Situation Report
Newly displaced people in El Geneina, West Darfur in January 2020_UNHCR
Newly displaced people in El Geneina, West Darfur in January 2020_UNHCR

Inter-communal violence increased in Darfur during the second half of 2020

The incidents of inter-communal violence reported in Darfur doubled during the second half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the security incidents database maintained by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

From July to December 2020, 28 incidents of inter-communal violence were reported across Darfur. During the same period of 2019, 15 incidents were recorded - an 87 per cent increase.

There has been a significant increase in reported cases in West Darfur. Of the 40 incidents reported in 2020, half were from West Darfur. In 2019, North Darfur accounted for one-third of incidents, while West Darfur reported about a quarter.

United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) ended its mission on 31 December 2020 after more than a decade of operations in Darfur. “This was the culmination of a sustained process of consideration of the situation in Sudan and Darfur, including developments related to the peace process and the establishment and progress made by the transitional Government of Sudan in its quest to address the conflict in Darfur”, UNAMID said.

As of 1 January 2021, UNAMID’s troops and police personnel will focus on providing security for the mission’s drawdown activities, personnel and assets.  UNAMID will have a period of six months to undertake the drawdown. This will involve repatriating troops, vehicles and equipment as well as the closure of sites and offices and handing them over to designated entities.

With UNAMID ceasing all its mandate-related activities which have been centred on supporting the peace process, protection of civilians, including facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and supporting the mediation of intercommunal conflicts, the Government of Sudan will fully assume its primary role for addressing all the issues.

To support the Government of Sudan in view of imminent UNAMID withdrawal, UNAMID and UNHCR led a series of joint Protection of Civilians missions to several locations in Central, South and North Darfur from 24 November to 10 December 2020.

Protection sector has made the following recommendations following the joint missions:

- The offices of Walis (Governors) in each Darfur state to activate the State-level Committee established to advance implementation of the National Plan on Protection of Civilians (NPPOC) and invite IDP representatives, including from all ethnic groups, to participate – alongside relevant civilian authorities (HAC, State-level line ministries, locality administrations), security and police actors, civil society, and UN protection sector lead agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA)

- The Government to build on lessons learnt and good practices drawn from UNAMID - The Government to consider the key role of civil society organisations in the implementation of the NPPOC

- The authorities to proactively ensure that plans related to the deployment of Joint Forces in Central Darfur are discussed and agreed with the State-level POC Committee, in order to allow for civil-military coordination on POC, and to ensure civilian oversight and accountability. 

- Increase efforts to ensure that all Joint Forces members receive training on international human rights, and international humanitarian law, including protection of civilians, with support from OHCHR, ICRC UNHCR and other protection agencies.

- For sensitive camps/sites (e.g. Kalma and Kass in South Darfur; Zalengei, Nertiti and Golo in Central Darfur; Kebkabiya and Sortoni in North Darfur), the Government to consider alternative options, e.g. deployment of the Sudan Police alone who may be more readily accepted by IDPs.

- Given partial receptivity towards Joint Forces among IDPs in Nertiti and Golo town, the Government to ensure consultations with IDP leaders on eventual acceptance of an extension of regular joint patrols in Nertiti, Toga and Savanga gathering sites.