United Nations Sudan Situation Report 1 Aug 2005

Situation Report
Originally published
Key Developments

The helicopter transporting First Vice-President John Garang from Uganda to New Site in southern Sudan lost contact in the early evening of 30 July. This morning the crash was confirmed and President Bashir announced the death of Garang.

Security Issues

West Darfur

Four armed men broke into the WES office in Geneina on 27 July and stole SD 300,000.

Thirty-five new families have arrived in Nertiti (Jebel Marra) from neighbouring Korgei since the beginning of July. The IDPs, who reportedly fled because of continuous harassment by militia, have been moved to a new site, Mango Tree II.

Two rapes allegedly perpetrated by GoS soldiers have been reported in Nertiti last week. One soldier has been arrested. UNHCR and the AU are following up on the incidents involving an IDP woman and a six-year old child.

South Darfur

A break-in at a UN compound was foiled in Nyala in the night of 27-28 July when the guards managed to catch the burglar. Break-ins at humanitarian compounds are occurring on a regular basis since last month.

North Darfur

On 26 July, two trucks travelling from Khartoum and loaded with 1,000 sacks of sugar, were hijacked by the SLM/A near Kerkera, 30 km north of El Fasher.

UNMIS has learned that the driver of the GoS health vehicle abducted on 14 July by the SLM/A in Fasher village, 40 km north of El Fasher, was released on 26 July.

Political Issues

On 30 June, SRSG Pronk met with President Al-Bashir to discuss his visit to Abyei, Muglad and Agok. The President agreed with the SRSG that "patience, time and a peace dialogue" would be required to discuss the Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) report. The SRSG recommended the speedy establishment of the Joint Integrated Unit for the Abyei area and advised President Bashir to discuss the ABC report with other members of the Presidency.

A delegation of the National Democratic Alliance, led by Abdel Rahman Saeed, arrived in Khartoum on 30 July for talks with the Government. The two sides are expected to deal with outstanding issues following the conclusion of negotiations in Cairo in June, including power-sharing and the future of military wings set up by some of the opposition groups. NDA leader, Mirghani, remains in Cairo.

Following a visit to Darfur on 29 July, the French Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, stated that there had been some progress in the region, particularly on the humanitarian front, while saying more was needed to be done to encourage IDP returns. To this end, France pledged €3.5 million for AMIS troops in Darfur.

Civil Affairs

During President Bashir's visit to El Fasher on 28 July, he toured schools, mosques, health facilities, sports clubs, and water sources rehabilitated under the Dar Rehabilitation Programme. The President also addressed a crowd and criticised the UN for not doing enough for Darfur, as well as the international media for speaking "about things that did not happen in Darfur," namely genocide, ethnic cleansing, and rape. He encouraged tribal reconciliation and dialogue as a means for peaceful coexistence, thanked the police forces for providing security to the area and expressed his gratitude to the AU for the Abuja talks, adding that he hoped that the next round would be the final one.

Human Rights

Pursuant to a resolution from the UN Commission on Human Rights in April 2005, Dr. Sima Amar of Afghanistan has been appointed the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan. Dr. Samar is the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women's Affairs in the post-Taliban Afghan Government and chairs the country's independent Human Rights Commission.

Humanitarian Affairs

West Darfur

All existing latrines in the Nertiti camps have been rehabilitated. Solidarites will now start building family latrines to cover the remaining gap in facilities.

South Darfur

Solidarites completed the registration of IDPs in Sheria town. They will now register IDPs around Sheria.

UNMIS Military

Sector I (Juba)

Three UNMOs were deployed to Torit and are scheduled to return 31 July. A second UNMO team returned from Torit on 30 July while a third team has deployed to Maridi today, scheduled to return to Juba on 4 Aug.

The second meeting of the Equatoria Region Joint Military Committee, with participation from the Parties and UMNIS Police, was facilitated on 30 July by UNMIS. The committee addressed the general security situation in Sector I and specific concerns relating to the LRA.

All SPLM/A Joint Defence Board (JDB) members are in Rumbek and will be transported to Juba by the UN on 31 July, before moving to Khartoum to meet SAF JDB members.

Sector III (Malakal)

UNMIS conducted a vehicle recce throughout Malakal in order to assess the level of mobility after the recent medium rainfalls. Most of the inner town roads could be used by vehicle but require very careful driving. With more rain to come, most of the unpaved roads will become extremely challenging and patrolling again will most likely be severely hampered.

Sector IV (Kadugli):

A patrol from Julud TS visited the SAF garrisons, belonging to 134 BN and 170 Eng Bn. The patrol was briefed about the strength of these units and the weapons they have. The SAF members who welcomed the UN are aware of the CPA and are also awaiting orders to deploy soldiers to the JIU.