SUDAN WATCH: 10 May 2010 - Eighth Meeting of the UN, African Union and Sudan Gov't Tripartite Mechanism - Safety of Darfur peacekeepers tops talks

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 May 2010 - Eighth Meeting of the UN, African Union and Sudan Gov't Tripartite Mechanism - Safety of Darfur peacekeepers tops talks

JSR, Ibrahim Gambari

Photos: UNAMID was represented by Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari (pictured L above) taking part for the first time, and Deputy JSR Mohamed Yonis. (Photos courtesy of UNAMID)

Eighth meeting of the AU/UN/GoS Tripartite Mechanism

Eighth meeting of the AU/UN/GoS Tripartite Mechanism
Information Note - From UNAMID
(African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur)
Monday, 10 May 2010:
(ADDIS ABABA, 10 May 2010) - The African Union, United Nations, Government of the Sudan Tripartite Mechanism on UNAMID today held its eighth meeting at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy, and the Sudanese Ministry of Defense’s Director of International Cooperation Lt Gen Magzoub Rahma Al Badawi led their respective delegations. UNAMID was represented by Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari, taking part for the first time, and Deputy JSR Mohamed Yonis.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Lamamra congratulated UNAMID for its resolve in carrying out its mandate “despite the associated risks and dangers to its peacekeepers to reduce the human suffering of the Darfurians.”

The meeting reviewed the latest developments in the region’s security situation and UNAMID’s current deployment, now at 88% and 74% of its authorized military and police strength, respectively. JSR Gambari outlined the Mission’s priorities as it shifts focus from deployment to employment. These priorities include enhancing the security of civilians and internally displaced people in Darfur; providing more proactive support to the ongoing peace process; promoting early recovery and development in the region; and, assisting in the normalization of relations between Chad and the Sudan.

For his part, Lt Gen Rahma Al Badawi stated that “UNAMID is ours, too” and assured the participants of the Sudanese Government’s continued support to the Mission in fulfilling its tasks.

“This Mechanism will now focus its attention on addressing and resolving issues that impact on the operational effectiveness of the Mission,” said USG le Roy, stressing the importance of the continued collaboration of all parties.

It was also decided that the Tripartite Mechanism will meet on a monthly basis at the operational level in El Fasher and Khartoum, with meetings at a strategic level held every three months. The next meeting at a strategic level is planned to take place in New York in September 2010.

*****

Communication and Public Information Division Media Contacts
Kemal Saïki, Director; saiki@un.org, tel.: +249 (0)92 244 3529 / mobile: +249 (0)92 241 0020
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Mayada Umbadda, Media Relations; umbadda@un.org, mobile: +249 (0)91 250 1966
UNAMID

Safety of Darfur peacekeepers tops talks between UN, African Union and Sudan
From UN News Centre - Monday, 10 May 2010:
The protection of blue helmets serving in Darfur has topped the agenda of the latest talks between the United Nations, the African Union and the Sudanese Government, which are taking place just days after two peacekeepers were killed and three others seriously wounded in an ambush in the war-torn region.
The meeting of the so-called Tripartite Mechanism, held today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, also focused on the continued implementation of the mandate of the joint UN-AU peacekeeping force, known as UNAMID.

The mission was established by the Security Council in 2007 to protect civilians in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes since violence erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and their allied Janjaweed militiamen.

On Friday, two Egyptian soldiers serving with UNAMID died after their convoy, carrying out a routine patrol, was attacked by about 20 unidentified armed gunmen who opened fire without warning in a remote area of South Darfur state. Their deaths bring the number of UNAMID personnel killed as a result of hostile actions to 24 since the mission was established.

At present, UNAMID is at 87 per cent of its full strength of some 26,000 military and police personnel.

In his latest report to the Security Council on UNAMID, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that even though the mission is moving towards full capacity, it continues to lack crucial equipment required to enhance the capability of both its military and police units.

“I am encouraged by the progress that UNAMID has made towards full deployment in Darfur. At the same time, continuing shortfalls in terms of the self-sustainment of military and formed police units remain a challenge to the operational capability of the mission,” Mr. Ban wrote.

He thanked troop- and police-contributing countries, urging them to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made for the deployment of the equipment and other facilities. Helicopters and military vehicles such as armoured personnel carriers continue to be in short supply.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy, along with officials from UNAMID, including Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari, are attending the Addis Ababa meeting, which is also slated to discuss the provision of a radio broadcasting license for the mission.
Darfur blue helmets to take ‘robust’ defensive action if attacked, says UN-AU envoy
From UN News Centre - Tuesday, 11 May 2010 - excerpt:
11 May 2010 – The head of the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur said today that peacekeepers there will be more robust when defending themselves from attacks, while recognizing that the primary responsibility for protecting staff lay with the Sudanese Government.

Last week, two Egyptian soldiers serving with the mission, known as UNAMID, died when their convoy on routine patrol was attacked by about 20 unidentified armed gunmen in a remote area of South Darfur state.

“[As] UNAMID we are going to be very strict in terms of a robust position so that people will be discouraged from even attempting to attack us,” Ibrahim Gambari, head of UNAMID and the AU-UN Joint Special Representative in Darfur, said in an interview with UN Radio.

“We also want to make it clear that an attack on international peacekeepers is a war crime, a violation of international criminal law,” Mr. Gambari added.

He said the Sudanese Government, as UNAMID’s host, bore the primary responsibility of protecting the mission’s staff and curbing the criminal activities that had led to attacks on peacekeepers by arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

“The Government has assured us that they will do their best to enhance the security of our staff,” Mr. Gambari said.

The protection of blue helmets serving in Darfur was high on the agenda of the latest talks between the UN, the AU and the Sudanese Government, which took place yesterday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The meeting of the so-called Tripartite Mechanism also focused on the continued implementation of UNAMID’s mandate.

Mr. Gambari said there was no alternative to a comprehensive ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese Government and one of the leading insurgent groups in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), through the Doha peace process. He urged both parties to return to the talks in the Qatari capital, and pledged UNAMID’s readiness to continue facilitating the political process aimed at ending the conflict. [...]
News from SRS (Sudan Radio Service)

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