CF support to the stabilization efforts in Sudan

Report
from Government of Canada
Published on 28 Jul 2005
Canada's recent International and Defence Policy Statements stressed Canada's commitment to provide a relevant and timely response in the event of threats to national and international security and stability. The situation in Sudan is complex and fragile, and any assistance we can offer will contribute to saving lives and bringing stability to the entire region. Canada has been assisting with stabilization efforts in Sudan since 2004 through the work of the UN Stand-By High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG), and by providing financial assistance, military planning support and specialized staff, and personal protection equipment to African Union (AU) forces involved in peace support operations in the Darfur region.

The parties in the Sudanese North/South conflict signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005, calling for the full deployment of peacekeepers to southern Sudan through the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). The peace agreement and the subsequent UN mission, combined with the AU mission in Darfur, are important steps in the progress toward peace in Sudan. Canada can provide important support to the AU as it works to respond to the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Canada is committed to its role as a key-contributing member of the international community. Canada's integrated strategy of using diplomatic, development and defence assets maximizes Canadian contributions to global peace and security. DND and the CF, FAC, and CIDA are coordinating Canada's response to the situation in Sudan, with each department providing a share of the overall effort.

CF contribution to the African Union's Mission in Sudan (Darfur)

DND has been supporting Canada's efforts to help with the situation in Sudan since September 2004 through the provision of material and advisory staff to the AU. This deployment is known as Operation AUGURAL.

Initially DND provided over $1.4M in basic army equipment, including helmets and protective vests, to the AU as it mobilized to provide security and stabilization in the Darfur region of Sudan. With the agreement of the AU, two CF experts, along with other partner countries' staff officers, were sent to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in September 2004 to assist with planning for an enhanced AU mission. The CF sent replacements in November 2004 and again in June 2005, with a third staff officer being deployed in August 2005. DND has also provided expert staff in various areas of expertise including information management, logistics and mapping.

Starting in July 2005, Canada is providing to the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) 105 armoured vehicles, training and maintenance assistance, and personal protective equipment in support of the AU efforts to bring peace and stability to the area. The loan of the armoured vehicles, which includes the provision of spare parts, is for a period of one year.

An implementation team of up to 80 Canadian Forces personnel is also deploying to Senegal, which is hosting the vehicle-staging base in Dakar, and a training centre in Thi ès. The implementation team will provide AU soldiers with training in the operation and maintenance of the armoured vehicles. This training is expected to commence in early August and will be completed in mid-September.

The 100 "Grizzly" general purpose armoured vehicles and five "Husky" armoured recovery vehicles will be moved from Dakar, Senegal, to the Darfur region by chartered aircraft and are expected to be operational by mid-September. The vehicles will be used by AU troops from Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal.

CF Contribution to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) (North/South Conflict)

In response to a request from the UN, the CF deployed two members to Khartoum, Sudan, in late July 2004 to work with the UN's Stand-By High Readiness Brigade as part of the UN Advance Mission in Sudan, which was making preparations for the deployment of a new UN peace support operation. They returned to Canada in January and March 2005.

Up to 31 CF personnel have already been committed to go to Sudan in the coming months as part of UNMIS. Canadian Brigadier-General Greg Mitchell is the UNMIS Deputy Force Commander. CF personnel will serve at mission headquarters in Khartoum, and as United Nations Military Observers monitoring activities to verify compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1590. This CF deployment is known as Operation SAFARI.

As announced in May 2005, Canada may provide, if required, a further 10 personnel to the 31 already committed to support UNMIS.

Historical Background

The Sudanese conflict between the North and the South predates the birth of modern Sudan in 1956. Internationally sponsored attempts to negotiate a peace settlement between the two sides made little progress until June 2002. In August 2002, power and wealth sharing between the North and South were discussed. President Beshir and John Garang, leader of The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) held a historic first meeting in Kampala. On October 15th 2002 the Government and the SPLM/A signed an agreement that called for a complete cessation of hostilities for three months. Talks on security arrangements followed early April 2003. All these efforts culminated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on January 9, 2005 by representatives of the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army.