Peacekeeping operations in Sudan are led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and work to create the conditions for lasting peace. There are currently two peace keeping operations in the country which are UNAMID and UNISFA. Both missions employ military, police and civilian personnel, who work to deliver security, political and early peacebuilding support.
United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
The United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is a joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping mission formally approved by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769 on July 31, 2007, to bring stability to the Darfur region of Sudan. The mandate is renewed yearly, and the adoption of Security Council resolution 2173 on 26 August 2014 extended it for a further 10 months, until 30 June 2015.
The mandate of UNAMID includes:
- Protection of civilians, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of Sudan;
- Facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance and ensuring the safety of humanitarian personnel;
- Mediating between the Government of Sudan and non-signatory armed movements on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur; and
- Supporting the mediation of community conflict, including through measures to address its root causes.
The Mission’s headquarters is in El Fasher, North Darfur. It has sector headquarters in El Geneina (West Darfur), Nyala (South Darfur), Zalingei (Central Darfur) and El Daein (East Darfur). The Mission has 35 deployment locations throughout the five Darfur states.
On 31 July 2007, the Mission had an authorized strength of 25,987 uniformed peacekeepers. This included 19,555 troops, 360 military observers and liaison officers, 3,772 police advisers and 2,660 formed police units (FPU). In mid-2011, UNAMID stood at 90 per cent of its full authorized strength, making it one of the largest UN peacekeeping operations. By resolution 2063 of 31 July 2012, the Security Council decided to decrease strength of military and police components. The Mission has now an authorized strength of 23,743 personnel. This includes up to 19,248 uniformed peacekeepers (15,845 troops, 1,583 police advisers and 1,820 formed police units) and a civilian component of up to 4,495 peacekeepers (1,185 international staff, 340 UN volunteers, and 2,970 national personnel).
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)
On 27 June 2011, the Security Council authorized the deployment of a peacekeeping force to the disputed Abyei Area, which straddles northern and southern Sudan and has been claimed by both sides. The Council’s action came in response to the renewed violence, escalating tensions and population displacement in the Abyei region as Southern Sudan was preparing to formally declare its independence from the Sudan on 9 July 2011 — the culmination of acomprehensive 2005 peace agreement. Resource rich Abyei had in the weeks prior to the Security Council decision been the scene of deadly clashes that drove more than 100,000 people from their homes.
With the unanimous adoption of resolution 1990 (2011), the Council formally established, for six months, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), which would comprise a maximum of 4,200 military personnel*, 50 police personnel and appropriate civilian support. Authorizing the use of force to protect civilians and humanitarian workers in Abyei, the Council underscored the need for UNISFA’s quick deployment and urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “to take necessary steps to ensure rapid and effective implementation” of the resolution.
The new operation answered the call for speedy Council action in the wake of the agreement reached on 20 June between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to withdraw their respective forces and allow Ethiopian peacekeepers in Abyei (the so-called ‘Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area’). Under that deal, brokered by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, the two sides agreed on the need for a third party to monitor the flashpoint border between north and south.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council also authorized UNISFA, within its capabilities and its area of deployment, to take the necessary actions to protect UN personnel, facilities, installations, and equipment; ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, relief workers and members of the Joint Military Observers Committee and Joint Military Observer Teams; and, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the relevant authorities, “to protect civilians in the Abyei area under imminent threat of physical violence”. It also authorized the use of force to protect the area “from incursions by unauthorized elements”, as defined in the agreement between the parties.