The Report of the Security General (S/2014/26) dated 15 January 2014 pursuant to SCR 2123 (2013) provided an update on the implementation of the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the situation in Darfur covering the period of 1 October to 31 December 2013. The report is divided into the following sections: political developments, protection of civilians from physical violence; security situation and freedom of movement; humanitarian situation, rule of law, governance and human rights; rule of law, governance and human rights; mission deployment and operations; and progress against benchmarks. It reported on limited progress in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, intensified intercommunal violence, and continued human rights violations. Positively, there was progress towards an inclusive peace agreement, with a peace and security technical workshop that was organized by the AU-UN Joint Special Representative and Joint Mediator for Darfur along with IGAD for representatives from the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi (SLA-Minni Minawi ) and JEM-Jibril Ibrahim in December. Additionally, the AU Commission, the government of Qatar, and UNAMID endorsed a concept note, communications strategy, and roadmap for the Darfur-based dialogue.
Women, Peace and Security were mentioned in regards to the work of UNAMID and in reporting of sex-disaggregated data. UNAMID provided technical support to the Federal Political Parties Commission for a workshop on women’s participation in constitution-making processes; supported three workshops for community leaders to promote increased women’s participation in traditional administrations; supported another workshop on legal and policy reforms for women in Western Darfur to enhance women’s participation in the judicial system; and partnered with the Northern Darfur Ministry of Social Affairs to conduct a training on sexual and gender-based violence for local authorities in Kabkabiya. Further, in UNAMID’s efforts to support community level conflict resolution, a common recommendation referenced by participants was the need to increase women’s participation in reconciliation processes. In regards to women’s human rights protection concerns, the report provided sex-disaggregated data in reporting on victims of sexual and gender-based violence and noted that underreporting of these crimes continued due to stigma and lack of confidence in government authorities. Further, the report provided data on female IDPs that attended UNAMID’s workshop on the rights of IDPs and provided sex-disaggregated in reporting on civilians deaths.
The report missed several key opportunities to reference women, peace and security, both in regards to women’s participation and women’s human rights protection concerns. Women’s participation in key peace and security processes was absent from the report. First, there was no consideration of women’s participation as third party mediators or of the inclusion of women’s human rights in the technical workshop on peace and security between the SLA-Minni Minawi and JEM-Jibril Ibrahim. Similarly, women’s participation and women’s human rights concerns were also absent from the planning processes of the Darfur-based dialogue. Additionally, the report failed to consider the gender-specific impact of displacements caused by intercommunal fighting. Since women and children make up the vast majority of IDPs, it was crucial to provide sex-disaggregated data when reporting on displacements. Further, aside from reporting on female civilian deaths, gender considerations were missing from the report’s discussion of civilian protection and humanitarian assistance.
In relation to the recommendations put forth in the July 2013 MAP, the report’s record was rather mixed. The MAP called for numerous points including: sex-disaggregated data; an update regarding progress and barriers to the third benchmark on the rule of law and human rights, particularly regarding sexual and gender-based violence; explicit support gender advisers; ensuring civilian protection, including women and children, and protection from sexual and gender-based violence; and continued reporting on progress made in creating and implementing a strategy to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence. The report provided sex-disaggregated data when reporting on civilian deaths and female participation in UNAMID supported activities, but was devoid of sex-disaggregated in regards to reporting on IDPs as well as sexual and gender-based violence. The report discussed the efforts of UNAMID to ensure women’s participation in political and judicial processes. In civilian protection, particularly against sexual and gender-based violence, however, women’s specific protection and rehabilitation needs were not considered. Finally, there was no mention of creating or implementing a strategy to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.
The report of 15 January 2014 was on par with the previous report of S/2013/607 (2013). Both reports provided sex-disaggregated in reporting on civilian deaths and women’s participation in UNAMID supported training and community-based events. In addition, both reports highlighted UNAMID’s numerous gender mainstreaming activities. Unfortunately, both reports failed to consider the importance of women’s participation and inclusion in negotiations between armed groups.