United Nations Establishes Mission to Protect Civilians in Darfur but More is Needed in the Immediate Term
Human Rights First welcomes the adoption of Resolution 1769 establishing the AU/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) by the Security Council this Tuesday afternoon.
By acting unanimously, the members of the Security Council have demonstrated their strong commitment to end the ongoing violence in Darfur.
It is particularly important that the resolution gives the Hybrid operation a clear mandate for the protection of aid workers and civilians against armed attacks. The fact that UNAMID has been established under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and is expressly authorized to take the necessary action to prevent such attacks means that the Hybrid force will have the power to use armed force, including preventative force, should it prove necessary to implement that mandate.
HRF also welcomes the ambitious timetable fixed by the resolution for the deployment of UNAMID. The resolution, however, will not automatically change the bleak reality on the ground in Darfur, as it most likely will take more than a year for the Hybrid force to be fully deployed.
In the meantime, violence continues. The parties have yet to cease hostilities and respect their commitments to past ceasefire agreements. The Sudanese government has also failed to live up to its obligation to disarm its proxy militia, the Janjaweed. This is particularly problematic because the resolution fails to authorize the Hybrid operation to undertake such disarmament together with that of other rebel groups.
Therefore, it is critical that the international community exert forceful pressure on all parties to the conflict to engage fully and immediately in the peace process initiated by the UN and AU Special Envoys and to comply with resolution 1769 and all previous Security Council resolutions concerning the situation in Sudan.
The test of any resolution is its implementation. HRF will closely monitor the efforts of the United Nations and the Members of the Security Council to make it more than another empty promise to the people of Darfur.