Head of UNITAMS Regional Office in Darfur Assesses Security and Humanitarian Situations in West Darfur State

14 Apr 2022

Head of UNITAMS Regional Office in Darfur Assesses Security and Humanitarian Situations in West Darfur State

From 30 March to 4 April 2022, the Head of UNITAMS Regional Office in Darfur, Ms. Abimbola Aina, visited El Geniena town, the capital of West Darfur State, to assess the security and humanitarian situations following recent intercommunal violence, which resulted in massive displacement among the civilian population, to advocate peaceful solutions, present the Mission’s mandate and activities as well as identifying areas of engagement and cooperation between UNITAMS, local authorities and other stakeholders. 

Ms. Aina met with the Acting Wali (Governor) of the State, Mr. Khamis Ali Abdallah, who briefed her and accompanied the team on the security and humanitarian situations in the state. “Recent surge of violence has forced more than 300.000 people to flee their villages and sought refuge in neighboring Chad, while over 954.000 persons were internally displaced in El Geniena town- who are occupying public buildings, schools, governmental facilities and living on the streets in dire humanitarian conditions. The situation has impacted the delivery of public service such as education and healthcare for the entire population in the town of El Geniena,” the Wali said. He called on the United Nations agencies to provide urgently needed assistance such as shelter and water for the affected people and called for the acceleration of the implementation of the security arrangements of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA).

For her part, Ms. Aina reiterated UNITAMS’s commitment to supporting the Sudanese authorities in their efforts to realize peace. She revealed that UNITAMS is setting up its Sub-office in West Darfur State to assist in implementing the Mission’s mandate, including the security arrangements of the Juba Peace Agreement. “UNITAMS and the United Nations Country Team’s relevant agencies are working closely on initiatives regarding peacebuilding programs, including bringing together rival communities to reach a durable solution for the communal conflict, engaging all stakeholders in the state to bring about sustainable development and lasting peace in the area,” disclosed Ms. Aina.

The Head of Office had a meeting with the State Police Director, Major General Suliman Ismail Kharef, and discussed the Mission’s planned activities in protecting civilians and peacebuilding and the future cooperation between both sides. She reminded him that the primary responsibility for protecting civilians rests with the Government of Sudan, noting that UNITAMS will support the efforts of authorities and all stakeholders to realize peace in the country, including Darfur.

Ms. Aina also met with the Sultan (Chief native administration), Mr. Saad Bahr Eldein, who provided a brief on the general situations of the internally displaced persons and the background of the communal conflict in West Darfur. He appreciated the visit and expressed his support for UNITAMS’s efforts toward realizing peace in Darfur. “We, as Sudanese, are part of the world, and we have a role to play for the sake of our country. Therefore, we are backing UNITAMS’s endeavors regarding peacebuilding activities and reconciliations. I urge UNITAMS to utilize and mobilize it is resources for the benefit of the local population and engage citizens at the grassroots level when implementing its programs,” said the Sultan.

During the visit, Ms. Aina also had separate meetings with representatives of the nomadic communities, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Krinding, as well as the Misseriya Jebel community and listened to their concerns on issues related to the security and humanitarian situation. The representatives requested urgent provision of shelter and healthcare services for those affected and the necessity of engaging women and youth in activities implemented by UNITAMS and other UN agencies. On her part, Ms. Aina called on the representatives to disseminate the message of peaceful coexistence among their respective communities and take the lead in reconciliation efforts in their areas. 

The Head of Office also met with visiting delegation of donors supporting the Sudan Humanitarian Fund and the Deputy Head of OCHA in Sudan, as well as the United Nations agencies operating in West Darfur State.