President al-Bashir and his two Vice-Presidents have affirmed their resolution that the coming session of negotiations between the government and the armed movements in Darfur, scheduled to begin in Abuja on 24 August, will be decisive and final.
The SRSG travelled to El Fasher on 11-12 July. He met Suleiman Jamose, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the SLA, to discuss issues relating to the Abuja talks and humanitarian access. The SRSG also accompanied seven female Sudanese journalists on their mission to see first-hand the human rights and humanitarian situations in North Darfur. The party met the Deputy Wali as well as humanitarian and human rights organizations. The journalists also visited three IDP camps: Al Salam, Zam Zam and Abu Shouk. Feedback from all attending journalists was reported to be positive and they expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to interview local inhabitants.
During the night of 12 July, several armed men broke into the compound of an INGO in Kalma camp. They held the guards and looted some items. This is the third time that this compound has been broken into since 28 June.
It was reported that on 12 July, on the road between Nertiti and Tor, one commercial truck was ambushed and robbed by armed men. They took money and other belongings but no injuries were reported in this incident.
On 13 July, an INGO guest house in Nyala was robbed of some items but no one was hurt during the break-in. The police have increased their patrols.
On 11 July, at Ngangala military camp approximately 40 km east of Juba (Juba/Torit road), a soldier on duty shot at and killed another soldier who reportedly was trying to steal from the store room. A few minutes later the soldier committed suicide.
On 13 July, a landmine was reportedly discovered and subsequently defused by the GoS army near the Bentiu-Rubkona market road opposite the GGA compound.
The AU and the humanitarian community held talks on how to resolve the current lack of trust of the IDPs towards GoS police, as well as how to respond to the growing trend of armed robberies in Kalma camp.
An OCHA/UNHCR team visited Bir Seliba (near Abu Sorouj on the Chadian border) on 13 July to verify GoS reports of returns to that area. The mission found a new IDP settlement near the police station, but upon closer inspection it was found that the shelters were uninhabited.
UNHCR visited Shawa and Garadaya (12 and 25 km east of Zalingei) on 12 July to investigate GoS reports that IDPs had returned to those areas from Zalingei. In Shawa none of the reported 50 returnee families was encountered. In Garadaya, UNHCR found 49 families which had moved there with GoS incentives, but which are not originally from that area. UNHCR had not received notification before the movement.
UNMIS Military Deployment
Sector 1 (Juba)
The deployment of the UNMO team to Torit has been delayed due to diversion of air assets for other tasks. This mission will be resumed as soon as possible.
Sector 2 (Wau)
An UNMIS Military Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) Liaison Officer met Commander Samuel Abujohn, Governor of Equatoria region. Commander Abujohn will be going to Juba next week and will stay with the SPLM Leadership Council. He is expected to occupy a Minister's position within the new GoSS.
Sector 4 (Kadugli)
On 12 July, the first two flights with Egyptian Engineer Platoon Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) landed at Kadugli airport.
Sector 6 (Abyei)
On 13 July, an UNMO Team was deployed to Torit. The Team will remain in location until 18 July in order to demonstrate an UNMIS presence in the area, establish contacts and liaise with the Parties and monitor the situation.
The sixth combined patrol (UNMOs and Civil Police) from Kadugli to Abyei held a meeting with the leaders of the Abyei Roman Catholic on 13 July. The topics which were discussed included the number of weapons in the area and mis-treatment of local inhabitants by soldiers.
On 12 July, the GoS confirmed its readiness to hold peace negotiations with the two rebel groups in eastern Sudan, the Beja Conference and the Free Lions, now merged as the Eastern Front. Foreign Minister Ismail said in a press statement that the GoS was ready to negotiate with rebels in the east to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict there. He stressed the Government's determination to solve the conflict through dialogue, but said it was too early to talk about a fixed time and place for the negotiations.
Sudan has called on the United States to lift sanctions and raise its level of diplomatic representation with Sudan. President Al-Bashir told the press yesterday in Khartoum, "We call on Washington to lift the name of Sudan from the list of countries it considers sponsors of terrorism and to end all types of sanctions unilaterally imposed on Sudan and to lift the level of diplomatic representation so that relations would be restored to normal."
At a meeting on 13 July, between President Bashir, his two deputies, the head of the government delegation for Abuja negotiations, Magzoub Al-Khalifa, and the leading member of Sudan's People's Liberation Movement, Niyal Deng, it was decided that preparations for the coming session of negotiation shall begin immediately under the current climate of peace. The meeting stressed the importance of reaching a comprehensive political solution for the Darfur problem.
On 12 July, UNMIS Civil Affairs met in Juba with members of the United Democratic Front (UDF). Topics which were discussed included popular representation and the implementation of the CPA.
In its continuing efforts to promote and gauge opinions on the recently signed Declaration of Principles (DoP) in Abuja, the Government of National Unity (GNU), and the Interim Constitution, CA in El Fasher held a meeting on 13 July with Hassan Issac Sajo, Chairman of the Abu Shouk omdas, and six omdas from the camp. The Omdas were generally happy that a framework for resolving the conflict in Darfur had been reached, however, many of their concerns were not met in the DoP, including the disarmament of the Janjaweed, the Hawakeer issue, security of IDPs and their lack of inclusion in the Darfur to Darfur dialogue. On the other hand, the omdas are quite hopeful of the GNU, since the appointment of Dr. John Garang as First Vice-President was a unique event as "blacks" (Nubians, Southerners, Darfurians, Westerners and people from the Southern Blue Nile and other marginalized areas in the Sudan) have been continuously discriminated against and denied leadership for decades. The omdas were also happy with the Interim Constitution, but questioned whether it would be properly implemented, and whether IDPs would be given the freedom they are asking for.
UNMIS Civilian Police
Dr. Yasushi Akashi, a representative of the Government of Japan and Chairman of the Japan Centre for Conflict Prevention and former UN USG, visited the Police Academy in Juba to see the UN police training programme. Education matters and the UN mandate were discussed.
WFP plans to airdrop 2,000 MT of food to affected populations in Golo and Gildo (Jebel Marra), starting on 17 July. The airdrops will last ten days. DRC will distribute the food. OCHA is currently arranging the permits for the airdrops with GoS authorities and military.
UNICEF and WES obtained a new drilling rig for North Darfur. Together with the old rig currently being rehabilitated, this will increase their capacity for drilling new boreholes there. Two new boreholes were completed in Gallab resolving the water shortages the community has experienced since February 2005.
In Kassala, OCHA has received reports that the communities of Mutatib, Olaib, Tendlay and Makali (localities between 60-80 km north east of Kassala) have been isolated since 9 July due to the flooding of the Gash River.
38 houses in Jebel Aulia camp and 20 houses in Mayo Farm Camp have collapsed following heavy rain. The IDPs have reportedly initiated digging trenches in the camps to drain the water.
On 13 July FAR is distributing 700 plastic sheeting to vulnerable families whose shelters have been demolished in Soba Aradi.
The Polio National Immunization Days campaign was launched in the whole of Sudan on 12 July.
Saudi Red Crescent has provided Tearfund with around $5,000 to rehabilitate latrines in Riyad camp to improve the worsening sanitary conditions.
An alarming number of malaria cases has been reported in Munuki locality (Juba town). The month of June indicated a total of 2,016 cases in just two health centres.
The polio vaccination campaign is well under way in South Darfur, including in the SLA-held areas of Jebel Marra. Swollen wadis, however, are hampering access to the areas of Rehed al Birdi.
Saudi Red Crescent now has Tuberculosis Management Units (TBMUs) operational at its clinics in both ZamZam and Abu Shouk camps. Health providers presented with suspected TB cases have been advised to send their patients for examination at the clinics, where investigation and treatment is provided free of charge.