“I find it disturbing that significantly more people were displaced by clashes in the first three months of this year than during all of 2012,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in an April report on Unamid.
The secretary-general also stated that the risk to the civilian population of physical violence increased, in particular in parts of North, Central and South Darfur, owing to military clashes between Government and armed movement forces and intercommunal fighting involving militias.
The report includes an update on the latest developments of the situation in Darfur covering the period between 1 January and 31 March 2013. Read below some of its excerpts.
Twenty-one months since its adoption the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) has yet to become fully inclusive or translate into meaningful and tangible improvements for the people of Darfur. Only limited progress was made in the implementation of the majority of its provisions, with little or no movement recorded with respect to the provisions on land, security, reconciliation or compensation. No progress was made on the resumption of negotiations between the Government and the Darfur members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front alliance.
Protection of civilians from physical violence
Increased hostilities between Government and non-signatory armed movement forces and heavy intercommunal fighting involving militias in North, Central and South Darfur seriously undermined progress against this benchmark. Hostilities in Jebel Marra (near Golo and Guldo, Central Darfur) and in Derib al Reih area (near Nyala, South Darfur) included aerial bombings by the Sudanese Air Forces. Unamid was prevented from assessing most of the affected areas, by belligerent parties, militias and often by government security forces.
Security situation and freedom of movement
Insecurity and restrictions of movement imposed by the authorities have hindered investigations into human rights violations in Jebel ‘Amer and Jebel Marra. The latter remained inaccessible to humanitarian actors throughout the reporting period due to restrictions imposed by the authorities.
Between 1 January and 26 March, Government authorities denied 75 of 4,846 flight requests, a slight decrease from the previous reporting period. From 1 January to 23 March 2013, the Sudanese authorities issued 533 new entry visas for Unamid personnel. As of 23 March, 1,402 visas were pending, 967 of which were for civilian police officers, 393 for civilian personnel and 42 for military personnel.
During the reporting period, fighting had displaced altogether 147,000 people in Darfur, significantly increasing the need for humanitarian assistance in and around areas affected by military clashes and heavy intercommunal fighting. However, adverse security conditions and intermittent access restrictions imposed on aid agencies by belligerent parties impeded humanitarian needs assessments and the provision of aid in areas affected by fighting.
Rule of law, governance and human rights
The human rights situation in Darfur deteriorated in a manner commensurate with the intensification of conflict, in particular with regard to violations of the rights to life and physical integrity. The overall number of human rights violations recorded by Unamid increased from 94 cases involving 204 victims in the previous reporting period to 117 cases involving 347 victims in the current reporting period (125 victims of violations of the right to life, 176 victims of violations of the right to physical integrity, 38 victims of sexual and gender-based violence and 8 victims of arbitrary arrest and detention). Of the 117 human rights cases documented by Unamid during the reporting period, 42 were reported to Government authorities, 8 of which are under investigation.
Freedom of speech
Regarding freedom of speech, expression and information, Unamid recorded three cases involving the harassment and intimidation by Government authorities of civilians involved in public demonstrations. No progress was made during the reporting period towards securing the issuance by the Sudanese authorities of a radio broadcasting licence for Unamid.
The safety and security situation for Unamid and humanitarian personnel in Darfur remained of serious concern. I call on the authorities to address the climate of impunity for such attacks by investigating the incident and holding those responsible criminally accountable. The arrest and detention by security officials of five Unamid staff members in three separate incidents, in violation of the status-of-forces agreement, is also deeply troubling.
File photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (UN)
Related: UN report on Darfur: violations, government restrictions, Doha (27 January 2013)
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/49722
Eyewitnesses have told Radio Dabanga of renewed air raids on Tuesday on areas of East Jebel Marra in Darfur, which led to the death of large numbers of livestock. According to the witnesses, between 12pm and 1.30pm, a Sudanese Air Force Antonov aircraft dropped several bombs on the area of Dadi and Kair.
Local sources also saw three bombs dropped by a Antonov on water wells in the Dadi area which killed large numbers of livestock. They say that three herders’ children are also still unaccounted for.
The population East of Jebel Marra have asked the international community to put pressure on the Sudanese government to stop the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilians and water sources in the region.
They described the situation in East Jebel Marra as very bad, especially as the area does not have a health centre for the wounded to receive treatment. They appealed to humanitarian organisations, and Unamid need to access to East Jebel Marra.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/48913
The area of Libi in South Jebel Marra was exposed to an air strike on Sunday which led to the death of livestock and the destruction of property in an area located 65 kilometers north of Malam, news reports from the region claim.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, witnesses said the first bombardment, carried out by Antonov warplanes, occurred at 08:00am and added that the sound of explosions could be heard from far. The air strikes continued between 3 and 4:00pm, witnesses added.
There are no reports of civilian casualties, but the witnesses pointed out that livestock was killed and numerous residents fled the area towards nearby caves and valleys, in search of safety and protection.
Fire destroys 30 homes
Reports from east Jebel Marra state that at least 30 homes were destroyed in the village of Dali on Sunday as a result of a fire which appears to be caused by a cooking stove. The fire sparked fear among villagers, witnesses concluded.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/48131