion was first de­ployed in Dar­fur in 2007, a com­pro­mise be­tween Western calls for a fully-fledged UN peace­keep­ing mis­sion and Khar­toum’s in­sis­tence on an African so­lu­tion.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil de­cided to ex­tend its man­date after “de­ter­min­ing that the sit­u­a­tion in Su­dan con­sti­tutes a threat to in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity,” said the res­o­lu­tion adopted on Wed­nes­day.

The ex­ten­sion had been rec­om­mended in a re­port by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

In the run-up to the vote, Khar­toum had ex­pressed stiff op­po­si­tion.

Last month, Min­is­ter of State for For­eign Af­fairs Ka­mal Is­mail said: “It’s time to say good­bye to the UNAMID mis­sion.”

Khar­toum in­sists that un­rest in Dar­fur has ended, and that an April ref­er­en­dum in Dar­fur — boy­cotted by the op­po­si­tion and widely crit­i­cised by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity — had “turned a page” on the con­flict.

Of­fi­cials said al­most 98 per­cent of vot­ers opted to main­tain Dar­fur as five sep­a­rate states, not the sin­gle re­gion favoured by the op­po­si­tion.

Vi­o­lence erupted in Dar­fur when eth­nic mi­nor­ity rebels rose up against Pres­i­dent Omar al-Bashir, ac­cus­ing his Arab-dom­i­nated gov­ern­ment of marginal­is­ing the re­gion.

Bashir mounted a bru­tal counter-in­sur­gency and at least 300,000 peo­ple have been killed in the con­flict, the UN says. An­other 2.5 mil­lion have fled their homes.

Bashir is wanted by the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court on war crimes charges re­lated to Dar­fur, which he de­nies.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil said that Dar­fur re­mains prey to in­se­cu­rity.

It said Dar­fur con­tin­ued to wit­ness at­tacks by rebel groups and gov­ern­ment forces in the cen­tral Jebel Marra high­lands, in­ter-tribal fight­ing, ban­ditry and crime.

It said “sex­ual and gen­der-based vi­o­lence tar­get­ing women and girls” also af­fected the re­gion.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil noted that 80,000 peo­ple fled their homes in the first five months of the year adding to hun­dreds of thou­sands of dis­placed peo­ple al­ready liv­ing in camps.

“The con­tin­ued de­nial of ac­cess and re­stric­tions im­posed on hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tors have left sign­f­i­cant gaps in the de­liv­ery of hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance,” it said.

There have been per­sis­tent re­ports of vi­o­lence in re­cent months.

Ear­lier this month, gun­men killed four peo­ple at a camp for dis­placed peo­ple in Cen­tral Dar­fur.

In May, Arab tribes­men shot dead eight eth­nic mi­nor­ity vil­lagers as they prayed, in a re­venge killing in West Dar­fur.

And in April, as many as 20 peo­ple were killed in clashes be­tween ri­val Arab tribes in East Dar­fur sparked by cat­tle rustling.— AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.