UNAMID mandate extended by one year

1 Dec 2008

UNAMID mandate extended by one year

31 July 2008 –The Security Council tonight extended by one year the mandate of the joint United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur. With 14 votes in favour and an abstention by the United States, a resolution was adopted to extend the mission – which was authorized by the Council exactly one year ago – for another 12 months to 31 July 2009. The current mandate expires tonight.

“The United States abstained because language added to the resolution would send the wrong signal to Sudanese President [Omar al-] Bashir” and undermine efforts to bring him to justice, US Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff told the 15-member panel after the vote.

Earlier this month, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that he is seeking an arrest warrant for Mr. Bashir for “criminal responsibility in relation to 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

Since taking over from an AU peace monitoring mission at the start of this year, UNAMID has just under 10,000 uniformed personnel in place, far short of the approximately 26,000 troops and police officers expected when the force reaches full deployment.

A report by a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) this week found that the peacekeeping mission faces critical shortages in troops, other personnel, helicopters, equipment and logistics.

UNAMID chief Rodolphe Adada said he concurred with the report and called on the international community to help out with the shortages so that the mission can carry out its mandate.

A spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon echoed those remarks today, saying it was vital that UNAMID be given the helicopters and other necessary capabilities.

The mission reported today that the security situation in Darfur, an impoverished and arid region, remains relatively calm. Mission staff continue to conduct routine patrols and escorts.

(UN News Service)