Panel of Experts’ Final Report Failed to Provide an Objective View of the Situation in Darfur

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The Panel of Experts established under Security Council Resolution 1591 ended its mandate last year by submitting its final report, which failed to provide an objective view of the situation in Darfur, despite their visit to Sudan and their meeting with the government and parties concerned.

Compared with the previous reports, this report lack of substantive results based on the facts and also overlook many facts, particularly,  facts regarding the parties who impede the peace process in Darfur.

In this report we will review the Panel of Experts’ imperfect report and the reasons behind it.

The most important of these is that the Panel of experts may have been affected by many false statements they heard during their visit to the country, especially from the rebel movements, in addition to the lack of analysis of the situation and events in Darfur in a depth that accommodates developments on the ground and encourages prospects for broad solutions to solve a problem radically.

The report focused in ten axes, including the cooperation of the government of the Sudan, the peace process, regional dynamics, the situation in Jebel Marra, armed movements in neighboring countries, weapons collection campaign, the travel ban, assets freeze, financing armed movements in addition to recommendations and appendixes.

In paragraph ten, the report refer to the government’s repeated declaration of a cease-fire, noting that some movements had also declared this for humanitarian purposes, but the report ignored the fact that these movements hindered the political process and its obvious violations of the ceasefire, particularly, the violations against the civilians and systematic looting.

Over the past year, groups of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid Nur (SLM-AW), have repeatedly attacked the pastoralist areas in Jebel Marra and looting their cattle.

The government and UNAMID reports have documented many of these cases, which  carried out by SLM-AW and killed dozens.

last November SLM-AW forces committed a massacre in the “Kindeer” district in Jebel Marra against the Saada tribe by killing (11) civilian, wounding (25), and looting (700) cattle.

This heinous crime is one of the series of similar crimes that always ended with the shooting and killing for looting cattle.

Those who carry out such crimes are known for their community and eyewitness statements, but the report of the Panel of Experts avoided them or calling to track and punish them, which encourages such criminals to continue committing such crimes against civilians.

Since 2016, Abdel Wahid has formed a special force to loot the cattle of the tribes located in the foothills of Jebel Marra, and deport it to the border and exchange it with weapons in agreement with the groups of smugglers active in those areas.

This force seeks to provoke pastoral tribes against other population groups in an attempt to create an environment conducive to renewed conflict and thus large-scale displacement.

The rebel movements aimed to demonstrate the government’s inability to impose security and accuse it of inciting pastoral tribes against other groups, it also aims to impeding the displaced persons’ voluntary return to their areas, and seeking to obstruct UNAMID’s exit strategy from Darfur.

Concerning the government’s willingness to continue negotiating with the rebel movements under Doha document for peace in Darfur, the report claimed that this document did not exist on the ground and lacked funding and human resources.

With regard to regional dynamics axis, the report pointed to the weak link between Sudan and neighboring countries and its negative impact on the situation in Darfur. We are very concerns about the report’ conclusions, which seem strange and illogical such as that the peace process in south Sudan and its good relationship with Sudan may have a negative impact on the situation of the Darfurian movements Armed Forces in South Sudan !.

The UN Security Council has adopted last June a resolution submitted by the United States and Britain to punish Abdul Wahid for continuing to obstruct peace efforts in Darfur, this come following the meeting of the Security Council, where the participating countries affirmed the improvement in the situation in Darfur and confirmed its support for the UNAMID withdrawal plan from the region.

The report pointed out that Abdul Wahid had allowed UNAMID to reach the areas under its control, which were affected by mountain torrents and landslides and killed 20 people, which contradicts the facts documented by the UNAMID when the government requested to visit “Taraya” area to deliver humanitarian aids to the affected people, and provided the necessary aids for its work. In that time Abdul Wahid issued a statement accusing UNAMID of colluding with the government to distribute humanitarian aids.

The report of the experts explicitly ignored in paragraph (14) the role of the government in the Darfur dialogue and reconciliation within the framework of the Doha document, referring to UNAMID’s role in facilitating this dialogue and did not address the “Al-godya” civil reforms that succeeded in resolving many issues.

The report referred in paragraph (17) to the Troika countries (the United States, Britain and Norway) positions, which condemned the clashes between the government and Abdel Wahid, stressing that the conflict in Darfur cannot be resolved militarily and that sanctions should be imposed against those who continued to impede the political process.

Here the report is equal between the government and Abdel Wahid’s movement, despite Abdel Wahid’s ongoing effort to obstacle the peace with the testimony of the international community and the troika itself.

The movement doesn’t engaged in the  recent round of consultations between the government and the two movements, Jibril Ibrahim and Manii Minawi, in preparation for formal negotiations.

With regard to the battles that took place during the past year, Abdul Wahid is responsible for breaching the cease-fire following its attack on government forces in the Jawa area,which lead the government forces to defend themselves. The repeated attacks on herders, looting cattle continued intensively, which the report avoided it.

In the recent years, the situation in Darfur has positively changed, which lead many experts demanding the Security Council to reconsider this resolution specifically and other resolutions and procedures relating to Darfur in general.