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AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION COMMUNIQUE: 328TH PEACE AND SECUIRY MEETING: "DARFUR"

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 25, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 328thmeeting held in Addis Ababa on 24 July 2012, reviewed the situation in Darfur and the activities of the African Union‐United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), and adopted the following
decision:

Council,

1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in
Darfur [PSC/PR/2(CCCXXVIII)], as well as of the statements made by the Commissioner for
Peace and Security, the Deputy Joint Special Representative for UNAMIDand the Government
of Sudan;

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Darfur;

3. Commends the signatory parties to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD)of
July 2011, namely the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM),
for the steps taken towards the implementation of the DDPD, including the appointment of
several LJM officials at senior positions at both national and regional levels, the inauguration of
the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA)in February 2012, the holding,in El Fasher,in July 2012, of a
preparatory 'All Stakeholders Conference', to solicit public support for the implementation of
the DDPD and to develop a plan for the launching of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and
Consultation (DIDC), and the measures relating to the ceasefire and final security arrangements
of the DDPD;

4. Notes, however, that many provisions of the DDPD remain unimplemented, including
the transfer of funds by the central Government to the Darfur Reconstruction and Development
Fund. Council also notes the challenges being encountered regarding the conduct of the
verification exercise of the LJM military personnel and equipment, which is a pre‐requisite to
the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of the LJM forces;

5. Encourages the Parties to the DDPD to spare no efforts in expediting the
implementation of the Agreement. In this respect, Council notes the steps taken by the
Government of Sudan, in particular the establishment, in May 2012, of the High Follow‐up
Committee for Peace in Darfur, chaired by the President of the Republic of Sudan, and the
broadening of the membership of the Darfur Peace Follow‐up Office, which is tasked to
coordinate the Government's DDPD activities. Council also takes note of the initialing, by the
DDPD Parties, on 18 July 2012, of the revised DDPD timetable, and urges them to comply with
this new implementationschedule;

6. Expresses serious concern at the continued refusal of the hold out groups to engage in
the peace process, in spite of the efforts made by the Joint AU/UN Mediation. Council, once
again, demands that these Movements join the peace process without any further delay and
adhere to the DDPD, which has been endorsed by the AU and the larger international
community as aviable basis for achieving lasting peace and stability in Darfur. Council expresses
its determination to take appropriate sanctions against individuals and entities whose actions aims at undermining the DDPD process, and requests the UN Security Council to consider taking
similar measures;

7. Notes with satisfaction the reduction of hostilities between Government forces and the
armed Movements. At the same time, Council expresses concern at the sporadic fighting in
Darfur, the increase in incidents of banditry and other criminal activities, and the attacks by
unidentified armed individuals against UNAMID convoys;

8. Further notes with satisfaction the significant increase in the number of voluntary and
spontaneous returns throughout Darfur in the past few months, and calls for continued efforts
to sustain this trend, especially as close to 1.7 million Darfuris still remain in IDP camps, while
dozens of thousands others are refugees in neighboring countries, particularly Chad;

9. Commends UNAMID for its invaluable contribution towards the protection of civilians,
as well as for its support to early recovery initiatives, in particular through the implementation
of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs). Council also commends the review by UNAMID of its
Protection of Civilians Strategy, in order to enhance the robustness of its protection mandate.In
particular,Council welcomes the focus of the new Strategy on the following pillars: (i) physical
protection, (ii) humanitarian assistance, (iii) protection through access to the rights,(iv) early
recovery and social empowerment, and (v) protection through political engagement;

10. Notes with concern the restrictions on the movements of UNAMID. Council takes note
of the undertaking made by the Government of Sudan, in the context of the meetings of the
Tripartite Coordination Mechanism, to address this issue and other related matters, in order to
facilitate the conduct of UNAMID operations, and looks forward to concrete follow‐up action;

11. Welcomes the steps being taken towards the implementation of the recommendations
of the review exercise of UNAMID uniformed personnel, jointly conducted by the AU
Commission and the UN Secretariat in February 2012, in accordance with Security Council
resolution 2003 (2011), with the view to considering ways of enhancing the efficiency and
effectiveness of the military and police components of the Mission and of promoting a flexible
and mobile force;

12. Stresses that achieving peace, security, justice and reconciliation in Darfur remains a
priority for the AU, recognizing that the people of Darfur have been suffering for far too long.
In this respect, Council reaffirmsthe continued relevance of the recommendations of the report
of the AU High‐Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD), as endorsed by its 207th meeting held in Abuja, on
29 October 2009 [PSC/AHG/COMM.1(CCVII)], bearing in mind that the Darfur crisis is a
manifestation of the broader political and other challenges facing Sudan as a whole;

13. Urges the international community to extend the requisite support to the search for
lasting peace, security, justice, reconciliation and reconstruction in Darfur, including support to
the implementation of the DDPD,based on a proper understanding of the causes and
consequences of the conflict in that region. Council, in this respect, expresses appreciation to
the DDPD International Follow‐up Committee for its efforts;

14. Decides to extend, for a further period of 12 months, the mandate of UNAMID as
defined by communiqué PSC/PR/Comm.(LXXIX) of its 79thmeeting, held on 22 June 2007, and
United Nations Security Council resolution 1769 (2007) of 31 July 2007. Council requests the UN
Security Council to do the same;

15. Reiterates AU's commitment to the hybrid nature of UNAMID and requests the
Commission to continue to ensure that the AU fully plays its role. In this respect, Council
requests the Commission to submit to it quarterly reports on the situation in Darfur and the
work of UNAMID;

16. Expresses appreciationto the UNAMID leadership, in particular the Joint Special
Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i. and his Deputies, the Force Commander and Police
Commissioner, as well as to the entire staff of the Mission, for their dedication and contribution
to the promotion of lasting peace, security and reconciliation in Darfur;

17. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.