New York — "The Darfur of today is a very different place from what the region was in 2003, when the armed conflict began," Jeremiah Mamabolo, the new Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of the UN hybrid peacekeeping mission Unamid, briefed the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
In his daily press briefing, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters that Malambo explained that "fighting between 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 in the region".
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 bloodshed.
He also stressed the need to identify durable solutions to enable the return of internally displaced people to their places of origin or reintegration.
"The proliferation of small arms and light weapons feed those negative phenomena, as well as inter-communal violence usually triggered by competition mostly over land, water, grazing and mineral resources".
The Unamid chief pointed that the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) has been weakened and the government has retaken the control of areas previously held by the rebel group.