Report of the Secretary-General on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (S/2016/587)

Friday, July 1, 2016
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Report of the Secretary-General on the African UnionUnited Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (S/2016/587)

Code: S/2016/587

Date: 1 July 2016

Topic: Covering the period 22 March to 15 June 2016, the report provides an update on the mandate implementation of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and information on the political, humanitarian and security situation in Darfur.

Women, Peace and Security

Pursuant to Resolution 2228 (2015), which extends the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 15 June 2016, the report of the Secretary-General provides an update on the political, security and humanitarian situation, as well as the implementation of the mission’s mandate.[1] This report contains eight WPS-related references and focuses on women’s protection and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).[2] Although there are several WPS concerns highlighted in the mandate,[3] the report fails to provide information on the situation for women and women’s participation in peace processes, protection of civilians, demilitarization and arms management, humanitarian assistance and political processes. Specifically, recalling all WPS resolutions, the mandate supports an inclusive internal dialogue and consultation that reflects the view of the civilian population, including women, on Darfur in the peace process;[4] however, the report fails to provide information on women’s participation or involvement in high-level mediation and local conflict mediation. Overall, the report focuses more on protection than participation and fails to provide a gender analysis of the impact of armed conflict in Darfur.

References in Need of Improvement and Missed Opportunities

Protection of Civilians

The report has two references to women with regard to protection of civilians. Noting that civilians, particularly women and children, are vulnerable to attacks, UNAMID continues to explore ways to address those specific protection issues, including through conducting patrols to protect women and children engaged in livelihood activities outside the camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).[5] However, the report misses an opportunity to provide sex-disaggregated data and gender analysis in assessments of threats to civilian populations or women’s participation in the design and implementation of protection patrols. The report mentions a protection network committee and an integrated field protection team have been established to strengthen coordination and timely response to protection threats,[6] but it does not provide any information on whether consultation with women’s organizations is integrated in the planning and implementation of protection strategy. Future reporting should include assessment of threats to civilian populations, in particular women refugees and IDPs and provide information on the development and implementation of gender-responsive protection measures by mandated Women Protection Advisers.[7]

Support to Military and Police

The report states that UNAMID carried out capacity-building initiatives for Sudanese police, including a workshop on gender mainstreaming and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and training for community policing volunteers.[8] The report does not provide any information on the gender composition of the Sudanese police force, and it is unclear how effectively an one-time workshop can improve the gender-sensitivity of the Sudanese police force. The report also misses an opportunity to highlight the need for consulting women’s groups in providing training on responding to SGBV for Sudanese police and community policing volunteers. Given the mission’s mandated task of protection of civilians,[9] UNAMID should continue providing training on preventing and responding to SGBV for Sudanese police and community policing volunteers and assist in developing a gender-sensitive reporting mechanism for SGBV survivors.

Disarmament and Arms Management

The report misses an opportunity to provide any information on women’s role in disarmament and arms management. Although the report mentions UNAMID’s support for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) efforts and the clearance of explosive remnants,[10] it fails to provide a gender analysis of the DDR programs and women’s participation in demining and arms management. At the minimum, future reporting should provide sex- and age-disaggregated data on civilian casualties caused by explosive remnants and include women’s organizations in the demining and arms management efforts, especially given the link between small arms and SGBV. Moreover, UNAMID should focus on the specific needs or obstacles encountered by female ex-combatants and dependents and ensure gender-sensitive planning and implementation of DDR programs, as per resolutions 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013).[11]

Humanitarian Assistance

The report provides limited information on the gender dimension of humanitarian situations in Darfur. Although the report notes the difficult operating environment for humanitarian actors, including access restrictions, interference by the authorities and the impact of ongoing hostilities and violent incidents,[12] it misses an opportunity to provide a gender analysis of how the humanitarian situations affect women and girls. The report also notes that the authorities prevent UNAMID from interacting with IDPs and host communities to document human rights incidents, and civil society groups operating health-care centres were not allowed to deal with cases involving conflict-related SGBV, especially in Central Darfur.[13] The Security Council should continue urging the Sudanese government to stop interfering with delivery of humanitarian assistance to the population in need, in particular IDPs and SGBV survivors, as per Resolution 2228 (2015).[14] In addition, given its mandated tasks,[15] UNAMID should continue to give priority to ensuring safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access and collaborating with civil society, especially women’s organizations, in the design and delivery of gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance. UNAMID should also assist the Sudanese authorities and humanitarian actors, in consultation with women’s organizations, in developing and implementing gender-responsive return and reintegration programs for female IDPs and refugees.

Human Rights, WPS and Children and Armed Conflict

During the reporting period, it had been observed that women and girls “continued to be exposed to sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence,” and UNAMID documented 24 rape cases, involving 61 survivors (including 16 children).[16] As mentioned above, the Sudanese authorities prevented civil society groups from offering health services to SGBV survivors, especially in Central Darfur.[17] In addition, UNAMID held 150 awareness-raising sessions on sexual violence and security issues for IDPs and five workshops on gender mainstreaming, SGBV and livelihood skills for 163 IDPs (82 men and 81 women).[18] Given its mandated tasks,[19] UNAMID should continue monitoring and reporting on human rights violations committed against women and children, especially SGBV and engage with national institutions, civil society organizations and women’s groups to enhance data collection and analysis of SGBV incidents and patterns, and adopt appropriate measures to prevent and respond to human rights violations and SGBV.[20] UNAMID should also provide reproductive and psychosocial health services, legal and livelihood assistance to SGBV survivors.[21]

Political Processes

The report misses an opportunity to provide information on women’s participation in peace and political processes. Although the report notes that UNAMID offers a programme entitled “Darfur women talking peace” to more than 130 women leaders and training on gender mainstreaming for civil society organizations,[22] it does not mention women’s actual participation in peace processes. Furthermore, while the report discusses UNAMID’s support for the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur,[23] it does not provide any information on women’s involvement in local, regional and international mechanisms of peacebuilding and conflict prevention. There is no reference to women in relation to high-level and local conflict mediation in the report, although the Security Council supports an inclusive political dialogue with full respect for the participation of women and IDPs and requests UNAMID support the development of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation (DIDC) in Resolution 2228 (2015).[24] Therefore, UNAMID should give priority to supporting women’s full and effective participation during all stages of peace processes, including peacebuilding and conflict prevention and monitor and specify the implementation of WPS-related resolutions in future reporting.[25] 

Ideal Asks

Future reporting should integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue and provide an analysis of how women’s specific needs are taken into account and reflected throughout the implementation of the mission’s activities. In particular, future reporting should provide sex-disaggregated data and analysis on women’s participation in peace processes, DDR and arms management, human rights monitoring and humanitarian assistance, as well as how UNAMID supports facilitating women’s participation and empowerment. UNAMID should continue to urge accountability for women’s human rights violations, including SGBV and address the institutional obstacles for women to seek justice and health services. The Security Council should request UNAMID continue promoting women’s participation in local and regional peacebuilding efforts and take appropriate measures to increase women’s representation at all stages of peace processes. In addition, the Security Council should continue calling for the Sudanese government’s cooperation with the mission and humanitarian actors in delivering and distributing humanitarian assistance while paying attention to the specific needs of women IDPs and SGBV survivors, including reproductive and psychological health services and livelihood support. Finally, UNAMID should ensure the gender sensitivity throughout the mission’s activities and consult with women’s civil society organizations regularly and systematically.



[1] The UNAMID mandate components include: 1) protection of civilians, 2) support to military and police, 3) disarmament and arms management, 4) humanitarian support, 5) human rights, WPS and children and armed conflict and 6) political processes.

[2] S/2016/587, para. 43, 45, 50, 51, 52, 54, 57, 69

[3] Please see relevant paragraphs in S/RES/2282 (2015), PP. 5, 6; OP. 4, 10, 18, 19, 24

[4] S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 10, Annex A

[5] S/2016/587, para. 43, 45

[6] S/2016/587, para. 46

[7] The mandate requests UNAMID to strengthen its reporting on SGBV and actions taken to combat it, including through the deployment of Women Protection Advisers. See S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 24

[8] S/2016/587, para. 54

[9] S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 4

[10] S/2016/587, para. 41, 42, 47

[11] See relevant paragraphs on women’s participation in DDR processes in S/RES/2106 (2013), OP. 16(a), S/RES/2122 (2013), OP.4

[12] S/2016/587, para. 33-35

[13] S/2016/587, para. 52

[14] S/RES/2228 (2015), PP. 11, 12

[15] S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 4(b)

[16] S/2016/587, para. 50, 51

[17] S/2016/587, para. 52

[18] S/2016/587, para. 54

[19] S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 19

[20] S/RES/1960 (2010), OP. 8

[21] S/RES/2106 (2013), OP. 19

[22] S/2016/587, para. 57

[23] S/2016/587, para. 39-42

[24] S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 10

[25] S/RES/2228 (2015), OP. 24