December 18th, 2014
Written Parliamentary Question and letter to Ban Ki-Moon on atrocities in Darfur
Baroness Cox recently tabled a written question in the House of Lords asking Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the response of the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to recent incidents including mass rape in Darfur.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns responded on behalf of the Government, stating “We note that UNAMID was granted access to Tabit on 9 November, but are concerned by reports that their investigations took place under the close observation of Sudanese security officials. It is important that UNAMID now continue with a thorough and impartial investigation and that all relevant information is included in future public communications.” The full written response is available to download below.
Earlier this month, over 50 NGOs, individuals and organisations, including Baroness Cox and HART, wrote to Ban Ki-moon and Herve Ladsous (Department of Peace Keeping Operations, UN) regarding the management of UNAMID and its ability to protect civilians and investigate attacks.
The letter states “There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that UNAMID has repeatedly failed to properly investigate alleged attacks on Darfur civilians, and has been systematically impeded and intimidated by Sudanese security services and the Sudanese authorities, in direct contravention of the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement signed by the Khartoum government.
The concerns expressed by local people and international NGOs have been reinforced by the testimony of former UNAMID spokesperson Aicha Elbasri, and by recent events in Tabit, where 200 girls and women were allegedly raped. When UNAMID personnel finally went to Tabit to investigate, they allowed Sudanese security services not only to accompany them but to film, and therefore intimidate, the local witnesses to whom they spoke.”
The letter goes on to ask a number of critical questions arising from these concerns.
The full text of the letter, and a list of signatories, can be downloaded below.
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