22 April 2008 -- JSR Adada briefs the Security Council in New York.
Press Release No. 28
24 April 2008
Addressing the UN Security Council
Darfur Peacekeeping Chief Calls upon the International Community to Match Expectations with Contributions
While Impunity & Attacks on Civilians are on the Rise,
UNAMID Remains at 40% of its Mandated Level
Despite Obstacles, Successes on the Ground Tangible
New York, 22 April 2008 – In a briefing to the UN Security Council on the situation in Darfur, the UN / AU Joint Special Representative, Rodolphe Adada, appealed to member states to redouble efforts to assist the Mission overcome the logistical and political obstacles it currently faces, stressing that Council members must commit themselves to providing UNAMID with the means to accomplish the tasks assigned to it.
Adada said that while the challenges facing UNAMID in Darfur are formidable, there are high expectations regarding what the Mission should deliver. He warned that the warm welcome UNAMID has received could rapidly degenerate into deepening frustrations among the people of Darfur, if expectations are not met. He added, “It will be tragic if the high aspirations of this mandate, including the responsibility to protect millions of innocent Darfurians civilians who are still living in fear, are disappointed.”
Speaking to reporters outside the Council, Adada said that up to 80 per cent of the entire UNAMID force could be deployed by the end of this year if donor countries do more to help out, whether by providing troops or equipment.
Adada said logistical challenges remain one of the biggest problems, with the Mission lacking the infrastructure at the moment to house the thousands of staff expected at full deployment. He said UN and AU officials were working hard to try to accelerate deployment and to make the most of the available resources – including fresh water – in the parched and landlocked region.
Despite the challenges and limited resources, Adada stressed that UNAMID has made a tangible difference on the ground, in areas related to its primary mandate; the protection of civilians. More protection is being provided to vulnerable groups, especially in IDP camps though Community Policing and raising awareness on issues related to Gender-based violence. In the last three months, UNAMID Police as registered and trained 287 IDP volunteers in Community Policing, 30 of whom are women.
UNAMID is also working toward accelerating deployment. Adada informed the Council that in the course of the next three months, scheduled deployments include forces from, China, Egypt, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Ethiopia. He made it clear, however, that UNAMID is still far from achieving full operational capability and that the force is still at less than 40% of its mandated level.
Referring to the political process, the Joint Special Representatives said prospects for the peace process in Darfur remain very slim. He said the parties to the conflict may not view peace in Darfur as an attractive prospect, neither economically not politically. He explained that signatories of the Darfur Peace Agreement have lost much of their political credibility and financial support, whereas non-signatories are still being armed and enjoy the financial and logistical support which allows them to sustain political packing among the grassroots.
Moreover, with conflicts in Darfur and Chad now closely intertwined, the security situation is worsening and prospects for a political solution dimming. He said it is challenging to secure a solution to one while the other continues to rage.
Adada called upon the international community to seek an end to hostilities along Sudan-Chad borders in order to address the conflict in a more profound way, saying that UNAMID will remain in close contact with MINUCRAT to ensure civilians receive protection, highlighting the human rights violations committed against civilians in the region within the last three months, where hundreds were killed and tens of thousands displaced as a result of fighting between JEM and government forces.
He underlined that all parties involved in the conflict should respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, emphasizing that the current climate of impunity in Darfur is unacceptable and shall not be allowed to continue.
Adada concluded by saying, “I appeal again to this Council to redouble its efforts to assist the Mission in overcoming the logistical and political obstacles it currently faces.”
* * *
For further information, please contact:
Tel. +249 (0) 924821698