UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
The head of the African Union (AU) and United
Nations peacekeeping operations in Sudan’s Darfur, Jeremiah N.
Mamabolo, said here Tuesday that the Darfur status quo could
lead to more bloodshed as a “different” Darfur has emerged since
Mamabolo said while
briefing the UN Security Council that “the Darfur of today is a
very different place from what the region was in 2003, when the
armed conflict began, and from that of a year ago.”
forces of the government of Sudan and the main three
non-signatory armed movements has considerably diminished.
However, against the backdrop of economic hardship and social
depression, banditry and criminality continue to be widespread.
Mamabolo said that
efforts to get parties to the conflict to sign a cessation of
hostilities agreement and to start direct negotiations towards
an inclusive peace agreement have remained inconclusive.
He warned that the
status quo is hurting all parties and can only lead to more
Meanwhile, he also
stressed the need to identify durable solutions to enable the
return of internally displaced people to their places of origin
“In view of the
current circumstances in Darfur, a pragmatic reconfiguration of
UNAMID (the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur) will become
necessary and the AU and UN will have to focus on how best that
could be done without compromising the gains thus far made,”
He said that on
March 5-17, UNAMID received an AU-UN strategic review team,
which met with the government of Sudan in Khartoum and Darfur,
and travelled throughout the Darfur region. UNAMID awaits the
outcome of these deliberations.
The three strategic
priorities established by the Council in 2014 continue to
provide a framework within which UNAMID implements its mandate
to protect civilians, mitigate inter-communal conflicts and
mediate between the government and the non-signatory armed
The past three
months have also witnessed a continued reduction in the number
of inter-communal security incidents, in particular as a result
of the more effective involvement of the native administrations
and the impact of security measures by State governments,
leading to an increased number of peace agreements.
has not seen any new displacement in 2017.
Cooperation with the
government has noticeably improved in terms of humanitarian
access. UNAMID and the UN country team have repeatedly been able
to visit previously off-limits areas in Jebel Marra while UN
humanitarian partners are commencing regular helicopter flights
However, efforts by
the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to get warring
parties to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement and start
direct negotiations towards an inclusive peace agreement to end
the conflict have remained inconclusive, Mamabolo said.
Although the Sudan
Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid al-Nur (SLA/AW) is no longer capable
of mounting and sustaining significant military operations, it
continues to refuse to join the peace process and seems to want
to continue to fight, he explained.
“We would like to
appeal to this Council and those with influence and leverage on
him to persuade him to recognize the importance of a political
settlement and desist from bringing more suffering to the very
people that he professes to represent,” Mamabolo said.
In February 2015, a
tripartite committee composed of Sudan’s government, the UN and
the African Union, was formed with the aim to reach a deal on
UNAMID’s exit from Darfur.
UNAMID took over the
peacekeeping task in Darfur from the African Union Mission in
Sudan on Dec. 31, 2007.
The UNAMID is
considered the second biggest peacekeeping mission in the world,
after the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It consists of over
20,000 personnel of military, police and civilian components,
with a budget of 1.4 million U.S. dollars in 2013.
UN welcomes Sudan’s extension
of children protection plan
KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) --
The United Nations on Tuesday welcomed Sudan
government’s extension of the Action Plan for the Protection of
Children from Violations in Armed Conflict.
The UN Country Task
Force on Monitoring and Reporting hailed the substantial
progress Sudan has made to implement and reaffirm the
commitment, to which the country and the UN will make joint
effort for the rights of children in Sudan, according to a UN
pointed to the key milestones in the implementation of the plan
by the Sudanese government, including the release of 21 children
formerly associated with armed groups, and their receipt of
“In addition, the
government has enacted laws and policies to prevent the
recruitment and use of children in its forces, and provided the
UN access for the purposes of monitoring and verification,” it
The UN also said
that it would work together with the Sudanese government to
address other gaps in the full implementation of the action
The plan set out a
series of measures to enhance the overall protection of children
affected by armed conflict, including the cessation and
prevention of child recruitment.
Sudan has been
fighting the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern
sector at South Kordofan and Blue Nile states since 2011. It has
also been fighting armed groups in Darfur since 2003.
Africa looks for solutions to
quelea birds threating food security
KHARTOUM Sudan(Xinhua) --
Regional workshop sessions to identify a strategy
to control quelea kicked off on Tuesday in the Sudanese capital
A total of 13
African countries participated in the workshop as well as the
United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Quelea, a red-billed
small bird, is one of the most dangerous agricultural pests
threatening food security in Africa, despite efforts exerted by
the continent’s countries to get rid of the risk of birds in
the number of quelea, originating from Africa, at around 100
million, with an average daily grain consumption of 10 grams per
one, thus a flock of two million quelea birds can devour 20 tons
of grain in one day.
from a number of African countries and FAO experts are
participating in this important conference, due to the danger
posed by the quelea bird on food security in Africa,” said
Sudan’s Agriculture Minister Ibrahim Al-Dekheiri during the
workshop’s opening session.
“Flocks of quelea
birds attack and destroy millions of hectares of agricultural
farms and fields annually, leading to substantial grain
deficiency in the African continent,” he noted.
He added that Sudan
loses millions of U.S. dollars on plans placed by the Plant
Protection Directorate, an affiliate of Sudan’s Ministry of
Agriculture, to face pest birds, namely quelea birds.
He brought up
international agreements, including the Rotterdam Convention,
concerning finding safer alternatives to spray fenthion, a
chemical pesticide, where quelea birds breed or live.
The FAO estimates
the agricultural loss resulting from quelea birds at over 50
million dollars annually.
Mukhtar, Assistant FAO Resident Representative in Sudan, said
the workshop endeavors to empower the African continent to
overcome the risk of pest birds, particularly quelea birds.
“These birds are a
great threat to Africa’s food security, one of the main causes
of famine, therefore, we must unite our efforts and find
applicable solutions in the face of this risk,” he told
He further noted
that regional countries tend to have a road-map in order to find
alternatives and develop pilot projects to completely eliminate
quelea birds through safer alternatives for both humans and the
Quelea birds are
found in several African countries all the way from South Africa
to North Africa such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritania as
well as the African coast.
Sudan has been
suffering from quelea bird flock attacks against agriculture,
particularly in the Gezira State in central Sudan and the
Northern State in Northern Sudan, which constitute major
agricultural areas for grain cultivation, namely maize and
Dr. Fawziya Abbas,
Deputy General Director of the Plant Protection Directorate in
Sudan said Sudan is one of the most affected African countries
by quelea birds.
“Thousands of farms are affected by quelea birds’ flock attacks,
and local measures have failed to decrease the catastrophe. We
look forward to finding scientific alternatives in this
conference,” she told reporters on Tuesday.