Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

29 November 2012

Sudan: 'New Strategy for Protection of Civilians'

El-Fasher — Aichatou Mindaoudou, Acting Joint Special Representative of UNAMID, announced that the Mission is in the process of developing a new strategy to protect civilians in the regions.

The process is based on cooperation with various parties in order to access some of the targeted areas and remedy the escalating violence, Radio Dabanga learned on Wednesday November 28.

According to Sudan News Agency (SUNA), the Mission's acting chief stated during a meeting in El-Fasher on Wednesday with the governor of North Darfur, Osman Kiber that the new strategy will be presented to the Government of Sudan in the upcoming days, via UNAMID's head of the North Darfur sector.

The acting chief expressed her grave concern about the recent incidents that have occurred in the areas of Korma and Saraf Omra, SUNA reported. The incidents allegedly claimed the lives of four farmers in the two regions. She noted that such incidents could cause an escalation of violence.

SUNA also reported that the Mission's acting chief demanded the state government to urgently grant UNAMID and humanitarian organizations access to the targeted areas in Darfur. She added that granting access will prevent the issue from having a negative impact on the donors' conference.

No ransom

At the same time, she applauded the government's efforts for the release of the two abducted Jordanian security officers. The Jordanian officers were kidnapped from Kabkabiya's market approximately 101 days ago. Aichatou stressed that UNAMID will not pay any ransom for the abductees.

For his part, North Darfur's governor renewed the state government's rejection to pay any ransom for the release of the abductees. He described the request for ransom as 'blackmailing by criminals who commit crimes such as kidnapping with the purpose of obtaining money'.

Kiber denied the presence of movement restrictions for international humanitarian organizations in the state and stressed that the protection of civilians is a direct responsibility undertaken by the government and the state's security committee.

He added that these tasks are considered as direct constitutional responsibilities which may not be compromised. Lastly, the governor said that the details of the new strategy will be presented to the Humanitarian Aid Commission and the security apparatus, after which the state government can discuss and clarify its vision.

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