UNAMID holds the National Prisons Development Committee meeting in El Fasher, North Darfur
On 07 March 2017, UNAMID Rule of Law Section organized the National Prisons Development Committee (NPDC) Meeting and Validation workshop in El Fasher, North Darfur, aimed at improving management and operations in local prisons, ensuring compliance with international standards and best practices in correctional management and upholding the rule of law, which will in turn contribute to public safety and security in Darfur.
The meeting, attended by UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR)-Protection, Ms. Bintou Keita, the Director General of Prisons and Reform, Sudan, Major General Abu Obeida Suliman, state Directors of prisons from all the five States of Darfur, endorsed the policy documents on the inspection and audit guidance manual, the prison strategic training framework and curricula and the standard operating procedures on prisoner admission, prison key control, searches, counting of prisoners and vocational training (industry and farms).
Addressing the meeting, DJSR-Protection, Ms. Keita, reiterated UNAMID’s commitment to support Prisons’, Rule of Law and Criminal Justice Systems in Darfur and praised the commitment by the Government of Sudan to improve management of prisons. She highlighted some of the challenges facing the prisons system which include weak security, lack of adequate budget to provide the basic need for prisoners, overcrowding and shortage of women prison officers. “The prison system is therefore a critical component of the criminal justice system and contributes to peace, public safety and security through humane custody and rehabilitation programmes for the offenders in a bid to ensure effective community reintegration,” Ms. Keita further stated.
Representing UNDP, Mr. Ibrahim Khair, stated that UNDP will continue its support to the prisons development and other rule of law institutions in Darfur as “these activities are meant to strengthen the functioning of the prisons to comply and adhere to international standard and minimum rules for the treatment of offenders.”
In his remarks, Chairperson of NPDC, Major General Hassan Kambal, expressed his appreciation to UNAMID for organizing the meeting and expressed his Government’s readiness to cooperate with the Mission to rehabilitate the prisons in the five Darfur states.
The Director General of Sudan Prisons and Reform Directorate, Major General, Abu Obeida Suliman reiterated the significance of the partnership between the Directorate and UNAMID and stated that the MoU between the two parties has made significant achievements which have hugely contributed to the development of prisons in Darfur, thereby contributing to peace and security. “The Prison Directorate reaffirms its commitment to pay special attention to the needs of women inmates and children accompanying their mothers in prison,” Major General Suliman added.
On 21 February 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between UNAMID and the Sudan Directorate of Prisons and Reform. The objective of the MoU was to support the strengthening of the prisons system in Darfur.