Paula Newbaker (ENOUGH)
Allyn Brooks-LaSure (Save Darfur)
ENOUGH PROJECT, SAVE DARFUR PAPER PRESSES U.N. TO ‘KEEP ITS WORD’ ON DARFUR PEACEKEEPING MISSION
WASHINGTON – World leaders are breaking their promise to deliver life-saving protection to civilians in Darfur despite their rhetoric on this crisis, according to a report released by two leading Darfur advocacy groups. In a joint strategy paper authored by Save Darfur Coalition president Jerry Fowler and ENOUGH Project co-chair John Prendergast, the activist leaders denounced the United Nation’s glacial pace in identifying and providing critical personnel and material for the UNAMID peacekeeping mission. The groups also decried the U.N. Security Council’s collective refusal to hold the recalcitrant Sudanese government to account for their obstructions.
Effective deployment of UNAMID is a critical component of a comprehensive effort to stem Sudan’s slide into instability, evident in recent fighting from Darfur to Abyei to Khartoum. Recognizing this wider context, the report details a pathway for ensuring the UNAMID peacekeeping mission is fully and effectively deployed. According to the Save Darfur Coalition and the ENOUGH Project, the pathway entails eliminating Sudanese government obstructions, minimizing bureaucratic U.N. hurdles, and spurring the requisite political will around the world – enabling U.N. officials to identify and provide the necessary troops and equipment to protect civilians and save lives.
“The world promised Darfur protection, but has failed to deliver it,” wrote Fowler and Prendergast in the report. “The Security Council risks signaling that it is more serious about protecting the interests of repressive governments than in promoting global peace and security. To reverse this, the Security Council must lead in ensuring that UNAMID has all of the equipment and personnel it needs, and that it creates real costs for those officials – government, rebel or militia – that would undermine peace, protection and justice in Sudan.”
The report’s release coincides with the United States’ presidency of the U.N. Security Council, and marks more than one month before the one year anniversary of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1769 – authorizing the hybrid peacekeeping mission to Darfur. While the resolution’s passage was marked by much self-congratulation, the U.N. Security Council has failed to match words with deeds that would ensure the swift, full and effective deployment of the UNAMID mission. According to the groups, the success or failure of the UNAMID peacekeeping mission directly reflects the political will and leadership of the U.N. Security Council members.
“Almost a year of rhetoric from world leaders since [July 31, 2007] has not resulted in substantial improvements on the ground in Darfur, leaving UNAMID’s success in doubt,” the report says. “The primary impediment to full deployment of a capable UNAMID force is the Sudanese government. But the international community’s failure to provide necessary resources and bureaucratic hurdles at the United Nations are also to blame. Ultimately, the fate of UNAMID now falls on the shoulders of the U.N. Security Council member states that authorized it, especially its permanent five members.”
The report detailed the missing equipment and personnel essential for the UNAMID mission to achieve success. In addition to 18 medium transport helicopters and four tactical helicopters, the groups pressed U.N. member states to identify and provide aerial reconnaissance support; medium and heavy transport trucks; additional engineers to building and expand installations for troop deployment; and multi-role logistical support units critical to the deployment and sustainability of infantry battalions.
The groups reiterated the need for a Sudan-wide approach in addressing the Darfur conflict, an approach that has been largely absent during the past several years. The council must adopt a "comprehensive strategy" to address Darfur, and all of Sudan, that protects civilians, pursues peace and ensures accountability. Additionally, activists are calling for a special meeting of the Security Council, the Friends of UNAMID working group, and U.N. Dept. of Peacekeeping Operations to resolve all outstanding issues and identify and contribute all needed equipment and resources for the UNAMID peacekeeping mission.
“The inability to deploy UNAMID is but one of a number of interrelated challenges that threaten to set the entire nation of Sudan on fire,” the report says.
The full report is available at: http://enoughproject.org/reports/sudan_darfur_civilians_June_2008 .
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About the ENOUGH Project: ENOUGH is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007 with an initial focus on the crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia, ENOUGH’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org.
About the Coalition: The Save Darfur Coalition – an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy, and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org. To obtain footage from the Darfur border region, coalition events, various interviews, and more, please visit the Save Darfur Coalition media gallery at http://media.savedarfur.org. All footage may be previewed in non-broadcast quality and may be purchased in broadcast quality by filling out the purchase request form provided on the site