3 July 2014

Sudan: UN Probes Allegations Against Darfur Peace Mission

Photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran/UN
A displaced woman sits on a bed next to the remnants of her burnt house in Khor Abeche, South Darfur.

New York — The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General expressed his concern about the accusations against the African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid), and launched an investigation into the allegations and the mission's earlier reports.

In a press release on Thursday (today), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the allegations that Unamid inaccurately reported on issues in Darfur and failed to protect civilians as "serious". He is "determined to take all necessary steps to correct any wrongdoing".

His statement comes nearly three months after Radio Dabanga published a series of interviews with former Unamid spokesman, Aicha Elbasri, who revealed that the mission had misinformed the UN by withholding important details about Darfur.

Ban Ki-moon now has instructed the Secretariat to review the reports of all investigations and inquiries undertaken since mid-2012, to ensure that their recommendations have been implemented, and enable him to determine what action needs to be taken.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, urged the UN on 17 June to investigate the allegations against Unamid. She called for "a thorough, independent and public enquiry". "It impugns the credibility of the mission as a whole."

Unamid Leaks

Former Unamid spokesman Elbasri reported in the beginning of April this year that "the UN did not tell the world that the Sudanese government failed to disarm the Janjaweed militias; that it, conversely, reintegrated them into paramilitary forces under new names, and let them continue committing their widespread, systematic attacks directed against the civilian population in Darfur. In order to satisfy the Sudanese government, the word Janjaweed did not appear in more than 30 reports by the Secretary-General except once, and that was in 2008."

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