Panafrican News Agency

Sudan: UN, Sudan launch joint programme for rule of law in Darfur

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - The United Nations and Sudanese government have launched a programme to help different law enforcement bodies in the country observe the rule of law in Darfur, a region marred by conflict and inter-ethnic fighting since 2003, with wide violations and breaches of law.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Tuesday described the event as “a major drive to enhance the rule of law in Darfur”, involving the United Nations, the Sudanese Ministry of Justice and the Sudanese Ministry of International Cooperation. The joint venture provides joint operational country support in the police, justice and corrections areas in post-conflict and other crisis situations.

The release received by PANA in Khartoum said the endeavour, labelled the “Global Focal Point”, is a joint programme for rule of law in Darfur and is a United Nations working arrangement between the UN Department of Peacekeeping (DPKO), the United Nations Development Programme and other UN partners.

It explained that the programme aims to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development by strengthening rule of law institutions, empowering rights holders and enhancing mechanisms to address land issues in Darfur.

The release said this programme is of crucial importance to the region as it reflects a transition towards recovery and development and has been developed following wide consultations with the Government, civil society organisations, and UN Agencies at all levels.

Ms. Bintou Keita, Deputy Joint Special Representative (Protection), said UNAMID along with other participating UN agencies under the Joint Programme will monitor criminal trials to identify and document weakness and capacity deficit in the justice chain.

Through these activities, she stressed, UNAMID will help to maintain stability in pilot areas, contribute to the protection of civilians – including returnee populations and women, and facilitate the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

She added that UNAMID will continue to work with national authorities to monitor, evaluate and strengthen the capacity of rural court judges to resolve and mediate conflicts over land and other resources.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ms. Marta Ruedas was quoted as saying: “By enhancing the capacity of human rights and community-based access to justice, we are empowering the poor and other vulnerable groups to claim their rights, while at the same time increasing the respect for human rights in Darfur.”

Once fully established, she said, the programme will represent the first organized transition from a peacekeeping mission to the United Nations Country Team (UNCT).

She stressed that never have so many UN organizations teamed up on a single Rule of Law programme matter, "making this a showcase of how we can work better together".

The acting Minister of International Cooperation, Mr. Osman Ahmed Fadel Wash, asserted that the programme builds a solid foundation for sustainable peace reflecting national ownership and a strong sense of partnership and coordination between the UN and the Government as well as among UN agencies and other stakeholders.

“The programme is a key pillar to social stability. It ensures women’s empowerment for the development of communities and vulnerable groups,” he said.
-0- PANA MO/MA 22Nov2016