UN / DARFUR

04-Apr-2017 00:02:56
The special representative of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) told the Security Council, the Darfur of today was a very different place from what it was in 2003 when the conflict began as fighting in the region had “considerably diminished.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / DARFUR
TRT: 02:56
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 04 APRIL 2017, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

04 APRIL 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremiah Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative, African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID):
“Fighting between forces of the Government of Sudan and the main three non-signatory armed movements has considerably diminished. Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid al-Nur (SLA/AW) is no longer capable of mounting and sustaining significant military operations, and has experienced a series of defections that have left it weakened by defections to the government side.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremiah Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative, African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID):
“Banditry and criminality continue to be widespread. The proliferation of small arms and light weapons feed those negative phenomena, as well as inter-communal violence usually triggered by competition mostly over land, water, grazing and mineral resources.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeremiah Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative, African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID):
“Efforts by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), with the support of UNAMID, to get parties to the conflict in Darfur to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement and to start direct negotiations towards an inclusive peace agreement to end the conflict, have remained inconclusive. The current status quo is hurting all parties and, most importantly, is not sustainable and can only lead to more bloodshed.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“So as the situation changes, the tools to prevent violence must change too. We need to ask if the mission to Darfur’s current force structure and size are still appropriate. We might not need 17,000 uniform troops to tackle these challenges. We need the UN to start using new tools, and we need the government of Sudan to step up.”
10. Wide shot, Sudanese ambassador
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Omer Dahab Fadl, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations:
“We are not interested in calling for a new agreement, however we must make every effort to abide by the signed and agreed upon agreement which is part of the process being pursued by the United Nations and your esteemed Council.”
12. Wide shot, American ambassador
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Omer Dahab Fadl, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations:
“The developments confirm day by day that the mission is no longer the proper framework for the international community’s engagement in Darfur which requires achieving development because the core of the conflict in Darfur is a problem of development.”
14. Zoom out, Security Council
STORYLINE
The special representative of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) told the Security Council, the Darfur of today was a very different place from what it was in 2003 when the conflict began as fighting in the region had “considerably diminished.”

Speaking at the Council today (04 Apr), Jeremiah Mamabolo said unilateral ceasefires by the Sudanese Government and armed movements in Darfur were largely holding with the exception of the Sudan Liberation Army/ Abdul Wahid al-Nur (SLA/AW) which he said refuses to join the peace process and seems to want to continue to fight. Still, Mamabolo said the SLA/AW was no longer capable capable of mounting and sustaining significant military operations and has been “weakened by defections to the government side.” He said “banditry and criminality” fuelled by the proliferation of small arms “continue to be widespread” however against the backdrop of economic hardship and social depression.

Mamabolo said the efforts by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) supported by UNAMID to get parties to the conflict in Darfur to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement and to start direct negotiations towards an inclusive peace agreement to end the conflict have “remained inconclusive.” He added that the current status quo was “hurting all parties and, most importantly, is not sustainable and can only lead to more bloodshed.”

Mamabolo noted that while UNAMID had not seen any new displacement in Darfur this year, internally displaced people continued to require the mission’s protection and humanitarian assistance on a daily basis. HE said the AU, UN and the Sudanese government were actively discussing how best to configure a strategy for UNAMID to eventually leave Darfur noting that a pragmatic reconfiguration of the mission will become necessary while focusing on how this could be done without compromising the gains made thus far.

US ambassador Nikki Haley said UNAMID was the most expensive and complex peacekeeping mission in UN history and despite the challenges was able to protect civilians. She said it was time to consider where the mission stood today ten years after it began. Haley said the Sudanese government was failing to protect its people in Darfur and despite improved cooperation with the UN, not enough was being done. She stressed that the situation in Darfur was far from where the international community had hoped it would be ten years ago, but noted that the situation was changing. She said the mission “might not need 17,000 uniform troops” to tackle the challenges still facing Darfur and called on the UN to “start using new tools” and the government of Sudan “to step up.”

Sudanese ambassador Omer Dahab Fadl said the stability being witnessed in Darfur was largely due to efforts by government forces to halt security incidents created by remnants of the armed groups. He said all the cases of displacement in Darfur in 2016, without exception, were caused by the SLA/AW’s refusal to lay down their arms. He said his government was doing everything it could to resolve the issue of displacement in Darfur and had placed a plan with three options for those displaced. He said the displaced could either voluntarily return to their villages and homes, or displacement camps could be integrated with nearby cities, or be repatriated to any part of Sudan they wish to go. Fadl stressed that this plan would require financial resources and technical assistance and called on the international community to support this effort.

Fadl stressed that the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur which was signed in 2012 was the basis for peace in the region adding that his government was “not interested in calling for a new agreement”. He stressed that every effort must be made to abide by agreement, “which is part of the process being pursued by the United Nations.” The Sudanese ambassador said the positive developments on the ground “confirm day by day that the mission is no longer the proper framework for the international community’s engagement in Darfur.” He stressed that Darfur needed cooperation in achieving economic, social, and environmental development because “the core of the conflict in Darfur is a problem of development.”
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