SUDAN WATCH: AMIS should have had 12,500 personnel in Darfur by now

Thursday, September 28, 2006

AMIS should have had 12,500 personnel in Darfur by now

Note this excerpt from a report last year by Refugees International 11/9/2005 - No Power to Protect: The African Union Mission in Sudan:
AMIS needs more troops on the ground to effectively fulfill their mandate. With a strengthened mandate, they will need even more troops. AMIS also needs to receive more training to be able to respond effectively to the challenges of their mission.

According to planning from earlier this year, AMIS was to get to a mandated level of a little over 7,700 personnel (Phase II) by September 2005, with a decision on increasing personnel to 12,500 (Phase III) to be made that same month. Because of a series of delays, including problems with accommodations and fuel, AMIS still has not reached its 7,700 target, which is to include 6,171 soldiers (protection forces and Military Observers) and 1,586 unarmed Civilian Police.

The majority of the protection forces are from Nigeria and Rwanda. Gambia, Senegal, and South Africa, have also contributed troops, with Kenya contributing a few dozen Military Police. No other member country of the African Union has sent combat troops to Darfur, although 25 countries have contributed Military Observers. Fifteen countries have contributed Civilian Police.

As of October 21, AMIS had deployed 4,890 protection forces, 686 Military Observers, and 1,176 Civilian Police. According to AMIS, around 120 of these Civilian Police are women; less than 1% of the protection forces and Military Observers are women, which is similar to the percentage normally found on a UN mission. AMIS Military Observers and protection forces are deployed evenly across eight Sectors; the Civilian Police are concentrated around IDP camps. According to AU officials, discussion about Phase III won't start until after a joint donor/UN/AU assessment mission, scheduled to take place by the end of 2005.

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