UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released a report covering Dafur from January, 2008 until the present – the highlights of which are below:
Security and Humanitarian Situation
• Security situation is unstable, especially in North Darfur and in Internally Displaced Persons camps
• Since January, more than 230,000 civilians have been forced to flee violence – that it more than 1,000 a day.
• The Government launched a new military campaign in Northern Darfur. Air strikes and on-the-ground clashes occurred in suspected rebel strongholds. The Government was actively fighting with the rebel groups SLA-Unity, SLA-AW, and URF. There were over a dozen civilian deaths.
• The Government surrounded and opened fire in the largest IDP camp, Kalma camp, killing 33 and injuring 108, including 38 children and 25 women.
• There has been a lot of infighting between rebel groups and infighting between Arab tribes, which have left over 150 casualties.
• There were 16 rapes reported, 5 of which described the attackers as men in military uniform.
• Attacks against humanitarian aid workers is the highest ever: the first 8 months of 2008 have already seen more attacks against aid workers than the entire year of 2007: 155 aid workers have been abducted, 123 aid camps have been broken into, and 2 major NGOs assisting 500,00- civilians pulled out
• Darfur has been affected by the global food crisis: price of staple food iteams has increased 150%
• The World Food Program, after having cut rations to refugees to 50% of what humans should be eating, managed to raise that to 75%. However, it warned that it may need to suspend food delivery in some areas if security does not improve.
• Sudanese authorities continue to impose bureaucratic obstacles on humanitarian organizations (example, the Sudanese Government reduced fuel available to the Humanitarian Aid Commission because it alleged the armed groups were using the fuel, as a result, 100,000 IDPs suffered from water shortages)
The Peace Process:
• There is a new AU/UN Chief Mediator for Darfur: Djibril Bassole, who arrived in Sudan on the 25 of August.
• After meeting with rebels, rebel leaders reiterated their priorities:
o power-sharing and security,
o their concern over the issue of land,
o Darfur’s representation in the GoS,
o rehabilitation of villages, voluntary return of IDPs,
o justice and accountability,
o and compensation/restitution
• the first priority is a ceasefire, but this can’t be accomplished without a political process and framework agreement
• there are going to be new negotiations in Doha, Qatar soon
- As of October 10th, 2008, the total amount of personnel in UNAMID is 10,527, including:
- More battalions are expected to deploy, leading to 4,216 new troops being deployed by December 2008, for a total of 12,795 military personnel, which would bring UNAMID to a total of 14,823, which is 60% of the total authorized strength
- UNAMID expcts to reach 80% of its strength by March, 2009
- UNAMID faces serious security challenges: UNAMID has its movement restricted by the government, has been attacked several times resulting in the deaths of more than 6 peacekeepers, and has been victim to bandatry many times.