New York, 24 Sha’ban 1436/11 June 2015 (MINA) – The UN has warned that violent attacks on international peacekeepers and civilians in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region have been increasing while tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee the fighting.
UN peacekeeping deputy chief Edmond Mulet told the 15-member Security Council on Wednesday that there has been negligible progress in peace efforts for Darfur, Al Jazeera quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Mulet noted that the second phase of the government’s “Decisive Summer” military campaign to end armed rebellions has caused a new wave of displacement across the region.
He said humanitarian organisations estimated at least 78,000 newly displaced this year, while the UN has unverified reports of 130,000 more.
“There is also significant concern about reports of indiscriminate attacks against civilians” and other human rights violations, Mulet said.
One diplomat speaking to Al Jazeera described the UNAMID, a joint mission by the UN and the African Union, as “the most dysfunctional peacekeeping mission in the world”.
“UN officials will tell you privately that the actions of the government of Sudan are one of the reasons why UNAMID is not working,” Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Editor James Bays reported from the UN headquarters in New York.
“Some will tell you that if UNAMID continues to fail then eventually the UN should withdraw. But of course that’s exactly what Sudan has made it clear it wants to happen.”
UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s latest progress report on the force said there were 60 “incidents and hostile attacks against UNAMID” in the three months to May 15, compared with 46 in the previous quarter.
The new surge of violence in Darfur comes as the UN is in talks with Khartoum on an exit strategy for UNAMID, which has at least 15,000 peacekeepers on the ground.
Sudan ordered the peacekeeping force out of Darfur late last year.
The acting head of the mission said constraints placed on UNAMID by the Sudanese government is one of the reasons they cannot do their job properly.
“We can leave Darfur in a year if the government creates the necessary conditions to make that possible,” Abiodun Oluremi Bashua told Al Jazeera.
“Those conditions have to do with the security, the protection of civilians, the guarantees for their protection and their security, their ability to go back home without fearing that they might be attacked or something.
“We also need to have engaged and encouraged governments to address the root causes of the major inter-tribal conflicts.”
The Security Council is due to decide on June 24 on renewing the mandate of the UNAMID force until next year.
Darfur has been in turmoil since 2003, when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. Rights groups charge the regime retaliated by unleashing Arab militias on civilians, a claim the government denies.
Sudan’s Deputy UN Ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan told the council that the violence and displacements were mainly due to tribal clashes and attacks by rebels, not government forces. (T/P001/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)