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International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI)
Letter to the Members of the African Union Peace and Security Council
20 July 2010
On behalf of a coalition of African advocates, Dismas Nkunda, co-chair of the Darfur Consortium, co-director of IRRI and ICRtoP Steering Committee member has addressed a letter to the AU Peace and Security Council. It calls on the AU to “ensure that UNAMID is given the tools and political support required to effectively implement its protection mandate”. The letter reveals numerous logistical inconsistencies preventing UNAMID from effectively implementing its mandate as well as a worrying deteriorating situation in Darfur. Indeed, “In addition to the deteriorating security environment for civilians, humanitarian workers and UNAMID personnel are facing increased dangers. The threat of kidnapping has restricted travel outside of state capitals and there are numerous incidents of national and international staff being assaulted or facing gunfire”. Also hampering UNAMID’s work are the lack of technical support, the slow deployment of remaining troops, flight restrictions over South Darfur and political stalemate.
More specifically, the letter asks the African Union to help UNAMID enforce its February 2010 Darfur Protection Strategy. In this framework, the AU and UNAMID should focus primarily on: freedom of movement, protection of civilians, humanitarian access, sufficient training and equipment of personnel, human rights obligations and emergency law.

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