Joint security forces in Darfur receive training on human rights, protection of civilians and humanitarian principles – Sudan

From 26 to 30 May 2022, UNITAMS and the United Nations Country Team organized a workshop for 56 military commanders and managers, representing government security forces and armed movements signatories to the Juba Peace Agreement ( app). The objective of the workshop is to train personnel of the Joint Security Forces (JSKF) in Darfur on standards relating to human rights, protection of civilians (POC) and humanitarian principles.

Held in Elfasher, North Darfur, the workshop showcased the application of international human rights standards, international humanitarian law and protection principles, including the protection of the rights of children and women , as well as the implementation of applicable national policies and laws, such as the Criminal Procedure Code, the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians, the APP and the Constitutional Declaration of 2019.

The workshop is part of the facilitation of the implementation of the safety provisions stipulated in the APP and aims to equip participants with knowledge and skills as well as to enable them to contribute effectively to the recognition of human rights, protection of civilians, respect for humanitarian principles, and sensitize elements of the forces to protect the civilian population, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ms. Khardiata Lo N’Diaye, reiterated UNITAMS support for the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, including security arrangements. “Today marks an important milestone in the efforts of the Government of Sudan with the support of its partners to address the challenges of protecting civilians. I have no doubt that through our joint and collective efforts, this activity will help pave the way for a stable and peaceful Darfur,” Madam said. Lo N’Diaye at the opening ceremony.

“Civilians, especially women and children, have had to bear the most negative consequences of the violence. The Joint Forces, as a protection force, must above all protect civilians, prevent violence and provide safety, security and dignity to all, regardless of tribal, political or religious differences,” he said. she adds.

For his part, the director of the Civil Protection Support Office, Mr. Innocent Zahinda, stressed the urgency of positioning the force in Darfur. “Recent violence in several areas of Darfur has resulted in the killing of civilians, displacement, burning of villages and has had a negative impact on the safety and security of Darfurian men, women and children. This makes the deployment of joint security forces even more critical,” Zahinda said.

Major General Sandeep Bajaj, Chairman of the Standing Ceasefire Committee (PCC) – the entity responsible for overseeing the implementation of the security arrangements stipulated in the PPA and which is chaired by UNITAMS, said thanked the CCP representatives for their participation in the forum and urged them to make the most of the workshop and transfer what they learned to the soldiers under their command. “Today is a historic moment in the course of peace in Darfur. Remember that you are all Sudanese and the whole world is watching you achieve stability in your country. The protection of civilians is a great responsibility that rests on your shoulders,” General Bajaj said.

Speaking at the closing ceremony and before handing over the certificates of participation to the participants, the Head of UNITAMS Regional Office in Darfur, Ms. Abimbola Aina congratulated and congratulated the participants for completing the five-day training and urged them to demonstrate full respect for human rights and ensure the protection of civilians as well as to replicate the knowledge they have acquired to the rest of the force personnel in the Jadeed al- Sail in North Darfur. “Communities in Darfur have been waiting for these Joint Security Forces since the establishment of JPA in 2020. “The communities, the government of Sudan, the United Nations and all of us look to you as the first major mechanism. which will implement the security arrangements provided for in the Juba Peace Agreement. This training represents the beginning of mutual collaboration between the United Nations and the government and yourselves – representing joint security forces, with a view to achieving peace, social cohesion and reconciliation between citizens of Darfur. It will be important that in the implementation of your mandate, you put aside any tribal, ethnic and racial affiliation to be able to support and reconcile the people of Darfur,” Ms. Aina said.

Part of the recommendations made by participants concerned the provision of technical, logistical and financial support to the force by the UN, the international community and partners; initiating awareness and sensitization campaigns on the protection of civilians among indigenous administration leaders, women and youth in Darfur, spreading a message of peace and peaceful co-existence among local communities; the promulgation of a unified legal framework that governs the operations and engagement of the force; coordination between the force and judicial and law enforcement institutions; organization of additional workshops on the protection of civilians; as well as the importance of the commitment of the force in the proper execution of its tasks.

Prior to this workshop, UNITAMS and the Standing Ceasefire Committee (PCC), in collaboration with the United Nations Country Team, conducted a dialogue on March 31, 2022 with government security forces and movements armed PPA signatories to assess training needs for joint security maintenance. Strengths on key human rights concepts, international humanitarian law and protection principles.

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