Darfur peacekeepers go on strike

2012-09-06 20:58
A Unamid patrol crossing through a muddy patch in the southern village of Kashalongo, south of Nyala in southern Darfur. (Ashraf Shazly, AFP)

A Unamid patrol crossing through a muddy patch in the southern village of Kashalongo, south of Nyala in southern Darfur. (Ashraf Shazly, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Khartoum - Sudanese civilian staff in the world's largest peacekeeping operation have staged a on strike over wages, the mission said on Thursday, as the country's economy faces a sinking currency and steep inflation.

"Unamid's national staff held yesterday a strike", the African Union-UN Mission in Darfur said, without specifying exactly how many of the roughly 2 900 local workers took part in the job action.

It said local employees received a pay increase earlier this year but "consider the increase as insufficient and demand to be either paid in US dollars or to have their salaries recalculated according to the June 2012 exchange rate."

Sudan's currency has plunged in value on the black market since Khartoum lost its largest source of hard currency in July 2011 when South Sudan separated with roughly 75% of the unified country's oil production before independence.

Trying to address the fiscal imbalance, Khartoum in June announced a series of measures including a devaluation of the pound from 2.70 per dollar to a range up to 5.30 pounds per dollar.

The new rate is nearer the black market price which is around six pounds for one US dollar.

Sources familiar with the situation said Unamid is still paying its staff in Sudanese pounds at the old exchange rate of around 2.70.

"They don't necessarily want to get dollars. They want to get paid at a fair rate," one source said, adding that the raise for most local staff earlier in the year was about four percent.

Declining to be identified, the sources said the strike occurred only after months of unsuccessful talks with UN headquarters in New York. If there is no resolution, job action will escalate to two days next week and a full week thereafter, they said.

"I understand your concerns and I am committed to work hard with the UN headquarters to look into these issues," acting Unamid head Aichatou Mindaoudou told the local staff in a meeting on Wednesday, the mission said in a statement.

Unamid has been in Sudan's far-western Darfur region for more than four years with a mandate to protect civilians in a region where rebel-government clashes, banditry and inter-tribal fighting continues, though violence is less than when rebels began an insurrection nearly a decade ago.

With more than 22 000 international troops and police officers, Unamid has a budget of about $1.4bn for 2012-13.

Read more on:    unamid  |  sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.



Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.