Letter dated 28 December 2017 from the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) addressed to the President of the Security Council
The Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) has the honour to transmit herewith, in accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 2340 (2017), the final report on its work.
The report was provided to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan on 27 November 2017 and was considered by the Committee on 28 December 2017.
The Panel would appreciate it if the present letter and the report were brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.
(Signed) Thomas Bifwoli Wanjala
Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005)
(Signed) Vincent Darracq
(Signed) Daniela Kravetz Miranda
(Signed) Warren Melia
Abhai Kumar Srivastav
Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005)
The present report covers the period from 13 March to 17 November 2017. The Panel has continued to monitor developments in Darfur and in the broader region in accordance with its mandate.
During the reporting period, the Darfur peace process has not made any progress.
Several of the main rebel groups currently remain active in Libya and South Sudan, where they have developed relations with local stakeholders.
The main development in the conflict dynamics was the joint incursions into Darfur in late May of two Darfurian rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) and the Sudan Liberation Army/Transitional Council (SLA/TC), from their rear bases in Libya and South Sudan. On 20 May, SLA/MM and SLA/TC entered Darfur in two coordinated columns, in violation of the arms embargo. Clashes between Government security forces and the rebel groups ensued, continuing through early June. Security forces seized a significant amount of military materiel, some of which the Panel was able to inspect. Additionally, the Panel investigated reports of violations of international humanitarian law by Government security forces during these clashes.
During its May mission to Darfur, the Panel observed several military aircraft previously reported by the Panel, as well as aircraft not previously seen in Darfur. The Government has submitted no exemption requests to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan for the deployment to Darfur of these aircraft, thereby violating the arms embargo.
In July, the Government launched an arms collection campaign in Darfur. In late October, the Government deployed several thousand personnel of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to Darfur to assist in this effort; that armed deployment without an exemption from the Committee is in contravention of the arms embargo.
A major security development in recent months has been the escalation of tensions between Musa Hilal, the most notorious Darfurian Arab militia leader, and the Government, arising from the Government’s arms collection campaign and its efforts to integrate the Border Guards, under Hilal, into RSF. The Panel is closely monitoring this situation as it unfolds.
While the conflict has been limited to the areas described above and to the Jebel Marra region, armed violence, banditry and intercommunal violence in Darfur continue to pose a serious threat to civilians, in particular to internally displaced persons. Although significantly less new displacement has been recorded in 2017 than in previous years, the situation of internally displaced persons remains a major challenge to restoring peace and stability in Darfur. Humanitarian access to vulnerable populations has improved significantly in 2017.
Sexual and gender-based violence remains prevalent, exacerbated by impunity and the ready availability of weapons. The Panel has continued to monitor violations and serious abuses against children, and received several reports of recruitment and use of children by Darfurian rebel groups.
The Panel received various reports of excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests by Government of the Sudan authorities against university students from Darfur.
Violations of the rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly of Darfurian students were recorded.
In the course of its mandate, the Panel investigated migrant smuggling through and out of Darfur as a cross-cutting issue, and provides details in the present report on the Darfurian armed actors involved, abuses against migrants and smuggling routes in Darfur, among other aspects.
Darfurian rebel groups are financing their activities through their mercenary and criminal activities in Libya and South Sudan, as well as criminal activities in Darfur.
In addition, certain companies and business establishments are reportedly providing income streams to these groups. Further, Darfurian rebel groups are involved in illegal cross-border activities.
The Panel continues to investigate non-compliance with the travel ban and asset freeze measures in relation to the designated individuals, and has established one travel ban violation. In addition, it has taken steps to update identifiers in relation to three designated individuals.