UN extends Darfur peacekeeping force despite Sudan protest

2015-06-30 10:17
File: AFP

File: AFP

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

New York - The Security Council on Monday unanimously approved a one-year extension of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan's western Darfur region where conflict is intensifying, rejecting the Sudanese government's demand that the troops leave.

A resolution adopted by the UN's most powerful body keeps the size of the force the same — 15 845 military personnel and 3 403 international police. It orders the troops to concentrate on protecting civilians, ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid, mediating conflicts and supporting a peace process.

The council condemned increased human rights violations and expressed deep concern at the escalating fighting between government and rebel forces and the serious deterioration of the security situation in Darfur so far this year. It demanded that all parties in Darfur immediately stop fighting and called for "an urgent end to inter-tribal clashes, criminality and banditry".

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 ordered the peacekeeping force known as Unamid out of Darfur late last year.

Unamid’s future

The resolution said Unamid's future depends on meeting a set of benchmarks including progress toward a negotiated political settlement, a commitment by all parties to implement a cease-fire, protection of civilians and progress to prevent or reduce community conflicts through mediation.

US Ambassador Samantha Power said that given the very high level of violence and the more than 2.5 million Darfuris who are displaced, the UN force "is needed now more than ever".

Even though the displacement in Darfur last year was the highest in 10 years, Power said the conflict has dropped out of the global spotlight. She urged that greater international attention be paid to Darfur where 4.4 million people eed humanitarian aid.

Britain's UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft stressed that "now is not the time to cut and run".

"We are aware that there have been calls for the mission to exit, including from West Darfur," Rycroft said. "But this resolution makes clear that given the worsening security situation and the lack of progress on the benchmarks, Unamid cannot yet leave any part of Darfur."

Sudan's Deputy Ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan demanded that a working group examining an exit strategy for Unamid immediately resume work.

"They claim Darfur now experiences open warfare," Hassan said. "This is completely wrong. There are tribal clashes in certain regions."

Later on Monday, Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, accused the Security Council of failing to respond to 10 requests from the tribunal for action against individuals that failed to cooperate, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  un  |  au  |  unamid  |  omar al-bashir  |  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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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.