The failed UN/African Union “hybrid” Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)—which has shamelessly and with gross inaccuracy celebrated its success for the almost ten years in which it has been charged with protecting civilians and humanitarians—is (per its most recent reauthorization by the UN Security Council | June 2017) drawing down its forces on a scale ensuring that what exceedingly limited protection the Mission has offered will be greatly reduced. 44 percent of military personnel are being deployed out of Darfur and 30 percent of the policing personnel. The knock-on effects of withdrawing this hopelessly misconceived, demoralized, ill-equipped, and badly led Mission are many.
Some of the greatest consequences will be a reduction in humanitarian access; for example, since the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flies only to areas militarily protected, locations abandoned by UNAMID troops will no longer be accessible. This is especially perverse since a condition for the permanent lifting of U.S. economic sanctions by the Trump administration was the improvement of humanitarian access in Darfur. The UN’s current estimate of the number of people in Darfur in need of humanitarian assistance is 3 million.
Notably, UNAMID—in completely inappropriate and unqualified public commentary—celebrated the permanent lifting of sanctions, a celebration undoubtedly motivated by a desire to assist in lifting the opprobrium that hangs heavily over a genocidal regime regime that continues to flout, abuse, and block UNAMID’s movements in Darfur. By celebrating the lifting of sanctions, the ignominious retreat in which UNAMID is engaged—more deployments out of Darfur will certainly be part of any UNAMID reauthorization in June 2018—is supposed to appear less ignominious. But the truth is conspicuous: UNAMID is the single greatest failure in the history of UN peacekeeping.
UNAMID failed disgracefully in its “investigation” of the mass rapes at Tabit, North Darfur, October/November 2014; regular Sudan Armed Forces, at the command of the local garrison chief, raped more than 200 girls and women over two days. UNAMID took days to reach Tabit to “investigate” and announced it found no evidence of mass rape. Human Rights Watch authoritatively, based on hundreds of interviews, confirmed what had been reported within days by Radio Dabanga: that mass rapes had occurred and had been committed by regular SAF troops | https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/02/11/mass-rape-north-darfur/sudanese-army-attacks-against-civilians-tabit
Tragically, the greatest consequence of UNAMID’s deployment out of Darfur are the continuation, and in some places acceleration, of daily ethnically-targeted attacks on civilians throughout Darfur, primarily by Arab militias controlled or sanctioned by Khartoum. Non-Arab (African) civilians continue to be—as they have been for more than fourteen years—subject to murder, rape, displacement, and loss of property and goods. There is good reason to believe that we will see in the reports from Darfur (conveyed primarily by Radio Dabanga) continuation, and most likely acceleration, of these attacks. Only the fact of previous vast destruction of African villages and the violent expropriation of farmlands, and the massive concentration of displaced persons (some 2.7 million in Darfur itself, another 320,000 in eastern Chad refugee camps) limits the scale of attacks. Moreover, we should remember that some 600,000 people have been killed as a direct or indirect result of violence over the past fourteen years: this approaches ten percent of the pre-war population in Darfur (see | http://sudanreeves.org/2017/01/05/quantifying-genocide-darfur-mortality-update-august-6-2010/).
IDP camps in Darfur offer little protection from the predations of Khartoum-backed militias; here a victim of the recent brutal, murderous attack on Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur
Here a victim of the infamous “Nierteti Massacre” of January 1, 2017; UNAMID offered no protection
As a crude barometer of the scale of violence, I will be assembling weekly a brief compendium of foreshortened dispatches (all with sources on the ground). For surveys covering more extensive periods the violent expropriation of African farmlands (November 2014 – November 2016) and the rape of girls and young women (for the years 2014 and 2015), see |
Herewith the first weekly compendium of violence reported from Darfur during the withdrawal of UNAMID:
• Shooting in North Darfur market wounds six | Radio Dabanga | October 13, 2017 | KUTUM / KATOR
Six people were wounded in an attack by militiamen on the market in Kutum, North Darfur, on Thursday. Bandits robbed the passengers of a vehicle en route to El Fasher.
Ten armed men, driving a Land Cruiser, opened fire in the market of Kutum town and wounded six people who had to be taken to the hospital. Three of them were transferred to the hospital in El Fasher in a serious condition.
On Thursday afternoon, bandits stopped a commercial vehicle on its way from Deribat in eastern Jebel Marra to El Fasher, and robbed the passengers of their mobiles phones, money and goods. One of the victims told Radio Dabanga that three men, wearing military uniforms, opened fire on the vehicle in the area of Kator, hitting the tires…
• Four girls raped in North Darfur | Radio Dabanga | October 6, 2017 | TAWILA
Four girls were raped by gunmen, outside of a camp for displaced people in Tawila locality on Wednesday. Gunmen attacked the girls of 15 to 18 years old when they were collecting straw in Susuwa near Rwanda camp. They raped them at gunpoint, sheikh of Rwanda camp Omda Mukhtar Bosh reported to Radio Dabanga. He said that the girls have been transferred “in a bad condition” to the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Tawila. “They are still bedridden,” he said on Thursday. The incident has been reported to the peacekeeping mission UNAMID and the police detective in Tawila, Lt. Ibrahim Sayak Ibrahim.
Non-Arab/African girls and women remain extraordinarily vulnerable to rape; UNAMID and past UN Secretaries General have done completely inadequate jobs of reporting on sexual violence in Darfur, this out of cowardice and deference to Khartoum’s “sensitivities” on the issue
• Three people killed in South Darfur | Radio Dabanga | October 10, 2017 | NYALA / ED DAEIN
Three people were killed in separate robberies and clashes in South Darfur this week. Also in East Darfur the forced collection of weapons from civilians is at hands.
Gunmen shot and killed a trader in Nyala in South Darfur on Monday evening, witnesses reported to Radio Dabanga. Ishag Shorom, one of the businessmen in the capital of South Darfur, was driving his vehicle when the gunmen intercepted him. “They shot him dead and fled the scene. It happened in Sabrin market, from where Ishag’s body was taken to Nyala hospital,” a witness said. Also in Nyala, a woman in the Sakali district was harassed by a member of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Sunday night. She resisted when the armed man tried to rape her. He shot and wounded her. The woman has been transferred to the academic hospital in the city in a serious condition.
• Farmer killed, South Darfur robberies continue | Radio Dabanga | October 6, 2017 | FANGA / GIREIDA
A farmer was shot dead and his wife was seriously injured in the eastern part of Jebel Marra. In Gireida town, militiamen continued committing atrocities against locals and displaced people, injuring two women on Friday morning. In Dulo, north of Fanga in the area popularly known as eastern Jebel Marra, armed shepherds opened fire on farmers Hawa Ibrahim Hussein and Shadia Harun Suleiman. They tried to keep the herders from entering cattle onto their farms. Hussein was hit and died on the spot while Suleiman sustained serious injuries from the attack. She has been taken to the hospital to receive treatment, one of her family members told Radio Dabanga.
Two displaced women were seriously wounded west of Gireida on Friday morning by militiamen. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that three of them opened fire on the sisters Halima Musa and Khadija Musa, who were working on a farm in Um Asal. The farmers sustained wounds in the thighs, hands and legs, and have been transferred to a health centre for treatment.
Also in Gireida, bandits robbed the passengers of a commercial vehicle on the Santa-Joghana road on Thursday evening. A source informed this station that about 15 gunmen, wearing camouflage uniforms, opened fire on three vehicles en route from Santa to Joghana. Aboard were people who returned from the markets.
• Ambulance driver, displaced man killed in North Darfur | Radio Dabanga | October 6, 2017 | MELLIT / KUTUM / KABKABIYA / GIREIDA
Three people were killed in separate incidents in Kutum, Kabkabiya and Mellit in North Darfur, including an ambulance driver. Armed men shot and killed Bashir Ibrahim Tahir, a displaced man from Fata Borno camp in North Darfur’s Kutum locality, on Thursday morning. Tahir was working on a farm east of the camp when the gunmen attacked him and stole his money, property and his donkey.
People in Gireida in South Darfur have complained of continuous militia raids on farms and roads, which seem to target women in particular. A witness told Radio Dabanga that the area has witnessed a series of attacks in the past two days, the latest of which was carried out on Wednesday. Three displaced women from Gireida camp who were out on the fields came under attack by gunmen. The sisters Safia and Fawziya Ahmed Hussein respectively sustained a deep injury in her head and a broken leg, and a broken hand, during the attack. Khadija Omar suffered various injuries. This week, five militia raids were reported to Radio Dabanga, including the raid on Monday in which three people were shot dead in Fogali area in East Jebel Marra.
(c) 2017 SUDAN Research, Analysis, and Advocacy