Fighting abates in Darfur, banditry and criminality on rise: AU-UN envoy

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UNAMID peacekeepers met with community leaders in Zam Zam camp for internally displaced persons near El Fasher, North Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/Mohamad Almahady

Fighting between Sudan's armed forces and three non-signatory armed movements has abated while banditry and criminality are now widespread.

That's what the Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur and Head of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Jeremiah Mamabolo, told members of the Security Council on Tuesday.

Darfur has been on the global agenda since 2003, following the eruption of fighting between Government forces and their allied militia and other rebel groups, which have now splintered.

Ana Carmo reports.

The Darfur of today is a very different place from 2003, when the armed conflict began, or even compared with a year ago, the Head of UNAMID said in his Council briefing.

Jeremiah Mamabolo highlighted that fighting between Sudan's government forces and three of the non-signatory armed movements has decreased.

Meanwhile, the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid al-Nur – or SLA/AW – was no longer capable of mounting and sustaining significant military operations.

It has experienced a series of defections to the government side, leaving it weakened, Mr Mamabolo added.

As a result of a three-year military campaign, the Government has been able to take control of areas previously held by the movement in and around its heartland of Jebel Marra, leaving SLA/AW with a few pockets of resistance.

The group continues to refuse to join the peace process, the head of UNAMID warned.

He appealed to the Council and those with influence and leverage to persuade the rebel chief, Abdul Wahid al-Nur, to recognize "the importance of a political settlement" and to "desist from bringing more suffering to the very people he professes to represent."

Ana Carmo, United Nations.

Duration: 1'14"

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