Category Archives: Africa – International

Nigeria – Ekiti governor accuses Buhari of ethnic appointments

Punch

Fayose

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said the steps taken by President Muhammadu Buhari since he took over on May 29 are tainted with ethnic colouration.

The governor, who said the retired general was operating as a “president of northern Nigeria only” said, “appointments made by Buhari so far negated the principle of federal character.”

Fayose, according to a statement issued on Monday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said it was wrong for the President to have made 31 major appointments with only seven coming from the South.

“Under Buhari, are people from southern Nigeria only meant to be hounded and harassed by anti-corruption agencies and the Department of State Services while those from the North are meant to enjoy Federal Government’s juicy appointments?” he asked.

Apart from lopsided appointments made by the President, the governor said he was worried that the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway had slowed down while work had stopped on Lokoja-Abuja road.

These roads, he said, “are the major roads linking the southern part of Nigeria with the North.”

“Also, we have been told by the Federal Government that the Second Niger Bridge project has been suspended and one is now beginning to remember how Buhari cancelled the Lagos Metroline Project in 1985 at a loss of over $78m (then) to the Lagos tax payers.”

Fayose maintained that Nigeria could only move forward if there was equity and fairness, saying those who made the country’s constitution and enshrined the principle of federal character in it were mindful of the ethnic diversity of the country.

But the Presidency appealed to Nigerians to ignore Fayose.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said appeal to ethnic and regional arithmetic would not give back to the Peoples Democratic Party what it lost at the poll.

He said, “Let me say at this stage that mere appeal to ethnic and regional arithmetic will not give back to the PDP what they lost. They seem to be making a dangerous calculation with their recent outbursts.

“The mere appeal to sectional and religious will not give the party its lost relevance or electability. Nigerians are smarter than Fayose thinks.

“The governor’s outbursts are intended to be a trigger for a clash between communities in areas where deliberate attempts had in the past also been made by the PDP to stoke ethnic and religious fault-lines.

“Our appeal to Nigerians is that they should ignore these tantrums. President Buhari is a healer not a divider.”

Copyright PUNCH.

Somalia – Al Shabab storms African Union base

Mail and Guardian

Militants from Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabab group rammed a suicide car bomb into an African Union army base and stormed inside.

Al shabab militants. (AP)

There were no immediate reports on casualties, and the rebels said in a statement that the African Union Mission for Somalia (Amisom) troops had fled the base, situated in Janale district, 80 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu in the lower Shabele region in Somalia.

The base is thought to be manned by Burundian soldiers.

“There was heavy explosion and fighting broke out at the Amisom base in Janale. We don’t have details but we are hearing that Al-Shebab militants attacked the base,” said Mohamed Shire, a Somali military commander based in the region.

A local eyewitness said Shabab fighters stormed into the base.

“Heavy fighting broke out after a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into the camp,” said local resident Ali Moalim Yusuf. “I saw heavily armed fighters chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [‘God is greatest’] pouring into the base.”

The militants, who are fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed and AU-protected government, confirmed they were behind the attack.

“Mujaheddin fighters captured the base after a suicide bomber struck it, the enemy fled,” the Islamists said in a brief statement.

In June, Shebab fighters killed dozens of Burundian soldiers when they overran an Amisom outpost northwest of the capital. The militants also stage frequent suicide attacks inside the capital.

But AMISOM, the 22 000-strong AU force in Somalia, has also made key gains against the Shebab in recent months, pushing them out of several strongholds in the southwest of the country. – AFP

Hurricane Fred hits Cape Verde

BBC

A hurricane with winds of up to 120km/h (75mph) has hit the island nation of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa.

The government grounded all flights as heavy rain and winds lashed north-western islands in the archipelago.

No hurricane has ever been recorded further east in the tropical Atlantic.

Late on Monday Fred weakened to a tropical storm as it moved away from the islands, the US-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Strong winds and rain are expected to persist as Fred moves through other parts of Cape Verde on Tuesday, the NHC added.

It said the last time a hurricane was recorded hitting Cape Verde was 1892, although it cautions that records were less exact before the advent of weather satellites in the mid-1960s.

Cape Verde consists of 10 significant volcanic islands, nine of which are inhabited.

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Cliffs stand against the ocean on the northern coast of the island of Santo Antao, Cape Verde

Read more about the Cape Verde islands.

Nigeria – Buhari v Jonathan: Jonathan ministers call for respect for former president

Punch

Jonathan; Buhari

SOME ministers who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan have warned President Muhammadu Buhari to give the former president his “due respect.”

The former ministers said they had observed that the Buhari administration and members of the All Progressives Congress had been condemning, ridiculing and undermining the efforts of the Jonathan administration.

Jonathan’s ministers said both the President and his party had also been rubbishing the integrity of the individual members of the past administration.

A former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, said this on Sunday in a statement on behalf of other ministers who served under Jonathan.

But the Presidency, while reacting to the Jonathan’s minsters’ statement, on Sunday said Buhari’s war against corruption was not negotiable.

Suleiman said the efforts of the Buhari government had been to portray all members of the Jonathan administration “as corrupt and irresponsible, in an orchestrated and vicious trial by the media,” which he said had created “a lynch mentality that discredits our honest contributions to the growth and development of our beloved nation.”

He said while he and his colleagues believed that each administration had the right to chart its own path, the Kwara State-born former university lecturer said the alleged vilification of the Jonathan administration was ill-intentioned.

The Buhari administration has alleged several fraudulent practices against Jonatha’s ministers, including a recent allegation that the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, illegally took $6.9m from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to fund the bogus purchase of three mobile stages for Jonathan’s public appearances.

The Suleiman statement partly read, “We, the ministers who served under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, have watched with increasing alarm and concern the concerted effort by the Buhari administration and members of the APC to condemn, ridicule and undermine the efforts of that administration, in addition to impugning the integrity of its individual members.

“While we concede that every administration has the right to chart its own path as it deems fit, we nevertheless consider the vilification of the Jonathan administration, to be ill-intentioned, unduly partisan, and in bad faith.

“We are proud to have served Nigeria and we boldly affirm that we did so diligently and to the best of our abilities. The improvements that have been noticed today in the power sector, in national security and in social services and other sectors did not occur overnight.

“They are products of solid foundations laid by the same Jonathan administration.”

He said that contrary to what the APC and its agents would want the public to believe, the Jonathan administration did not encourage corruption, “rather it fought corruption vigorously, within the context of the rule of law and due process.”

“For the benefit of those who may have forgotten so soon, it was the Jonathan administration that got rid of the fraud in fertiliser subsidies, which had plagued the country for decades. This helped to unleash a revolution in agricultural production and productivity,” he added.

Suleiman added that it was also the Jonathan administration that supported the institutional development of strong systems and mechanisms to curb corruption in the public service and plug revenue leakages.

He listed these to include the development of the Government Integrated Financial Management Platform, The Single Treasury Account, and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management Systems, in addition to the biometric registration of civil servants and pensioners which he said saved the country over N100bn paid to ghost workers and ghost pensioners.

Apart from that, he said that the Jonathan administration equally ensured greater transparency and integrity in the oil and gas sector by ordering investigations and put mechanisms in place to check the theft of Nigeria’s crude oil.

He said, “It was also under the Jonathan administration that a Nigerian Content policy was introduced, which opened up that sector to Nigerians in a manner that was not previously the case.

“It was also the Jonathan administration that mobilised and secured the support of our neighbouring countries to ensure a robust multinational response to the menace of terrorism and insurgency, resulting in notable advancements in the fight against terror.

“President Jonathan personally initiated the collaboration that led to this advancement and ensured that Nigeria provided the needed financial support for the Multinational Joint Task Force.

“It was the Jonathan administration that repaired and rehabilitated over 25, 000 kilometres of our nation’s roads.

“Nigeria also became a profitable and preferred investment-friendly destination.

“It was under President Jonathan, for example, that Nigeria’s electric power sector became more competitive and attractive to local and foreign investments.”

Suleiman added that the same administration promoted the rule of law, free speech, fundamental human rights, and a robust freedom of information regime.

Apart from that, he said women’s rights to participate in public life and the Federal Character principle as well as other constitutional principles were also respected.

“No administration can be either completely bad or completely good. President Jonathan’s achievements in moving this country to greater heights deserve to be duly acknowledged.

“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to build on these achievements,” he argued.

He challenged Buhari to be fair and non-partisan in his anti-corruption crusade.

Suleiman added that “the various lies and fabrications being peddled by some self-appointed spokespersons of the administration may entertain the unwary” but added that such sensationalism may achieve the unintended effect of de-marketing the country within the international community.

Suleiman said that he and his colleagues had reserved their comments until now in the hope that the euphoria that inspired the various attacks on the past administration would wear off and that reason would prevail.

“But we are constrained to speak up in defence of the legacy of the Jonathan administration, and shall do so again, for as long as those who are determined to rubbish that legacy, are unrelenting in their usual deployment of blackmail, persecution and similar tactics,” he warned.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, reacting to the Jonathan’s ministers asked the affected persons who he described as “members of the country’s latest trade union formation, the Association of Ex-Jonathan Ministers” to do a bit of self-reflection on the sort of government they handed over to Buhari on May 29.

He said such self-reflection would make the former ministers decide for themselves if it would have been right for any incoming government to ignore the issue of the brazen theft of public assets, which he said appeared to be the first of its kind in the country,

He said, “This war against corruption knows no friend nor foe. There is no intention to deny anyone of their good name where they are entitled to it and President Buhari reserves the highest regards for the country’s former leaders, including Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who he continues to praise to the high heavens for the way and manner in which he accepted defeat in the last election.

“That singular action remains a feat that has earned the former President and Nigeria as country befitting commendations all over the world, the latest coming from Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who visited a week ago.

“For the purpose of emphasis, the issue of fighting corruption by President Buhari is not negotiable.

“It is sine qua non to the overall reconstruction of the economy and social systems, which suffered destruction and severe denigration under the last administration.

“President Buhari will not be deterred or blackmailed into retreat and surrender.”

Copyright PUNCH.

South Sudan – rival forces trade accusations over ceasefire violations

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – Rival forces in South Sudan conflict have issued statements counter-accusing each other of violations of the permanent ceasefire hours after it came into effect on Saturday midnight as declared by president Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.

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Soldiers from the South Sudan army (SPLA) patrol the streets in the Upper Nile state capital, Malakal, on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Charles Lomodong)

The spokesperson of the government forces, Colonel Phillip Aguer, issued a series of statements on Saturday evening and again on Sunday, accusing forces loyal to the former vice president, Riek Machar, to have carried out attack on positions held by forces allied to president Kiir in Malakal town.

The intention of the rebels attack on the government forces, according to Aguer, was to gain more territories which they were seeking to use as assembling points in the event peace deal is implemented.

“Their intention is to gain more territories. This is the purpose of these attacks. That was why they attacked the positions of our forces in Malakal yesterday (Saturday) and again today (Sunday),” said Aguer.

“For us, our forces will not attack them but they have the right for self-defense,” he added.

However, the military officer revealed that the government had dispatched troops using river transports for delivery of military supplies to Malakal town, capital of the remaining oil producing Upper Nile state.

Spokesman of the leader of the armed opposition leader, Machar, on Saturday and Sunday said government forces moving with barges and gunboats from Juba to Malakal along the river Nile have been attacking their bases.

“Government forces have been attacking our bases along the river Nile. They attacked Tayer port on 26 August, the day President Kiir signed the peace Agreement. They attacked our base at Adok port on Friday as they continue to move northwards towards Malakal. Government forces in Malakal also shelled our base on the west bank,” said Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak.

Government spokesman, Philip Aguer, admitted that government forces were moving along the river Nile through territories controlled by the rebels, warning that they will fire back in self-defense should they come under attack from the rebel forces.

Peter Adwok Nyaba, one of the leading figures in the armed opposition faction led by Machar confirmed separately that government forces on Sunday shot at one of their speed boats while traveling between Wau Shilluk and Watbajwok around Malakal, wounding one passenger.

“The information we have is that the government forces continued shelling Ditang, Bukieny, Obuwa and Lelo. Our forces did not return fire respecting the orders of the commander-in-chief Dr. Riek Machar to cease fire,” said Nyaba.

Dak also said their forces came under separate attacks on Sunday morning in their bases in Koch, Leer and Mayiandit counties, just hours after the ceasefire went into force.

NEW ACTING SPOKESMAN FOR SPLA-IO

Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, who has been handling both political and military issues as spokesman after defection of military spokesman, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, to government, said there is now an acting military spokesman to handle military issues.

“I want to take this opportunity to introduce to you my colleague, Colonel William Gatjiath Deng, who has become our acting military spokesperson,” Dak said on Sunday while distributing to the media Colonel Deng’s first press statement on the military situation after violation of the permanent ceasefire.

Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, who was military spokesperson for the rebels’ military defected to the government this year. His deputy, Colonel James L. Thichot Ngundeng, who became the acting military spokesperson also defected from Machar with the group of Major General Peter Gatdet Yak and Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth.

Dak urged journalists to also establish contacts with the acting military spokesman, Deng, as he may be dealing mainly with political issues.

(ST)

South Sudan – Machar accuses government forces of breaking ceasefire

BBC

South Sudanese SPLA soldiers inspect a burned out car in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015.
Image captionGovernment troops have been battling rebels since 2013

South Sudan’s rebel leader has accused the government of violating a ceasefire hours after it came into effect.

Riek Machar said the army attacked his forces in two northern states, allegations which the military denies.

President Salva Kiir, under the threat of sanctions from the UN, signed a peace agreement on Wednesday, despite “serious reservations”.

Several ceasefires to end the brutal 20-month conflict in the world’s youngest nation have failed to hold.

The ceasefire came into effect at midnight local time on Saturday (21:00 GMT).

Mr Machar said his troops remained committed to the ceasefire despite the reported attacks in northern Unity and Upper Nile states, but would act in self-defence if the offensive continues.

“The government is unable to control its own troops,” Mr Machar told reporters in Ethiopia.

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He also accused the government of launching a “belligerent convoy”, including gunships, on the River Nile from the capital Juba.

The convoy had been bombarding villages as it headed through rebel-held territory on its way north, he said.

Army spokesman Col Philip Aguer denied that there were any government troops operating in the areas where the alleged attacks took place.

“These are mere fabrications by the rebels. We don’t have any report of clashes,” he is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

The government has also accused Mr Machar of failing to properly order his troops to stop fighting.

Tens of thousands of people have died and more than two million have been displaced from their homes since the conflict started in December 2013.

In a unanimous statement last week, the UN Security Council called on both parties “to adhere to the permanent ceasefire immediately”, or face an arms embargo and other sanctions.

Under the agreement, the rebels will be given the post of first vice-president, a position Mr Machar held until 2013 when he was dismissed by President Kiir.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 after President Kiir accused his sacked deputy Mr Machar of plotting a coup.

Mr Machar denied the charges, but then mobilised a rebel force to fight the government.


Key points of the peace deal:

South Sudanese soldier on patrol in Bentiu - January 2014
  • Fighting to stop immediately. Soldiers to be confined to barracks in 30 days, foreign forces to leave within 45 days, and child soldiers and prisoners of war freed
  • All military forces to leave the capital, Juba, to be replaced by unspecified “guard forces” and Joint Integrated Police
  • Rebels get post of “first vice-president”
  • Transitional government of national unity to take office in 90 days and govern for 30 months
  • Elections to be held 60 days before end of transitional government’s mandate
  • Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing to investigate human rights violations

Sudan – Darfur conflict changing and becoming more internecine but not getting better

ISS

In Darfur, things have changed, but not for the better
31 August 2015

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) undertook a field mission to Darfur and Khartoum this month amid growing concern about the situation in Darfur. The African Union (AU) has been involved in attempts to solve the Darfur conflict for over a decade, having started to send peacekeepers to the area in 2004.

In June 2015, the United Nations (UN) Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), citing a ‘significant deterioration of the security situation’.

The unanimous vote represented something of a defeat: an admission that after 11 years of international involvement, the region remains as dangerous and unstable as ever.

It is important not to underestimate the scale of the Darfur conflict, and its cost – in both human and financial terms. Since the fighting began in earnest in 2003, more than 300 000 people have been killed and an estimated 2.5 million more displaced (this from a population of around 6.2 million).

The AU has had a presence there since 2004, in the form of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which morphed into UNAMID in 2007. UNAMID’s mandate provides for 15 845 military personnel, 1 583 police personnel and 13 formed police units of up to 140 personnel each, which are drawn from 37 different countries. Its budget is currently US$1.1 billion per year. The International Crisis Group (ICG) estimates that the total international cost of the war in Darfur, including humanitarian aid, has exceeded US$20 billion since 2003.

Over the years, the conflict has changed, becoming ever more fractured and internecine
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This investment of money, personnel and diplomatic capital has failed to resolve the situation, however. Even though a high-profile peace deal – the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) – was signed in 2011 between the government of President Omar al-Bashir and various rebel groups, the fighting has intensified over the last 18 months. This has left policymakers wondering whether UNAMID is fit for purpose, and what it should be doing differently.

Changing nature of the conflict

Understanding the tangled web of alliances and motivations that underpin the conflict has never been easy, although when the fighting began it was possible to observe the broad trend, which pitted non-Arab tribes against government forces and government-sponsored militia groups (known pejoratively as the Janjaweed). It is on this basis that peace talks proceeded, and the DDPD reflects this understanding, even though several major rebels groups refused to sign the document.

Over the years, however, the conflict has changed, becoming ever more fractured and internecine. ‘Violence in Darfur has continually evolved. In 2003–2005, it was mostly due to attacks by pro-government, largely Arab militias targeting non-Arab communities accused of supporting the rebels. While those continued and intensified again in 2014, violence has mutated since 2006, with Arab communities and militias fighting each other and, to a lesser extent, non-Arab communities targeting non-Arab communities. Arab militias also turned against their government backers, while rebel factions fragmented and fought against each other as well,’ said the ICG in a report in April 2015 entitled ‘The chaos in Darfur’.

It is also important to note that the conflict has outgrown Darfur itself, especially with the occasional cross-border incursion by Chadian forces, and the deal between several major Darfuri rebel groups and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states to form the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SFR).

This poses challenges for any effective peace talks (although the prospect of new peace talks remains illusory, as the Sudanese government resolutely refuses to renegotiate the DDPD). Where should the international community begin: With the rebels and the government? With the government and the Janjaweed, themselves increasingly resistant to Khartoum’s dictates? With the intra-Arab spat between the Salamat and Misseriya, or the resource-fuelled dispute between the Beni Husein and abbala Reizegat? With the long-standing tensions between the non-Arab Zaghawa and other non-Arab militias? With the faction fighting between fragmenting rebel groups?

Involving armed groups in parallel processes

‘Resolution of Darfur’s diverse conflicts requires many things, including a rethink by the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, of many aspects of its relationship with Sudan. One element of that resolution, however, must be to involve as many armed groups as possible in parallel peace processes, including local inter-tribal conferences; Darfur regional security talks; and the national dialogue. In particular, Arab militias need representation in all processes, and government and rebels must acknowledge that they do not fully represent those communities,’ concluded the ICG.

There are encouraging signs that the AU is cognizant of the need for a new, inclusive peace process, particularly in the wake of the PSC’s field mission to Darfur and Khartoum from 19–21 August. Following this visit, the PSC met to discuss the activities of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan, and issued a communiqué that emphasised the importance of national dialogue. Most significantly, the communiqué indicated that the PSC had extracted significant concessions from al-Bashir while in Sudan:

The PSC extracted significant concessions from al-Bashir while in Sudan
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‘[The PSC] notes the statement made by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir that the Government of Sudan is ready to observe a two-month ceasefire in order to create the necessary confidence for all stakeholders, including representatives of the armed movements, to join the National Dialogue process, and further notes the commitment made by President al-Bashir to grant amnesty to members of the armed movements to enable them to attend the National Dialogue in safety,’ said the communiqué.

This is a ‘big picture’ issue, however, and if it is to have any chance of success it will need a great deal of political will, and time. In the short term there is still an important role for UNAMID and the international community to play. But to do so they may need to focus on smaller, more readily solvable issues.

Room for improvement

In assessing the effectiveness of any peacekeeping mission, there are two distinct levels of analysis. Firstly, would the situation be worse without the presence of the mission? And secondly, what can the mission do better?

To the first point: almost certainly, Darfur and its beleaguered civilian population would be worse off without UNAMID. The mission not only provides protection to various camps for internally displaced persons but also conducts regular patrols and containment operations to minimise the opportunity for violence. According to the most recent report of the UN secretary-general on UNAMID, during the period from 26 February 2015 to 15 May 2015, the mission ‘conducted 10 376 patrols, comprising 5 567 routine patrols, 682 short-range patrols, 204 long-range patrols, 2 007 night patrols, 178 humanitarian armed escorts and 1 738 logistics and administrative armed escorts. A total of 5 008 villages were covered during these patrols.’

In addition to this, UNAMID provides protection and support for other humanitarian operations, and support for high-level mediation efforts. All these go some way towards improving the situation on the ground, even if only marginally.

‘What can UNAMID do better? This question can be answered by asking another question. What would Darfur look like if UNAMID was not there? Clearly, the situation without UNAMID would have been much worse than the situation on the ground now. It is not perfect, but I believe the mere presence of UNAMID contributes a lot,’ said Meressa Kahsu, a Researcher and Training Coordinator for the Institute for Security Studies who has visited Darfur recently.

UN spokesperson describes ‘conspiracy of silence’

Despite its obvious impact, UNAMID has not been immune to criticism that it could and should be doing more to fulfil its mandate, especially when it comes to protecting civilians. Most damaging were the revelations from former mission spokesperson Aicha el Basri, who resigned from her position to reveal what she described as a ‘conspiracy of silence’ to mask the mission’s shortcomings. She said that UNAMID troops had repeatedly failed to intervene to protect civilians, even when incidents happened before their eyes; and that the mission was also guilty of covering up the scale of these incidents. ‘I felt ashamed to be a spokesperson for a mission that lies, that can’t protect civilians, that can’t stop lying about it,’ she told the BBC.

Recognising shortcomings

The UN denied these accusations, but it is well aware of other shortcomings in the mission. In his report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined several factors that prevent it from fulfilling its mandate effectively. These included 60 attacks and hostile incidents against UNAMID personnel in the 90-day reporting period; other attacks against UN agencies and other humanitarian actors; restrictions on movement, access denial and denial of clearances imposed on UNAMID and humanitarian actors, most often by local government officials; and delays or denials of visas for UNAMID staff. These add up to an extremely hostile operating environment.

Despite its faults, Darfur’s civilians would be worse off without UNAMID
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‘The mission is like a prisoner who can’t move outside the jail. UNAMID can’t move outside the base without permission from the Government of Sudan. So how can it be effective in implementing its mandate? One example is the media reports on an incident of mass rape in the village of Tabit towards the end of 2014,’ said Kahsu. ‘UNAMID was unable to reach the village in a timely manner and investigate the alleged cases, only gaining access some days after the incident. This brings the credibility of the UNAMID report on the incident into question.

‘Consent of the host country is one of the principles of UN peacekeeping. In my view, this consent is no longer there,’ said Kahsu. In fact, things have become so bad that the government has demanded that UNAMID leave the country entirely. In response, UNAMID is examining possible options for an exit strategy.

If some of these challenges are beyond UNAMID’s control, it can work harder to address other criticisms. One that is well within the mission’s control is to improve cooperation between the UN and the AU, which is not always as good as it should be. The hybrid nature of the operation poses difficulties, but it also represents an opportunity: by leveraging the UN’s experience with the logistics of such missions and the AU’s political influence with the government in Khartoum, UNAMID should be able to punch well above its weight – and make a real difference. At the moment, Institute for Security Studies research shows that this is not happening.

The international community may not be able to solve the situation in Darfur in the near future. It can, however, take concrete steps to make UNAMID more effective, thereby allowing the peacekeeping force to better fulfil its mandate. Already, UNAMID’s presence is able to mitigate the worst effects of the violence for thousands of Darfuris, and there is no reason why it cannot play this role even more effectively. In fact, if it is truly to live up to its mandate, it must do so.

Relevant documents

Communiqué of the 539th meeting of the PSC on the activities of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan

Report of the Secretary-General on the African Union–United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, 26 May 2015

UN Security Council Resolution 2228 (2015) [extending UNAMID’s mandate until 30 June 2016]