29 July 2008 The head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) says he concurs with a report by a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that the operation faces critical shortages in troops, personnel, equipment and logistics.
Rodolphe Adada thanked the compilers of the report, the Darfur Consortium, which represents more than 50 NGOs focused on the Darfur crisis, for “adding its voice to that of UNAMID’s leadership in urging the international community to live up to its commitments and facilitate the Mission to implement its mandate,” in a statement released yesterday.
Mr. Adada said that despite the difficulties it faces, UNAMID continued to do everything it could to fulfil its tasks and provide as much protection as possible for the people of Darfur, humanitarian workers and for its own personnel. He cited recently launched air patrols by UNAMID police, as well as night patrols, firewood patrols and other regular patrols already being carried out by the mission.
He added that the recent attack on peacekeepers at Um Hakibah in North Darfur, in which the force lost seven peacekeepers, was an example of the dangers that the mission faced, but he said this had not dampened the resolve of UNAMID to fulfil its mandate.
In a related development the mission said today that it had been monitoring the ongoing training of ex-combatants to help them reintegrate into the Government of Sudan’s Armed Forces and Police.
More than 1,000 ex-combatants from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) were processed at the Dumaya camp in Nyala, South Darfur, according to UNAMID.
The mission also reported today that approximately 6,000 people are estimated to have arrived at the 62,000-strong Zam Zam camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) outside the town of El Fasher in North Darfur over the past three to four months.
Over the past week, UNAMID said that the rape of four internally displaced women in a village had been reported to its police advisers, as was an incident involving a national staff member of the mission who was taken to a police station in El Geneina, beaten up and then released.
UNAMID also said that there had been a continued bombardment of some areas of South, West and North Darfur, although it said current weather conditions made it difficult to verify resulting population movements.
UNAMID’s current mandate is due to expire later this month, and Security Council members have been holding consultations on a draft resolution to extend the mission.
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