Better the Presence of the UNAMID for the Darfuris despite Shortcomings
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
Un-AU Mission to Darfur UNAMID Revisited
Talks about the shortcomings of the United Nations Mission in Darfur, UNAMID, will not stop. Talk about the ineffectiveness of the Mission began since the first Day of its configuration to replace its predecessor, the African Union Mission in Sudan, known as (AMIS) which, the African Union (AU) established to keep peace and security. The aim was to protect civilians and securing access for humanitarian assistance throughout Darfur. We understand that the United Nations (UN) has already has an exit plan/strategy for the UNAMID from Darfur in place since April 2012. It started by cutting more than 5000 troops, police and civilians from the mission leaving only 20000 out of the original 26000.
Nevertheless, the UNAMID despite of the misgivings has been supporting at least those civilians who tended to flee their villages under duress to the Mission’s centres for shelter. Accordingly, UNAMID needs repair and rehabilitation rather than an exit strategy, in line with the principle and the wisdom, which says ‘something is better than nothing’. On several occasions, the oppressed Darfuri citizens flee in times of distress to AU-UN Mission for shelter for safety from their aggressors. The question remains as to where would those thousands of unarmed citizens of Darfur when calamities strike from the assailants in the absence of the Mission at face value. In the case of application and implementation of the exit strategy for the UNAMID as planned, the civilian population in the region of Darfur will be the victim of the (GoS) army and militias, where no one to resort to in their plight. The UNAMID is not all failures and shortcomings as it comes to the mind of many people and observers. In fact, thousands of unarmed civilian populations resort to the stations of the Mission for protection and escape from the attackers of the (GoS) forces and its unruly militias. Let us be fair for a moment to the Mission in spite of what accompanied it of slander and vilification and ineffectiveness in application of the Mandate entrusted to them by the UNSC on the ground. It is time for the people of Sudan in Darfur to “Dare to think for their pressing interest at this pivotal time”, paraphrasing Voltaire’s quote “Dare to think for yourself.”.
And third andirons – as they say – is that the mission although created by the UNSC Resolution 1769 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, on July 31, 2007, the Government of Sudan (GoS) was allowed to have right to agree its entry, based on the principle of sovereignty. Thus, following lengthy period of give and take debate the mission entered Darfur. Furthermore, the disagreement between the Government of Sudan backed by the (AU) and the United Nations (UNSC) with respect to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The (AU) accuses the (ICC) of targeting African leaders in the indictment of war crimes and other crimes. Accordingly, the members of (AU) opposed to comply with ICC even those members who ratified the Rome Statute, allowed the indicted Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir travel freely fearing no arrest while in an African state. Worse, the soldiers in the UNAMID mission lacked training and most of them from the African countries. Thus, the misgivings and shortcomings of the UNAMID mission since its composition. The Mission to Darfur that is made of troops majority from the AU is expected to sympathize with the government of Sudan (GoS) a member of the African Union, which strongly opposed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) , which formed by the United Nations (UN). The AU are saying that the ICC only targets African leaders!
In the case of application and implementation of the exit strategy for the UNAMID as planned, the civilian population in the region of Darfur will be the victim of the (GoS) army and militias, where no one to resort to in their plight.
The people of Sudan in Darfur have reason to be suspicious about the exit strategy for UNAMID from the Darfur region based on the alleged decline in violence in the Darfur region reported by a leader of the UNAMID. The frequent talk about Decline of violence in the Darfur region is a blatant lie that some of the UNAMID leaders keep saying to justify their hidden evil intentions to support the objectives of the (NCP) regime leader, their master of grace, fugitive from the international justice , genocidal criminal, Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir. In fact, violence in Darfur has increased folds during the last two years since the notorious Janjaweed militia incorporated into the regular Sudan Government Army (SAF) under a new name, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the leadership of the security Brigadier-General, Mohammed Hamdan Dogolo, famously known ‘Hmidty.
On the people of Darfur to think of themselves without being dragged by hollow slogans that calling for exit of the UNAMID mission in Darfur without providing a suitable better alternative. Moreover, they (Darfurians) have to regain the anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and especially the events that led to the massacre; sadly how Darfur Today is similar to Rwanda Yesterday.
Moreover, the irony comes out that Undersecretary of the (NCP) regime’s Foreign Affairs; Abdalla Hamad Al-Azrag is reported as saying that members of the UNAMID mission have committed rape and sexual harassment against women in Darfur during the years of their existence. One is surprised that this claim did not come out until rafter the government of Sudan (GoS) army soldiers committed the reprehensible gang rape crime against more than two hundred women and young girls at the village of Tabit in North Darfur. The crime that committed by the regular soldiers of the (GoS) in the Friday night of October 31, 2014 and thus the popular proverb -adage – that states: he maintained silence for an epoch and then spoke bullshit applies to al-Bashir government’s spokesperson! The one who deliberately covers up heinous crimes as rape, people consider him an accomplice par excellence and undoubtedly a dumb demon.
Sudan’s government army forces used rape as a weapon since the outbreak of the marginalised revolution in in 2003 in the Darfur region. Moreover, the reprehensible crime of rape constituted an essential element among the crimes that formed the more serious crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Those crimes played major part in the conviction of Omar al-Bashir and a score of members of his inner circle and entourage such as the Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein, Governor of North Kordofan Mohammed Haroun and the Janjaweed commander Ali Abdelrahman Kosheib and the ilk.
At this juncture, we cherish Dr. Aisha Al-Basri, former UNANID spokesperson for her courage, honesty and humanity to expose the collusion of the Mission with the (GoS) to cover-up the despicable crimes committed by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) against the civilian citizens in the region of Darfur.
We know that Darfur is no longer a priority for the international community and that is why it disappeared from the international radar. The United Nations (UN) especially the five permanent members of the Security Council (UNSC) do care for the region on humanitarian aspects and/or responsibility to protect. There are no strategic important resources such as oil and minerals in the vast area of the Darfur region. Moreover, Darfur is not geographically bordering the countries of concern to the international community. The international community remains concerned now with what goes on in Ukraine, terrorism of Daash, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/Levant (ISIS)/(ISIL) and other thorny issues in the Middle East and hotbeds of conflict around the globe. Furthermore, the United Nations (UN) is now in dire need for money to meet the expense to confront head-on those problems. For the foregoing reasons, the implementation of the decision to withdraw the UNAMID from the Darfur region became just around the corner, and consistent with the objectives and longings of the (NCP) regime, which has the unbroken prognostic support of the (AU).
Of the factors that complicate the Darfur crisis under the regime of the NCP, is the support from within the UNSC members due to intersecting interests with the GoS, some of economic nature while others gathering classified intelligence about terrorism. The undeterred NCP provided all those services for survival on the helm of power. This is in addition to the malignant Khartoum government in cheating the international community of trying to derail the UN resolutions, such as the decision to banning import of weapons and decision to strip the militias of the arms. Khartoum soon evaded both resolutions by informing the UN that imported weapons would not find their way to the areas of conflict. Furthermore, the NCP regime integrated the Janjaweed militias into the Sudan Armed Force (SAF) under the name of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Brigadier General Ahmed Hamdan Daglo (AKA Hemeti). The Muslim Brotherhood regime led by the genocidal criminal, fugitive from the international justice, Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir learned the ways to defraud and deceive the international community who turns a blind eye to those malicious practices. Thus, the GoS succeeded in getting round the UNSC Resolutions through the tool of cunning and savvy that it gained during the quarter of the century ruling Sudan with an iron fist and committing the heinous crime in Darfur and elsewhere.
Thus, the tyrannical regime of political Islam in Sudan remains in a comfortable position in the face of a divided weakened opposition to do whatever it wanted. The regime owns the public money, the media and getting the support from the members of the international community. All that the NCP regime needs is a new tenure of office of other five years through the so-called National Dialogue. Through deception and public distraction the regime aims reaching the rigged in advance April 2015 elections to compete with self and earn a solo al-Bashir to resume another five-year term protecting and giving him impunity against being apprehended and handed over to the (ICC).
The NCP has no will for peaceful solution for the crises in the country. All it wants is to gain time to prepare for military operations. We know for fact that the NCP has no seriousness in the peaceful solution for the crises in Sudan. Nevertheless, he is trying to gain time in preparation for what Omar al-Bashir calls the “hot/crucial summer operation”, through which he aims to kill and displace more civilians. As for the current meetings in Addis Ababa are no more than a public relations tool to calm the atmosphere for him and anaesthetize the international community and distract the armed rebel movements and bully the other opposition factions in preparation for a military assaults.
Why did the criminal regime remain in Sudan a quarter of a century? We know the reasons and the possible means for erasing the serial criminal of power and domination BUT…!
Omar al-Bashir remains a stumbling block to any comprehensive solution to the worsening crises in Sudan. Al-Bashir reiterated in a meeting with leaders of media services and newspapers his adherence to restrict freedoms and conduct unilateral elections on time in April 2015. Moreover, he ruled out a comprehensive solution to the crises plaguing Sudan. He instead called for multiple platforms negotiations. The President of the NCP declared that the leader of the National Umma Party NUP), Sayed al-Sadiq al-Mahdi will face trial. The President of the (NCP) Omar al-Bashir talked about what he always tended repeating, ‘responsible’ Freedom, criticizing the newspapers that highlighted the news about corruption and crime. He called on the joint peacekeeping forces of the United Nations and the African Union in Darfur (UNAMID) clearly to define a programme to exit from the country. Al-Bashir indicated that the UNAMID of becoming a security burden and is even unable to protect itself. The unrepentant Omer al-Bashir has returned with adamancy to his evil diabolic old foxy tricks after reassured by the continued support his regime receives from some members of the UNSC and the African Union (AU). Old Habits Die Hard, as the adage goes! As everyone in Sudan knows that, the work of the NCP centres around one issue which, is the survival of al-Bashir in power for his ease of bypassing the chase and arrest by the (ICC). To that end, the NCP regime allows any means whatever harmful to the people or the country to achieve that purpose. Moreover, the regime benefited to the extreme from the fragility of the opposition and its divisions. To that purpose, the regime resorted regularly for fragmenting the opposition by various ways including spawning artificial affiliated parties as well as the purchase of receivables. Political analysts say that Omer al-Bashir gets the unlimited supporting efforts of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for his survival in power led by the privileged former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, the biggest beneficiary of the every worsening and continuing crises in Sudan without reaching solutions.
In the circumstances, where there does not appear on the horizon any glimmer of hope for the removal of the rule of Bashir’s regime. Perhaps the only thing on which peoples of Sudan attach hope for a change is massive popular uprising protected by armed opposition forces such as Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) in solidarity with the peaceful civil opposition political parties. To achieve sustainable peace, prosperity and progress, the Sudanese people need a popular uprising similar to the uprising in Burkina Faso that removed Blaise Compaoré from power, which constituted a turning point for the entire region, and probably Africa as a whole. The people of Sudan should echo loudly the late Burkinabe revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara’s most famous maxim that “you can kill revolutionaries but you cannot kill ideas”. Traitors assassinated Thomas Sankara on15th October 1987and Burkina Faso went back into what Kwame Nkrumah used to call “the gambling house of capitalism”!
It is time to rethink of Reforming and rehabilitating the UNAMID and keeping it in Darfur rather than the Exit Strategy taken by the UN Peacekeeping Department. The United Nations (UN) can improve the performance and strengthen the effectiveness of the UNAMID by adding a mixture of troops from non-African countries and reducing the number of African soldiers, which would not be impossible. Such an assortment of troops from various continents makes a hybrid of multi-range capabilities improving peacekeeping mandate.
Oh, people of Sudan in Darfur region Raise Your Voices High Calling for Keeping the UNAMID mission in Darfur, Rehabilitating it and NOT for withdrawing it from the war-stricken region.
In time in memorial, Poet Duraid Bin Al-Summa said I have advised my nationals at the contorting valley of Lewa… they did not figure out my advice, but tomorrow morn!
ولقد نصحت قومي بمنعرج اللوى * * * فلم يتبين لهم نصحي الا ضحى الغدِ! ا
“If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning.” Immanuel Kant
ان توقد شمعة خير من ان تلعن الظلام
To glow a candle is better for you than to curse the darkness
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is https://thussudan.wordpress.com/