The Mandate of the Police Component of UNAMID is stipulated in the Security Council Resolution 2363 (S/RES/2363/2017), with its strategic priorities focused on Supporting the Physical Protection of Civilians (POC), Facilitation of the delivery of Humanitarian Assistance, Creation of a Protective Environment by coordinating the development and capacity building of Sudanese Police Force (SPF) in Darfur and Community-Oriented Policing initiatives in conjunction with the UNCT. To achieve these targets, the component now operates on a two-pronged approach - Peacekeeping activities in the Jebel Marra area and Peacebuilding initiatives in other areas of Darfur.
The Police Core and Senior Management Team, Individual Police Officers (IPOs) and Formed Police Units (FPUs) are the three core elements who provide managerial guidance, operational and administrative support and oversight for the Police component
The activities of IPOs mostly focus on monitoring, mentoring and building the capacity of local Police, and supporting community-oriented policing undertakings in Darfur by building and improving the capacity of Community Policing Volunteers (CPVs) and Community Safety Committees (CSCs) in IDP Camps. Through these activities, IPOs bridge the gap between the local Police and IDPs, especially in areas where there is deep mistrust between the two sides. IPOs also contribute to enhance early warning for the mission through interaction with the community and engage in confidence building patrol.
The FPUs ensure the safety of UN personnel by providing armed escorts for IPOs and civilian personnel including humanitarian actors/personnel. These units also support the physical protection of civilians through high-visibility patrols and provision of security in Super Camps. They also engage in crowd management and respond to public order situations, including facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The Police component’s activities are now focused on Protection of Civilians, Facilitation of Humanitarian Assistance and the Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel. This is done through active and effective patrolling in areas at high risk of conflict and high concentration of IDPs; identifying and reporting threats to and attacks against civilians and implementing prevention and response plans; and supporting, in coordination with the Government of Sudan, the capacity building of the Sudanese Police Force (SPF) in Darfur.
The component’s strategic priorities also involve the development and training of Community Policing so as to monitor through proactive policing activities in IDP Camps. It will ensure assistance in the implementation of the provisions of Darfur Peace Agreement (DDPD), facilitate the effective and unhindered provision of humanitarian assistance and full access to people in need. These priorities are being implemented through coordination, cooperation and collaboration with the other stakeholders.
PHYSICAL PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS
UNAMID Police is involved in the physical protection of civilians through high visibility patrols, which are conducted in collaboration with the Military and Civilian components in and around IDP Camps, communities and farm areas in the five sectors with 24 Team Sites. These patrols enable IPOs to interact with people and gather information for sharing on early warning system. The IDPs are also escorted when they go out to fetch firewood or water. All these are geared to ensure the protection of civilians, particularly the vulnerable people like women and children, from imminent threats of physical violence while carrying out livelihood activities.
FACILITATION OF HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
Through FPUs, the Police component provides escorts to humanitarian supplies for IDPs and also protect United Nations personnel and facilities.
COORDINATION OF POLICE CAPACITY-BUILDING AND COMMUNITY-ORIENTED POLICING
UNAMID Police also works to strengthen relations with the Sudanese Police Force (SPF) through capacity building in areas of crime prevention, reporting and investigative techniques, crowd management and other relevant fields in accordance with international policing standards. It also trains Community Policing Volunteers (CPVs) and Community Safety Committees (CSCs) on Community Policing, Human Rights and SGBV. This encourages community ownership and partnership with SPF in maintaining peace and security. The UNAMID Police component also coordinates closely with SPF with reference to gender by establishing Gender Desks, Family and Child Protection Units in the SPF Stations for better handling of SGBV and other criminal cases. All these are aimed at ensuring enhancing the capacity of the SPF through a smooth exchange of skills so that they are able to carry on their own even after the exit of UNAMID.
Furthermore, the IDPs make humanitarian requests to IPOs during patrols and the latter collaborate with relevant UNAMID role players, UNCT and other humanitarian actors to address these humanitarian needs. Thus, many Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) have been implemented as well as various requests addressed.
GENDER DIMENSION OF UNAMID POLICE
The UNAMID Police Gender Cell coordinates all gender-related activities of the UNAMID geographic sectors, collates information and sends it to the Police Gender Unit at MHQ. The Police Gender Cell coordinates all gender-related activities, such as training and sexual violence cases, with the civilian Gender Advisory Unit. The recruitment of women as child protection volunteers at the Team Sites has raised gender awareness at the community level.
UNAMID Police also collaborates with female SPF officers to help them understand the gender perspectives. They also support female SPF officers in development and livelihood programs.
Gender Mainstreaming: UN Resolution 1325 calls for gender mainstreaming and promotes increased involvement of women in the peacekeeping process. In terms of composition of the different UNAMID components, Police has the highest number of female staff which constitutes 22% of its total workforce. The emphasis on engaging more and more female IPOs is because they are more useful when it comes to playing interactive roles with female IDPs who may have been victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and other forms of criminal offences.
Additionally, UNAMID also has a Police Women Network (UPWN) to facilitate and contribute positively to Gender Mainstreaming in the Mission, focusing on the establishment of professional and social contacts with the SPF Women. The Network also addresses issues of women welfare and assists in building the capacity of the SPF Women. Female Police peacekeepers have established themselves as unique role models in UNAMID by sensitizing local women on various issues and training them on livelihood or income-generating activities.