The head of the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur has warned that the deteriorating security situation in the region could undermine the peace process and development programmes.
In his remarks to a meeting in Qatar on Monday on the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), Mohamed Ibn Chambas told parties that progress on the ground was critical to the success of the Document.
“The absence of such progress could lead to scepticism and diminishing faith in the Doha Document,” he emphasized. Negotiated with the support of the Government of Qatar, the DDPD forms the basis for a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting in Darfur.
The Sudanese Government and two major rebel groups have committed to the DDPD. The Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed on last year; the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a framework agreement in January 2013.
Mr. Chambas, the Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of the mission (UNAMID), said he hoped that the recent consultations he held in Arusha, Tanzania, with two non-signatory movements “will lead to a more realistic outcome, which will bring an end to violence and usher in a stable environment and durable peace in the region and in Sudan as a whole.”
He noted that while there has been recent progress in Darfur, much more is required in the realization of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
He also reaffirmed UNAMID’s commitment to the peace process in Darfur and expressed his appreciation to the Government of Qatar for its support for the peace efforts.
In July, Mr. Chambas reported to the Security Council that the security situation in Darfur – which is entering its tenth year of conflict – remains volatile, amid fighting between Sudanese Government forces and rebels, a recent spate of attacks against peacekeepers and an upsurge in inter-ethnic violence.
Since the beginning of this year, renewed violence has prompted more than 250,000 people to flee their villages and abandon their livelihoods, and the inter-tribal clashes have strained the ability of humanitarian organization to reach vulnerable families.