UN State Liaison Functions (SLFs) in Darfur

UNAMID Transition Process and the State Liaison Functions (SLFs)

1. What is UNAMID transition about?

The Security Council in resolution 2429 (2018) endorsed a two-pronged approach – peacekeeping in the greater Jebel Marra and peacebuilding in the rest of Darfur. The resolution further authorized UNAMID to draw down its operations in Darfur with a potential closure by 30 June 2020 and directed UNAMID to work jointly with the UNCT to support a whole-of-system transition concept with the aim of providing sustainable solutions to the critical drivers of conflict in Darfur within a two-year timeframe.

Subsequently, the UN Secretary General issued a Planning Directive to operationalize the drawdown and liquidation and guide preparations by the UNCT to articulate peacebuilding and development programming in Darfur during the transition and beyond, while national ownership should be the primary consideration in all aspects of the planning process.

The Planning Directive articulates specific deliverables by UNAMID and the UNCT as part of the transition process. Among others, UNAMID and UNCT were tasked to establish a Joint Transition Cell (JTC) that will provide technical support and coordination of operational and substantive areas of the work on transition. A temporary transition team has been established while the JTC structure and terms of reference are being finalized.

A joint Transition Action Plan was endorsed jointly by UNAMID and the UNCT on 26 March 2019. The Joint Action Plan outlines key transition workstreams1 with specific deliverables, processes and timelines. The primary role and responsibility of the JTC is to coordinate implementation of the Joint Action Plan.

1 Political, Mission, Integrated and Programmatic & Resources workstreams, complemented by cross-cutting Operational and Communication workstreams.

2. What are the SLFs?

The SLF concept advances the Secretary-General’s ‘whole-of-UN’ agenda based on the recognition that transitions require an inclusive strategy. It establishes a link between peacekeeping and peacebuilding to prevent a relapse into conflict and disruption of the peace continuum. It plays a catalytic role in building peace, focusing the work of the UN to preserve and build upon peacekeeping gains, and offers an opportunity for development partners to invest in Darfur’s development through a joint UN conflict analysis and planning.

The SLF framework ensures a joint and overarching strategy between UNAMID, national actors and the UNCT that seeks to optimize the capabilities and comparative advantages of relevant actors, while serving as an entry point for enhanced national ownership. The SLFs form part of the action plan and are implemented under the programmatic lead of the UNCT in close cooperation with national actors. They are financed through UNAMID assessed programmatic funding for which UNAMID is accountable, in the following four substantive areas:

- Rule of law,

- Human rights,

- Durable solutions: livelihood for displaced populations; and

- Durable solutions: immediate service delivery for internally displaced persons.


3. How many Agencies, Funds and Programmes (AFPs) are involved in the SLFs?


UNAMID has signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with a total of 10 individual AFPs for the transfer of financial resources, a total of USD 14 million plus an additional USD 1 million for staffing UNAMID TRANSITION AND SLF (ODJSR, MAY 2019) 2


(General Operating Expenses (GOE)). These are FAO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UN Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP, and WHO. The signed MOUs set out the terms and conditions on the programmatic funds for accountability purpose. To support AFPs implementation capacity, 58 UNAMID staff are co-located within AFPs in the four states of Darfur (North, South, East and West). In addition, a Human Rights Mobile Monitoring Team consisting of three staff members operates within the SLF framework. Forty UNAMID police officers are also part of the SLF concept

4. How were the participating AFPs identified to implement the SLF?


The 10 AFPs were identified based on their comparative advantage and technical expertise to work jointly with UNAMID to address the challenges specific to the four states. These included:

- Land, dispute resolution mechanisms and awareness of tenure rights (particularly by women);

- Scarcity of resources and inter-communal conflict including over livestock and water;

- IDP and refugee returns to areas with limited infrastructure, services and livelihood opportunities.


5. What is the status of implementation?


The implementation of phase one of SLF (January -June 2019) is on course and targets are expected to be met by June 2019. The process of project identification and implementation has been inclusive. The local authorities in the four states of Darfur were also involved in project identifications, thereby enhancing their sense of ownership.

While it is too soon to speak of impact, we can speak of noticeable improvement resulting from the SLF. For instance, we have increased AFPs presence in East Darfur (El Daein) through the SLF. Prior to the SLF, there were only four AFPs (UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP and WHO). With SLF, the number of AFPs increased to nine (FAO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA and UN Habitat).

Under the rule of law and human rights pillar, activities implemented focused on infrastructure development and capacity building including trainings and human rights awareness. As part of efforts to strengthen the criminal justice chain, the rule of law pillar reported that about 50% of its capacity building projects had been implemented. In addition, around 35 infrastructure development projects are underway. On protective environment, the SLF is supporting law enforcement authorities through capacity building on the administration of justice and monitoring of the establishment of police posts and rural courts (Nyala, El Fasher and El Daein). With embedded UNAMID staff, the UNCT has also expanded the area that it monitors (eight former team sites already monitored). This exercise has proven to be effective in strengthening the protection networks to enable continued access to IDPs, refugees and host communities.

For phase two covering the period of July - June 2020, a total budget of USD 34.4 million has been requested.

6. What is next?


The Strategic assessment (SAM) of UNAMID, jointly carried out by the UN and the African Union in March 2019, recommends an expansion of the SLF concept to the greater Jebel Marra area. Geographical priority areas located in North and South Darfur will be covered by the existing SLFs and a creation of another SLF in Central Darfur has been proposed. As part of the JTC, a coordination structure is being finalized to strengthen coordination, information and crisis management particularly at the state level, in addition to the existing mechanism centered around implementation of programmatic activities.

The SLFs have a potential to become a best practice for other missions nearing or already undergoing transitions. While the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) will be carrying out an evaluation on UNAMID transition in June 2019, UNAMID, with support from ISSAT/DCAF and OROLSI, is planning to carry out a lesson learned exercise on the rule of law transition in Darfur between August and October 2019.





Web stories links:

UN SLFs organize capacity building training workshop for Sudanese female police officers in North Darfur


UN State Liaison Functions call for immediate review of land tenure policies during a Darfur Land Conference held in North Darfur.


UN State Liaison Functions organizes training on “Fair trial standards” for district court judges in South Darfur


UN SLFs conduct training on human rights for rural courts judges and native administration in South Darfur


UN SLFs organizes vocational skills training for at-risk youth in Tawila locality, North Darfur


UN State Liaison Functions provide Human Rights training to Sudan Police in North Darfur


UN State Liaison Functions conduct workshop on justice delivery for victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in West Darfur



UN State Liaison Functions organize training workshop on “Legal Aid and Human Rights” in South Darfur


United Nations State Liaison Functions train Government of Sudan police officers in West Darfur



UN State Liaison Functions conduct training on human rights for GoS police in South Darfur



UN State Liaison Functions organizes Workshop for GoS Prison Officers in North Darfur State on Strengthening of Legal Aid Desks in Prisons



UN State Liaison Functions train district court judges in North Darfur




United Nations State Liaison Functions conclude training for Sudanese prisons officers in East Darfur



UN State Liaison Functions Conduct a Workshop on Manual for Rural Courts, Access to Justice and Human Rights in North Darfur



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