Darfur / UNAMID Media Brief

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, May 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UNAMID Media Brief / 30 May 2012

WFP worker released in South Darfur

Aid worker Patrick Noonan, who was working for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), was released today in Nyala, South Darfur, after 86 days in captivity. Mr. Noonan, a citizen of the United Kingdom, was abducted by armed men on 6 March 2012, along with a Sudanese driver who was freed later on the same day.

Mr. Noonan said in a press conference in Nyala that his captors didn't harm him; they gave him food, but he suffered from a shortage of water. He stated that he was allowed to contact his family during the captivity.

The African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) worked in close cooperation with WFP, the United Nation's Department of Safety and Security, Government of Sudan authorities and the embassy of the United Kingdom for the release of the hostage.

Gender forum focuses on improving women's representation in government

A three-day forum on strengthening gender-sensitive laws and empowering women to participate in government today concluded in El Fasher, North Darfur.

The event, entitled “Laws and Policies Affecting Women's Representation and Participation in State Governance Structures,” brought together 60 women, including 44 Legislative Assembly and municipality members, professionals from the medical and legal fields, and others.

Those gathering at the event discussed, at length, international mechanisms for women's public participation and UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, among other topics.

“This forum is the beginning of a continuous and incremental process toward obtaining a gender-responsive legal and institutional framework,” said Ms. Yegerawork Angagaw, head of the Mission's Gender Advisory unit.

The event concluded with several recommendations, to which the participants all agreed, including establishing networks with women parliamentarian caucuses in other African countries; holding similar seminars, particularly on sex- and gender-based violence at the municipal level; hiring more social workers for the courts; recommending a better definition of rape that distinguishes it from adultery; and providing the right for a mother to testify for her children.

The seminar, organized by the North Darfur Women's Legislative Caucus and UNAMID, served as a continuation of a similar event held by the parties earlier in the month.