Sudan: Lawyers - Situation in Darfur Is 'Fragile'

Khartoum — The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) in Khartoum describes the situation in Darfur as 'fragile'. This requires an UN peacekeeping mission that is allowed to use force, the lawyers say.

In a memorandum sent to Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Monday, the DBA requested that the new United Nations mission will be established under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, "so that it can disarm militias and help to achieve a comprehensive peace".

In the latest reports of violent incidents reaching Radio Dabanga, merchant Yahya Mousa (45) was shot dead and Abdelkarim Fadul was wounded by gunmen between Gerni and Nierteti in Central Darfur yesterday.

In Nierteti, armed men pillaged three lorries carrying goods from Nyala to the area west of Jebel Marra.

Feisal Idris was wounded when cattle rustlers stole 47 cows in the area north of Nierteti on Monday.

The DBA statement points out that the current Unamid peacekeeping mission is based on Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. This allows the UN troops to use force to prevent violent conflict.

Three weeks ago, the Sudanese government announced it desires a UN presence in Sudan based on chapter VI of the United Nations Charter. Such a UN mission is also meant to support the maintenance, monitoring, and building of peace, but does not allow the international troops to use force.

Two weeks ago, a group of Sudanese civil society activists urged Prime Minister Hamdok in a petition to add 'physical protection' to his request for a new UN force to be deployed in the country.

The UN Security Council decided on 30 March that the Unamid mission in Darfur shall maintain its current troop and police ceilings until 31 May.

The Darfur lawyers emphasise that respecting the right of the people to live is more important than allegations of 'infringement of the national sovereignty', as was said during the era of the deposed dictator Omar Al Bashir. Not asking for a UN mission that can maintain peace and disarm militia shows The situation in Darfur and the whole of Sudan show "a lack of knowledge about the dangers the people in Darfur, and in fact in the whole country, face", the lawyers say.

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