UN Sudan Situation Report 26 April - 4 May 2005
On 3 May, First Vice-President Taha chaired an expanded Ministerial meeting on Darfur
On 3 May, the SRSG met with SPLM/A Chairman Garang to discuss CPA implementation and the supportive role of UNMIS
According to press reports, the National Assembly (NA) on 4 May approved a resolution condemning SCRs 1591 (2005) and
On 1 May, a Sudanese Red Crescent vehicle travelling to refugee camps near Port Sudan was stopped and hijacked by armed gunmen reportedly from the Eastern Front
On 3 May, a large scale cattle-rustling incident was reported in Yirol (southern BEG )
On 3 May, First Vice-President Taha chaired an expanded Ministerial meeting on Darfur including the Ministers of Defense, the Interior, Humanitarian Affairs, and Foreign Affairs. According to press reports, the Vice-President called on the armed groups to restrain themselves to avoid causing a deterioration of the situation in Darfur, and stressed the need to intensify humanitarian work and support reconciliation efforts between Darfur's different tribes. The GoS has also announced that it is studying the Draft Framework Protocol on the Abuja talks and stands ready to resume negotiations with the SLM/A and JEM in the near future.
On 3 May, the SRSG met with SPLM/A Chairman Garang to discuss CPA implementation and the supportive role of UNMIS. They talked about how to activate some of the CPA-derived implementation mechanisms. They agreed on using the Joint National Transitional Team (JNTT) to expeditiously address the issue of the SOFA. The SRSG encouraged Chairman Garang to speed up the nomination of the SPLM/A members on the Ceasefire Joint Monitoring Committee (CJMC) due to be launched on 8 May, which could in turn be used to tackle growing tensions in the Abyei area. On the Collaborative Committee on Other Armed Groups, of which UNMIS is a permanent observer, both the SRSG and Chairman Garang felt that it should be made operational as soon as possible to enable it to deal with the integration of the militia into the organised armed forces. Finally, the situation in Darfur was discussed, as well as the follow-up to the South-South Dialogue (SSD).
Before leaving Nairobi, the SRSG met with former Kenyan President, H.E. Daniel Arap Moi, to discuss how UNMIS could support the Moi African Institute ensure sustained progress in following-up on resolutions adopted at the South-South Dialogue.
According to press reports, the National Assembly (NA) on 4 May approved a resolution condemning SCRs 1591 (2005) and 1593 (2005) for ignoring international law and the role of regional organisations, and adopting double standards. Noting that the Sudanese judiciary is capable of trying those accused of war crimes, the NA called on the Government to deal with the resolutions on legal grounds, and on political forces to join ranks to tackle the "great challenges that faced Sudan." GoS President el-Bashir opened the NA session on 3 May with a speech in which he blamed the "negative signals and unfair pressures from the Security Council" for the slow progress with the Darfur talks, alleging that several measures had been successfully implemented to "contain the Darfur crisis."
Following discussions on the time-table and the internal rules of procedure, the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC) began discussions on the draft constitution.
Returns reintegration and protection
UNMIS HROs reported on 4 May that two IDP girls living in Abu Shouk camp (North Darfur) one aged 13 years and the other 15 years, have been raped on 3 May by GoS soldiers when they went to collect firewood in Golo location (13 km west of El Fasher). According to UN reports the two survivors were released by the perpetrators this morning and are under treatement.
A possible outbreak of Lezmaniosis has been reported by WHO in Malha administrative unit (North Darfur). To date WHO has identified 25 reported cases and is planning an urgent investigation. The cases are under treatment in Al Malha hospital.
On 4 May, during a meeting called for by the Kass Commissioner and the HAC in Kass (South Darfur), the Commissioner raised issues of relocation/return, security/protection and the food gap in surrounding areas. The Commissioner was adamant that the IDPs would have to “evacuate” the schools as soon as possible. It was also stated that IDPs could not move into the open spaces in the town.
In West Darfur, the HAC has requested a meeting with all heads of UN agencies and NGOs to meet with the GoS reconciliation team that arrived 4 May from Khartoum.
SudanAid distributed 8.5 MT of various seed crops to 750 households yesterday in Rukon, Bahr El Jebel. In the same state, UNHCR distributed 2.6 MT of food to 147 Ethiopian refugees in Lologo, covering needs for the month of May. (South Sudan).
On 1 May, a Sudanese Red Crescent vehicle travelling to refugee camps off the main highway (Es Showak-Port Sudan) was stopped near Showak and hijacked by armed gunmen alleged to be rebels from the Eastern Front (Free Lion Movement and Beja Congress). Two employees were killed. One was injured and a passenger in the vehicle is still missing.
On 2 May two commercial trucks escorted by GoS Police en route to Kabkabiya were ambushed by bandits between Tawila and Kabkabiya (North Darfur). Police allegedly opened fire on bandits, killing one and wounding a second.
On 2 May in the village of Ribash, few km south of Seleah (West Darfur), armed clashes occurred between armed tribesmen, nomads and the local population. Initial reports suggest up to nine people were injured during the fighting.
On 3 May, following the shooting incident reported on 1 May in Shangil Tobaya (North Darfur), a UN team which visited the area to assess the security and humanitarian situations found the situation to be calm. Interviewees confirmed that small arms fire lasted for 4 hours, but confirmation on identity of the parties to this firing has not yet been received from the AU.
UN Security conducted an assessment of the road and area Geneina – Masteri – Kongo Harasa finding the area stable and open for UN Movements.
A large scale cattle-rustling incident was reported in Yirol area in southern BEG on 3 May. The fighting was between the Ciec Dinka and the Aliab Dinka fighting against the Atuot Dinka over cattle and goat looting and grazing lands. The Ciec Dinka claim to have had 27 persons killed in the fighting and the Ciec Dinka claim to have 16 persons killed in the fighting. The number of Aliab Dinka killed or wounded is unknown. The SPLA says that the situation is under control and that some of the stolen property has, under their direction, been returned. An unspecified number of Dinka have been displaced to the east of the Bahr el Jebel River.
Zam Zam camp (North Darfur): following allegations regarding the rape of two women near the IDP camp, a crowd of over 2,000 IDPs formed outside the camp at the same time as sheiks and police forces met to discuss the cases. The crowd showed aggressive intent and GoS police intervened to control the crowd. According to UN sources, CS (teargas) rounds and automatic weapons were fired within the camp and an international NGO clinic received one case thought to be a bullet injury (not yet confirmed). On the afternoon of 4 May the overall situation in and especially to the North of the camp was reported as tense. UN and NGOs personnel have restricted movement to the area. UN will conduct a security assessment early on 5 May.
According to reports, daily fighting has occurred between Marla and Hijer (South Darfur), with tension increasing over the past week in view of expectations of a larger-scale clash in the near future.
The build up of militias south of Thur and in Abu Jabra/Tege (west and east Jebel Marra, respectively- South Darfur), and especially the increased aggressive behavior of militias in Abu Jabra/Tege is disconcerting. Rumors of an attack on the Jebel continue, and fears of violence, fueled by past incidents are keeping agencies from accessing these areas.
The AU conducted investigations in the area of Tina (North Darfur) into attacks by militia on 30 April and 3 May. In the first attack one person was killed and another injured. In the second, three other were killed and one injured.
UN reports militias patrolling in and around Saniafandu (South Darfur), also known as the 'White Army", growing increasingly aggressive, reportedly attacking and looting several lorries on 1 and 2 May between Saniafandu and Yassin. No casualties were reported.
Reports indicate that a military build-up appears to be taking place in the Wadi Seleh (West Darfur) locality with increased military patrolling, movement and tension in the communities. In Mukjar, trenches are being constructed and military presence has increased. In the same locality, nomads are moving closer to the village of Dambar, displaying aggressive attitudes despite the deployment of GoS police in the area.
It was reported on 30 April that Jikany Nuer tribesmen attacked the Lou Nuer villages of Guola (about 5km south of Doma) and Dor (between Doma and Ulang). During these attacks 3 Lou Nuer were killed and 6 Jikany Nuer were wounded. VMT reported that SPLM/A representatives are travelling into Upper Nile in an attempt to resolve these disputes.
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26 April - 2 May 2005 Report - Highlights
The Umma Party and Democratic Unionist Party boycotted the National Constitution Review Commission inauguration that took place on 30 April.
The GoS remains sternly opposed to Council Resolutions 1591 and 1593.
The AU Peace and Security Council decided to augment the number of AMIS personnel deployed in Darfur to 7, 731 by the end of September.
The Nairobi- based Pre-Deployment Training for Senior Staff Officers is ongoing (26 April -7 May).
The security situation continued to hamper humanitarian operations throughout Darfur, and in particular in South Darfur
Despite intense efforts by the GoS and SPLM/A joint committee to woo political opposition parties to join the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), the Umma Party and Democratic Unionist Party boycotted the NCRC inauguration that took place on 30 April. However, the GoS appears to be trying to open up the political space - the leader of the Popular Congress Party, Hassan al-Turabi, was moved out of prison and placed back under house arrest, while the Communist Party recently called on its members abroad to resume political activities from within Sudan.
The GoS remains sternly opposed to Council Resolutions 1591 and 1593. Following a declaration by President Al-Bashir earlier during the week that he would not extradite any Sudanese citizen for trial outside Sudan, on 30 April, the National Assembly decided to form a committee to discuss SCR 1593.
On 28 April, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) decided to augment the number of AMIS personnel depolyed in Darfur to 7, 731 by the end of September. Both the SRSG and PDSRSG attended the PSC meeting, and also met with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. Efforts to re-start the stalled Abuja process were also stepped-up during the week, with the arrival of an AU delegation in Khartoum. The delegation met with the GoS First Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha, and plan to travel to Asmara to consult the SLM/A and the JEM on the Draft Framework Protocol. Both sides are expected to provide comments on the Protocol before the formal resumption of the talks, now scheduled for late May. Separate talks between the GoS and the National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD) began in Abeche, Chad, on 25 April. A meeting of partners is expected to take place before the resumption of the main process in Abuja to co-ordinate the Chadian, AU, as well as other initiatives to bring peace to Darfur.
To date of the SitRep, 3 of the 4 chalks bringing the Nepalese TCC advance party including Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) have deployed into the UNMIS Logistic Base at EL OBEID. The Final advance party chalk was due to land at El Obeid on 2 May. The road convoy to KASSALA was due to depart El Obeid on 1 May 05.
The deployment of Engineer Platoons with air transportable plant equipment into Sectors 1 (JUBA- Bangladesh), III (MALAKAL-India), IV (Kadugli- Egypt) and V (Ed Damazin –Pakistan) is likely to slip by up to 14/21 days. This is due to lack of load lists being presented in a timely manner to DPKO and UNMIS MSD by the TCCs.
The Nairobi- based Pre-Deployment Training for Senior Staff Officers started 26 April and is due to finish on 7 May. The induction programme for future UNMOs and Staff Officers in Khartoum is being finalized in conjunction with the UNMIS Integrated Training Unit.
Induction of new personnel, training and establishment of JOC are key short-term activities. LOs have been successfully deployed to work with JMC and VMT and to JUBA, WAU and MALAKAL.
The Italian led SHIRBRIG TCC arrived in the mission on 27 April 05. The Team was briefed and had detailed discussions with the Military and MSD Staff on operational and logistics issues. During their visit the team undertook reconnaissance of all relevant sites (Mission HQ, FHQ Company Camp Site and Hotel accommodation for SOs).
Maj Gen Abdul-Rahman Ya’goub former Director of Planning and Information, has been appointed as Director of International Cooperation Department within MoI. Returns reintegration and protection
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. The 1,447 returnees included 358 people who moved from White Nile State (Kenana, Rabak and Kosti). A total of 950 IDPs have arrived in Bazia, Eastern Equatoria from Mabia camp as of 10 am on the morning of 26 April. These IDPs have all been registered. Seventy three IDPs were reported to have fallen ill, mainly with diarrhea and malaria, with one child passing away.
The GoS Minister of Humanitarian Affairs announced on 26 April that the government has devised new procedures to enforce humanitarian work following the signing of the peace agreement and to improve humanitarian aims for refugees, displaced people and returnees. The Minister indicated that the measures mainly deal with the registration of organisations, facilitations of tax procedures, facilitations of movement to Darfur and the issuance of cards to humanitarian workers in Darfur to assist movement.
With respect to funding, the Emergency Operation faces a 78 percent shortfall against its operational requirements, after taking into account a recent contribution from Australia (US$2.3 million). Pipeline breaks started in April will directly affect the food distribution and the nutritional status of more than 2.5 million targeted beneficiaries. To date, this EMOP, valued at US$ 302 million, has so far received about US$ 69 million, representing approximately 22 percent of the total operational requirements.
The security situation in the Kutum area, North Darfur, has been increasingly tense due to a large militia presence in the area. These militia have not been disarmed and removed from the IDP areas as promised by the GoS. IDPs are reporting that they cannot travel freely outside the camps for fear of being assaulted, raped or killed by militias.
Harassment against IDPs in Kalma and other camps continued to be reported by DSS and several NGOs. However, the purpose of this harassment remains unclear. Traditional leaders have requested that the AU’s role be extended to the protection of IDP camps, as their current role of monitoring the ceasefire has yet to bring an end to the violence.
Registration is ongoing at the registration points along the major return routes into Northern Bahr el Ghazal(South Sudan). Since 27 April, a total of 30 enumerators are being trained in Yei.
Preparation is ongoing for the forth-coming joint humanitarian response mission to Tongar-Zeraf, Sobat and Kodok Corridors in Upper Nile scheduled for 3rd to 21st May 2005.
Two international staff members of IOM in Nyala, South Darfur, have been charged with falsification of travel documents. The case is pending: the Chief of National Security has indicated that it will be dealt with by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is part of a pattern of reports from international organizations of continued instances of harassment, restrictions of freedom of movement, and criminal charges being laid by HAC in South Darfur. DDR:
On 27 April, the GoS DDR Interim Authority commenced 5 day orientation training course on DDR programme for 50 GoS Senior Army Officers. The training course will address the importance and orientation of the DDR programme in Sudan, as well as train some trainers for further information dissemination to large number of the military units of the GoS.
The UN DDR Unit gave an overview of the DDR programme being planned for the Sudan, the expected target groups and need for Government to continue to be fully involved in the process of the development and subsequently in the implementation. Hon. Hussein reiterated the GoS commitment to the implementation of DDR programme and expressed the continuation of support to the GoS Interim Authority and UN DDR Unit.
The security situation continued to hamper humanitarian operations throughout Darfur, and in particular in South Darfur.
In South Darfur, the HAC Commissioner informed agencies that all public statements or interviews given to journalists must be in the presence of the HAC for approval prior to publication. IOM and NRC continue to be harassed by HAC officials in Nyala and Kalma. OCHA has discussed with HAC numerous times about the role of IOM, the MCM agreement, and the need for a collaborative effort.
With respect to the situation in Khor Abeche, agencies have made clear to the AU Force Commander that they will return to the area once the AU has established a base in the village and the environment is more secure. The AU activities in this area are currently hampered by logistical problems.
On 26 April, MoH delivered a letter to all UN agencies and NGOs informing them that it would be raising the minimum level of incentives to the MoH staff seconded to UN agencies and NGOs to between 50% and 100% higher. All agencies found this unacceptable and decided that MDM and UNICEF would represent the international community in communicating their intent not to adhere to these new regulations. UNICEF and MDM were due to meet with the MoH on 30 April to discuss this matter.
In West Darfur, WHO reported that they are monitoring meningitis following three confirmed cases in the state (Riyad, Adamata and Abusourug camps). WHO and MoH are carrying out a collaborative active case assessment in these camps. The interagency assessment to Um Kedada in North Darfur was completed on 27 April. The team is expected to finalise the report early by next week. Preliminary findings include an acute shortage of water especially in the SLA controlled areas. General recommendations include interventions on water, food aid, seeds/tools, shelter/NFIs, market interventions and protection.
As a result of the fighting in Yirol East/Awerial and Yirol West (Bahr el GhazalSouth Sudan), it has been reported that approximately 2,400 people were forced to flee from Bonagok, Abuyong and Dor to Padak in Bor South County in Jonglei State. Yirol Town has not been affected and remains relatively calm and quiet. However, the Regional Administration is advising that agencies restrict their movements to the three locations mentioned. OLS Security is planning an assessment of the area.
The mission of the Mine Action Support Group (MASG) took place from 25-29 April. Participants from 8 countries and the European Commission were briefed by Directors of the Mine Action Office in Khartoum and Rumbek, and had the opportunity to visit mine action projects in Kadugli and Yei. The Sudan Campaign to Ban Landmines and NGOs participating in mine action in Sudan had the opportunity to make presentations to the MASG in order to increase funding.
A Victim Assistance monthly meeting was held. Documentation for the “Approached to Recovery and Reintegration of Survivors of War-Related Injuries” conference was also finalized.
The local judiciary in North Darfur continued to be unable to function effectively because a majority of its members are working on the three committees established out of the recommendations of the National Commission of Inquiry.
The pattern identified last week, i.e. HAC insisting on gaining access to all cases of rape treated by international NGOs, this week continued in South Darfur.
Recent violence in El Fasher University has subsided, though police and national security forces still maintain a presence on campus. Even though these events have not affected daily life in the city, strong feelings abound on the GOS’s perceived heavy-handed approach in quelling the violence. Most of the students arrested are Zaghawa, and connected to the Wadi Hawar Community Association, which is reportedly linked to the SLA. Others were said to be members of the opposition Popular Congress Party.
The security situation continues to be fluid with pockets of clashes and tribal clashes all over Darfur. In North Darfur banditry activity was prominent with two incidents where commercially hired UN trucks were looted. An international NGO staff member and vehicle was detained and released two days later. The obstruction of humanitarian activities by SLA is ongoing. In South Darfur armed attacks and banditry activity was prominent. On the Nyala -Ed Daien and Nyala – Manawashi road banditry activities were reported. The attempted arrest of a UN Staff member by GOS indicated the hardened position taken by GOS against humanitarian community, in particular in South Darfur. In West Darfur the control of Jebel Moon was fluid after clashes between the Maseria Jebel Tribe and the NMRD. The control of Masterei is also fluid with reports of attacks on police patrols by SLA. An influx of Chadian tribes has been reported into the areas of Seleha and possible tribal/armed clashes can not be excluded.
Safety of Personnel:
The safety of humanitarian personnel and property continues to be under threat although no direct attacks against UN staff members were reported. The continuous looting of food commodities from UN commercially hired convoys is of serious concern. The detention of a humanitarian worker by an armed group in North Darfur is also worrisome. The establishment of a checkpoint in the area 10 km West of Tawilla by SLA raises concern and action by SLA at the checkpoint resulted in the looting of a truck carrying relief commodities.