Secretary-General Ban reports to Security Council on UNAMID deployment
28 August 2008 -- The Secretary-General’s latest report on the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur covering the month of July was released in New York today.
July has seen an extremely worrying increase in violence in Darfur, the Secretary-General reports and notes that continuing air strikes in all three States of Darfur, even during the days surrounding President Al-Bashir’s visit to the region, cast a shadow over the conciliatory message the President delivered during his visit.
In the report, the Secretary-General urges all parties to recognize the urgent need to end the suffering of innocent civilians and immediately commit themselves to an unconditional ceasefire.
He also reiterates his appeal to Council members to urge troop- and police contributing countries that are in a position to provide these desperately needed capabilities to do so without further delay. In spite of our efforts, deployment will take many more months during which UNAMID will continue to experience serious shortfalls in communications, logistics, medical evacuation and treatment, and air support.
Critical shortfalls include 18 medium-lift helicopters, 6 attack helicopters, one aerial reconnaissance unit, one medium transport unit, one heavy transport unit and one multi-role logistics unit. Four additional light helicopters are still being sought to meet the operational requirements of the mission.
The Secretary-General says the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to seek an arrest warrant for President Al-Bashir has altered the political landscape, although it is too early to assess the impact it will have on the peace process.
Without prejudice to the decision of the ICC on the Prosecutor’s application, the international community should continue its engagement and support of the parties’ efforts to achieve progress towards resolving the crisis in the Sudan
The international community also has the responsibility to seek agreement on the equal importance of peace and justice in trying to meet the needs of the people of Darfur, he says and urges Member States to spare no efforts in reaching consensus on how to move forward on both goals in order to achieve a comprehensive political solution in Darfur.