New York / Kalma Camp — The UN Security Council (UNSC) extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts on Sudan with a period of 13 months last week. The Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association has requested the Council to implement all resolutions issued against Sudan. It also called for support of the people suffering from hunger in the camps.
On Thursday, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2400, extending the Sudan Panel of Experts' mandate until 12 March 2019.
The UNSC expressed "its intention to regularly review the measures on Darfur in the context of the evolving situation on the ground [..]," the UN said in a press statement on Thursday.
Sudan's ambassador to the UN, Omar Dahab, welcomed the resolution, saying it reflects the improving situation in Darfur.
The panel of independent experts on Sudan was established by the UNSC in 2005 to monitor the situation in Darfur and the sanctions imposed on those impeding peace in the conflict-torn region.
In its report of December last year, the five-member Panel of Experts said that although significantly less new displacement has been recorded in 2017 than in previous years, the situation of the displaced in Darfur remains a major challenge to restoring peace and stability in the region.
"Sexual and gender-based violence remains prevalent, exacerbated by impunity and the ready availability of weapons," the report read.
The Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association has responded to the new resolution by officially requesting the UNSC to implement all resolutions issued against Sudan, in particular Resolution 1556 (2004) that calls for the disarmament of the militias in Darfur, and Resolution 1593 (2005) which referred the case of Darfur to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"We requested the Council to push for the arrest of those accused of war crimes and genocide, headed by Al Bashir, Ahmed Haroun, Abdelrahim Hussein and Ali Kushayb, and to bring them to trial at the ICC," Hussein Abusharati, the spokesman for the association told Radio Dabanga from Kalma camp in South Darfur.
"A growing number of children are begging for food in front of mosques and on the streets - which makes them also extremely vulnerable to exploitation." - camp leader
The community leader further appealed to the international community, and international and Sudanese humanitarian and human rights organisations "to intervene and alleviate the suffering of the camp residents in Darfur".
"The extremely difficult economic situation in the country is also taking its toll in Darfur. Because of the huge inflation, people cannot afford more than a simple meal a day any more.
"The displaced living in Kalma camp have become desperate, in particular after the distribution of food aid stopped six months ago," Abusharati said. "Hunger and the lack of medicines are leading to more and more sick people and deaths."
"A growing number of children are begging for food in front of mosques and on the streets - which makes them also extremely vulnerable to exploitation," he added.
On Thursday, members of the North Darfur Parliament urged the local government to declare famine in the state. They criticised the authorities for their silence about the deteriorating living conditions and the growing corruption in the region.