Putting People First - The Protection Challenge Facing UNAMID in Darfur

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Eastern Africa

For five years, Darfurians have been asking for protection from devastating volence and attacks. The international community has repeatedly promised this protection but has failed to deliver. Now, the new United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is in danger of becoming the world's latest broken promise. While recognising that a long-term solution to the conflict can only come through negotiations, the African Union agreed to provide protection and deployed a peacekeeping force(the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS)) in 2004. Four years later, an under-funded and under-supported AMIS proved incapable of protecting people. The civilian population now looks to the first United Nations-African Union "hybrid" mission to help improve security. But six months after initial deployment, UNAMID has failed to provide adequate protection. The force lacks critical resources, leaving the people of Darfur, humanitarian agencies, and even its own peacekeepers vulnerable to ongoing attacks and extreme violence.

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Gender and Peace Support Operations: Opportunities and Challenges to Improve Practice, Int Alert, 2002