Amnesty International wants the UN to extend its mission in Sudan’s Darfur region for six months citing the inability of the government to protect civilians.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died in fighting between government forces and rebel groups since 2003. Millions have been forced from their homes.
“The UN Security Council must extend the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) by at least six months in light of failure by government security forces to protect civilians in recent months,” the group said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The UN Security Council Peacekeeping Mission in (UNAMID) ends its mission in Sudan in a couple of weeks.
The human rights group said Sudanese forces were unreachable during recent attacks in areas controlled by the government.
Amnesty claimed the officers’ phones were switched off when residents tried to call them.
It said residents had also described a nine-hour delay by officers in responding to an attack in Fata Borno.
“With UNAMID’s mandate due to end at the close of the year, and UNITAMS which is meant to replace it still not yet staffed or operationalized, Amnesty International is concerned for future civilian protection in Darfur, particularly given the national security forces’ failure to step up and protect civilians from attacks in recent months, we fear a security vacuum may arise with disastrous consequences for the people of Darfur,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.
The UN Security Council Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has been lauded for protecting civilians during attacks.