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Darfur: UNAMID’s mandate extended 0

Jul31

The Security Council agreeded on July 30 to extend the work of the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping operation in Sudan’s Darfur region (UNAMID) by another year and called for the UN to set out a plan so it can measure whether the mission is making progress towards achieving its mandate.

Aid workers and officials are calling for a scaling-up in peacekeeping efforts in Sudan’s western Darfur region, IRIN reports.

A coalition of 22 NGOs warned on 29 July that more support was needed to ensure peacekeepers were able to protect civilians.

UNAMID “has failed at many critical junctures due to lagging support from the international community and continued obstruction by the Sudanese government”, the NGOs said in a joint statement.

The NGOs, which include the Save Darfur Coalition, said: “UNAMID currently lacks the resources to fulfil its civilian protection mandate, and is therefore unable to carry out its most important obligation.

“For instance, helicopters that are needed for transport remain undelivered, and the Sudanese government continues to impede the mission’s effectiveness.”

The lack of “critical assets” was echoed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has also called for “political will” to secure 18 more helicopters and other key equipment.

The US has called on the Northern government to allow more humanitarian workers into Darfur and fill worrying gaps in aid – and step up cooperation with peacekeepers.

Pressure increased on humanitarian workers following the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March for President Omar el-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The Northern government reacted by expelling 13 key aid agencies, accusing them of supplying the ICC with information. The move has increased pressure on remaining agencies.

By Staff – Afronline

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