AFRICANGLOBE – The UN has warned that violent attacks on international peacekeepers and civilians in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region have been increasing while tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee the fighting.
UN peacekeeping deputy chief Edmond Mulet told the 15-member Security Council on Wednesday that there has been negligible progress in peace efforts for Darfur.
Mulet noted that the second phase of the government’s “Decisive Summer” military campaign to end armed rebellions has caused a new wave of displacement across the region.
He said humanitarian organisations estimated at least 78,000 newly displaced this year, while the UN has unverified reports of 130,000 more.
One diplomat described the UNAMID, a joint mission by the UN and the African Union, as “the most dysfunctional peacekeeping mission in the world”.
“UN officials will tell you privately that the actions of the government of Sudan are one of the reasons why UNAMID is not working.”
“Some will tell you that if UNAMID continues to fail then eventually the UN should withdraw. But of course that’s exactly what Sudan has made it clear it wants to happen.”
Sudan ordered the peacekeeping force out of Darfur late last year, but Mulet made clear that it will not be leaving quickly.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s latest progress report on the force said there were 60 “incidents and hostile attacks against UNAMID” in the three months to May 15, compared with 46 in the previous quarter.
Darfur has been in turmoil since 2003, when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. Rights groups charge the regime retaliated by unleashing Arab militias on civilians, a claim the government denies.
Sudan’s Deputy UN Ambassador Hassan Hamid Hassan told the council that the violence and displacements were mainly due to tribal clashes and attacks by rebels, not government forces.