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localized violence continues in Darfur despite regime change: UN sanctions committee

Joanna Wronecka, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the UN and Chair of Sudan ans S. Sudan Sanctions Committees, briefs the Council on 14 March 2018 (UN Photo)

October 4, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The U.N. Security Council’s Sudan sanctions committee said localized violence and clashes continued in Darfur region despite the regime change in the country.

Joanna Wronecka the head of the sanctions committee briefed the Security Council about the activities of the panel of experts on the security situation in Darfur as they submit their report about the period between 22 June and 27 September.

"The security situation in Darfur (...) was characterized by inter-communal skirmishes, militia attacks on civilians, tensions in camps for internally displaced persons and other localized security incidents, but no large scale outbreaks of violence," said the UN spokesperson in a statement released after the meeting last on Thursday.

Wronecka told the informational consultations meeting that the three months period witnessed clashes between Sudanese security forces, allied militias and th the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdel Wahid (SLA-AW).

Also, there were fighting between the groups of the SLA-AW itself, and attacks against the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and humanitarian agencies, she further said.

The holdout rebel group continues to reject peace talks with the new government saying that the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the army stole the revolution and asks for a referendum on their legitimacy before to engage in peace negotiations.

All the other armed groups in Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states are expected to begin talks with the transitional government in the South Sudanese capital Juba on 14 October 2019.

She said the panel documented violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses, rape and sexual violence against communities in Darfur, including internally displaced persons.

The Polish diplomat pointed to the lack of fully functioning civilian institutions, such as police forces and courts saying this situation contributed to impunity for such violations.

The transitional government did not yet appoint civilians governors despite FFC calls to expedite efforts to end the presence of military governors.

The head of Sudan’s sanctions panel said she plans to visit Sudan, noting that discussions are underway with that country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations to secure dates for that visit.

The report pointed to the participation of Darfur armed groups in the Libyan conflict.

"She said those groups are cautiously weighing their options regarding their return to Darfur following recent developments in Khartoum".

While "the presence of Darfuri armed groups in South Sudan continued, having become residual since the South Sudanese authorities no longer provide them with any meaningful support," the UN spokesperson said.

(ST)