Peace in Darfur is a reality beyond doubt

Hamdani Wadi Dldoom Special Correspondent
An effective response to a conflict depends on a common understanding of the nature of the problem and this requires and obliges those who are involved to provide the pertinent authorities with the correct and timely information enabling them to take the appropriate action.

Failing to do so or the deliberate provision of distorted and unrealistic state of affairs amounts to the act of betrayal and misguidance to the responsible authorities – so an ongoing sound and efficient information gathering and analysis must be the practice throughout the life span of any United Nations involvement, it cannot be limited only to the earliest stages of the issue in place, for the simple reason that the events on the ground change regularly, new information and situations may come to light which affect the assumptions and calculations upon which earlier decisions were made.

In 2006 African Union deployed a peacekeeping mission to Sudan, which was replaced in 2008 by Joint African Union/United Nations hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), currently the largest peacekeeping mission in the world. UNAMID’s mandate has been extended since then on several occasions.

The United Nations Security Council mandated Peacekeeping Mission’s presence or transitions include the start-up, reconfiguration, drawdown or withdrawal can be planned as part of the normal lifetime of the mission or induced by the host government, but the nature and timing of these operations or transition is not determined.

Moreover the UNSC is still debating on the articulation of an exit strategy. Upon this background nothing is binding the exit of the mission rather than the consent of the parties. Nevertheless, the Mission is not an open-ended commitment, it is provisional as far as the precarious security situation would allow in the conflict zone.

Based on the positive development realised by the implementation of Doha Peace Agreement the tripartite agreed on a negotiated exit strategy, however, UNSC abruptly refused to sign the exit strategy in June last year and suspended the negotiation process for indefinite period, and while waiting the resumption the UNSC suggested to withdraw the Mission gradually from West Darfur and three other bases in North and South Darfur which are areas that do not currently necessitate its presence, noting that withdrawal from other areas would only be possible if a ceasefire and protection of displaced are insured, but the African Union Security and Peace Council (AUSPC) refused a recommendation to extend UNAMID’s mandate without modification for the next 12 months until June 20 2016. This was the state of affairs in Darfur which Peter Fabricius dishonestly trying to depict in his article published in The Herald (February 26, 2016).

There is nothing disgusting than people who pose themselves out there, who reckon without a shadow of a doubt that what they are doing or writing deserves to be accepted as facts by the entire world, people believe in the saying that it’s better not just to believe your own hype, but you should propagate it.

It was stunning for a true African to underestimate a decision that had been taken by his president justified by on ground realities and tried to reflect the other way round on false accounts.

That was exactly what I felt when I read Peter Fabricius article (The Herald, February 26, 2016) about the announcement made by South African President Jacob Zuma (PICTURED ABOVE) when he decided earlier last month to withdraw the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) from Darfur due to the improvement in the region in terms of the security hazard.

The writer wondered about the reasons behind that decision, insinuating and misleading the reader by ascribing it to cost-cutting measures or the intention for redeployment elsewhere, forgetting that South Africa is the main mediator in Darfur conflict and knows exactly what it is doing. UNAMID initiative was proposed and sponsored by the AU in the first place and not the UN, and it is the AU member states to decide to terminate their side of the mission whenever they notice any improvement whatsoever.

The writer was not honest enough when he pointed out to the fighting that took place recently in Jebel Mara area between the so-called Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-AW) led by AbdulwahidNur and the Sudanese Armed Forces – not the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) as he claimed – and also failed to indicate that the ceasefire violated by AbdulwahidNur and his insurgents was initiated by the Government of Sudan unilaterally to pave the way for the National Comprehensive Dialogue proclaimed last year by President Al-Bashir, the approach that the UN itself acknowledged.

It was the rebels who broke the ceasefire attacking the Government Armed Forces prompting a response from the other side. The rebel attacks were meant to disrupt the positive atmosphere created by the implementation of Dawha Peace Agreement that preaches the exit of UNAMID from Darfur, that is what worries such people like Peter Fabricius and his notorious companion Eric Reeves who earn their living out of the suffering of Africans and claim they are African.

Peter Fabricious and Eric Reeves and the like would wish the destabilisation to persist for indefinite time because they are buying the false narrative that the rebel movements are controlling the course of things in the conflict zone. The writer posed a question whether there was a growing Darfur fatigue because the confrontations have diminished to the lowest possible. The undeniable fact is that most ofthe rebel factions have joined the call for the National Comprehensive Dialogue thoughtful that is the way the Sudanese can sort out their differences and chart the way forward.

Finally, the security situation improvement in Darfur is beyond doubts. The implementation of Dawha Peace Agreement absorbed the differences of Darfurians excepts the discussion to have one region or different regions, and that is why the Government is planning to allow the people in Darfur to vote for it.

The Darfur Administrative Referendum is the last thing in the implementation of the agreement; therefore the Regional Authority of Darfur is working hard to do it. The notion of removing Darfur from the administrative map of Sudan by redistricting is the outcome of the ill thinking of the opposition.

The warmongers are suspecting the AU is not giving the Darfur issue the necessary heed, how that could be a line of thinking while the African Union High Implementation Panel presided by the notable former president of South Africa His Excellency Thabo Mbeki is still functioning, doing its best to realise peace in the region and Sudan as well.

We request all our African brothers to shrug off such allegations echoed by such zealots who benefit from the ongoing suffering and killings everywhere, and we express our openness towards any impartial columnist who wants to verify the situation on the ground.

The last but not the least the Sudanese government welcomes the courageous decision taken by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma expecting all the troop contributing AU members to do the same in due course.

The writer is Ambassador of the Republic of The Sudan to Zimbabwe

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