UNAMID Leadership Visits Local Communities in Sortony and Kube, North Darfur
On 20 November 2016, UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR) – Political, Kingsley Mamabolo, along with other members of the Mission’s leadership, visited Sortony and Kube in North Darfur. The purpose of the visit was to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs, as well as help conflicting communities in the area resolve their disputes peacefully.
Mr. Mamabolo was first briefed by military officers at the Mission’s Team Site in Sortony on the security situation, humanitarian operations for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at the Gathering Site, challenges facing UNAMID uniformed personnel such as lack of accessible roads connecting surrounding villages, protection of civilians activities conducted by UNAMID peacekeepers including daily patrols as well as the installation of observation towers. DJSR Mamabolo indicated that latter project is key to ensuring adequate security for the IDPs.
After the briefing, the UNAMID delegation set off for Kube, located about 5 kilometers from Sortony Team Site, where it met with leaders from the pastoral community and listened to their needs. Daoud Mohamed Othman, a community leader at Kube, explained that they suffer a lot from lack of water and asked UNAMID to increase its water supplies to the area. He also requested for enhanced security in their area to prevent cattle rustling incidents conducted, allegedly, by some groups in Sortony.
In this regard, Mr. Mamabolo reassured them that UNAMID takes their concerns seriously. “We in UNAMID want to help you and look forward to seeing peace achieved in your communities as war does not benefit anyone. Community conflicts hinder even the humanitarian activities, and opening the roads between Sortony and Kube is essential to facilitate delivery of assistance for your benefit. Peace processes and humanitarian aid, work together. We urge you all to play an effective role in the reconciliation efforts,” DJSR Mamabolo added.
On his part, UNAMID Head of Sector North Office, Hassan Jibril, emphasized the importance of the participation to the peace process by all parties to the conflict. ”UNAMID fully supports peace efforts initiated in your area, but you should also fully engage in peaceful negotiations with the other parties to resolve any differences and to understand the other party’s concerns too,” Mr. Jibril noted.
Upon its return to Sortony Team Site, UNAMID delegation met with representatives of the IDPs from the Gathering Site and discussed their concerns including lack of water, shortage of school facilities, jobs and alleged cattle rustling in the area. DJSR Mamabolo conveyed to the IDPs the peace message from Kube pastoralists and their readiness to engage them in direct dialogue to discuss possible solutions to their disputes. He also encouraged the IDPs to participate in a peace conference, to be organized by UNAMID soon in Kabkabiya, in coordination with the native administration.
At the conclusion of the visit, DJSR Mamabolo inspected the newly built observation towers located at each corner of the Sortony Gathering Site. These observation towers give a vantage viewpoint and enable the Mission’s peacekeepers to adequately monitor the security situation for the protection of IDPs in the area.
Similar assessment visits to North Darfur villages have been conducted recently by the Mission’s leadership as part of its support to the peace processes.