SUDAN WATCH: UN Sudan Situation Report 27 April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

UN Sudan Situation Report 27 April 2005

Here is the situaton report by UN personnel in Sudan for April 27, 2005.

Key developments

On 26 April, the AU mediation team met with First Vice-President Taha to discuss the resumption of the Abuja peace talks.

On 27 April, SPLM/A Chairman, John Garang, met with the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

On 26 April, unconfirmed fighting was reported in the Jabal Moon area (North Darfur) between the GoS and NMRD.

Political Affairs:

On 26 April, the AU mediation team met with First Vice-President Taha to discuss the resumption of the Abuja peace talks. Taha affirmed the GoS's readiness to resume the negotiations, and stated that GoS officials were working on a Draft Framework Protocol earlier circulated to the parties. The AU team is expected to travel to Asmara to hold similar discussions with SLM/A and JEM officials, after which time both sides will submit their comments on the Protocol.

On 27 April, SPLM/A Chairman, John Garang, met with the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Mohammed Osman el-Mirghani in Asmara and according to press reports, discussed the finalisation of the Cairo negotiations between the GoS and the NDA in time for the establishment of interim institutions.

Following the controversy around a plot of land alloted to UNMIS in Tongping by the Bahr el Jebel (Juba) local government (several residents allege they are being displaced from the land in question), UNMIS has made clear that prior to an article that appeared in a local paper in Khartoum on 26 April, the Mission was not aware of the allegations. Nonethe-less, the Mission has decided to halt developments on the site until the allegations can be verified.

The Communist Party has called on its members in the diaspora to return to Sudan and resume political activities within the country. This follows the emergence of its leader from hiding, and reflects a continuing trend of opposition groups returning to the country. While the party will reportedly re-open its office in Khartoum, Party spokesman, Farouk Kadoda, stated that they would not participate in the National Constitution Review Committee unless the representation quotas are re-visited.

With the number of refugees returning to the South on the increase, an international anti-landmine delegation including several EU countries, the US, Japan and Canada met on on 25 April with the GoS Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, as well as other GoS officials and NGOs in Khartoum, to discuss mine clearing efforts in the region.

Military:

The Italian led SHIRBRIG TCC Reconnaissance Team met with FC and CAO before receiving initial OPS and MSD briefings. Further, detailed, MSD briefings with Section Heads will take place tomorrow with Camp Site visits to follow.

The Canadian Chief of Defense Staff, Gen Rick Hillier met with the SRSG and FC.

The HOM of the Joint Military Commission ( JMC) had discussions with the Force Commander and Military Operations Staff on the hand over of Sector IV to the Egyptian Contingent.

UN police: NSTR
Civil Affairs

Although the situation in El Fasher University is calm, police and national security forces still maintain a presence on campus and in the lecture halls, leading to what students say is a 90 per cent drop in attendance. On 26 April 2005, some students formed a committee and unsuccessfully tried to meet with the Vice Chancellor to discuss what led to the crisis, and ways of diffusing it. On the other hand, the university administration arranged meetings between NCP and NIF students.

Human Rights

According to information received by the Human Rights Officers (HROs), the Committee to Combat Gender-Based Violence established in February by the South Darfur Wali, has not met since 31 March 2005. No date for the next meeting has been set yet.

Returns

According to OCHA, 1,447 persons from Khartoum, Madeni, Sennar and Gedaref transited through Kosti to various locations in the South and the Nuba Mountains during the week of 20-26 April. The 1,447 returnees included 358 people who moved from White Nile State (Kenana, Rabak and Kosti).

IDP registration

OCHA registered 215 IDPs in Bazia, Eastern Equatoria this morning. Cases of malaria and diarrhea are still being reported, with 42 people falling ill during the last twenty four hours. OCHA is waiting for food deliveries to be made so that the IDPs who arrived last night and this morning from Mabia camp can be assisted.

Protection Issues

The INGO driver abducted on 25th April in Kafod (North darfur) has been released.
On 26 April, reports indicate that one woman was stabbed five times by Arab militias after being subjected to several attempts of rape in Saga village.
Harassment against IDPs in Kalma and other camps continues to be reported.

Food/NFIs

WFP distributed a one-month full ration to 6,530 registered IDPs in Nhialdiu town, Unity State, who fled fighting in Nhialdiu, Dhorkan and Jikang areas during the week

Assessments: NSTR
Insecurity:

On 26 April, unconfirmed fighting was reported in the Jabal Moon area (North darfur) between the GoS and NMRD.

On 26 April, reportedly three people were abducted from Arusharow IDP camp by unknown armed men.

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