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Darfur War - 2019

UN Security Council resolution 2429 (2018) extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 30 June 2019 and requested the Secretary General to report every 90 days on its implementation. The first report in 2019 provided an update on the conflict, the political situation, the operational environment in Darfur and the main challenges encountered in the implementation of the mandate of UNAMID during the period from 4 January to 3 April 2019.

The overall security situation in Darfur remained relatively stable, with the exception of Jebel Marra, where intermittent clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) faction, as well as infighting within the rebel group, continued. While there was an increase in the number of incidents of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and SLA-AW elements (from 9 episodes noted in the last progress report to 18 during the present period), they were on a smaller scale and involved mostly hit-and-run operations.

The trend is consistent with the encirclement of SLA-AW by the Sudanese Armed Forces in the Jebel Marra area and the increased pressure that it has applied on the insurgency, while an uptick in low-level attacks by SLA-AW may be an attempt to capitalize on the political and economic uncertainty since the start of the nationwide protest movement in December 2018. Despite a slight increase since the last reporting period, incidents of intercommunal clashes also remained low, while there was continued violence between herders and farmers, involving cattle rustling and farm destruction, mainly in North and West Darfur.

The anti-Government protests that began across the Sudan on 19 December 2018, initially as demonstrations against the rising cost of living, had a limited impact in Darfur.

The Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi (SLA-MM) and the Gibril Ibrahim faction of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM/Gibril) reversed their December 2018 agreement to resume talks with the Government in January 2019. On 28 January, the President of the Sudan, Omer Hassan al-Bachir, announced an open-ended cessation of hostilities in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, composed of SLA-MM, JEM/Gibril, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Transitional Council and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army-North, led by Malik Agar, reciprocated by extending their unilateral cessation of hostilities for an additional three months, beginning on 8 February 2019.

Infighting between factions of SLA-AW continued in the area of Daya village, in Central Darfur, initially triggered by one of its subgroups (led by Salih Borsa) killing a member of another subgroup (led by Mubarak Aldouk) in October 2018, owing to the intention of Aldouk to sign a peace agreement with the Government. Reports indicate that, from 17 January to 26 March, 22 elements from the Aldouk faction and 20 elements from the Borsa faction were killed in the clashes, with injuries caused to 9 elements and 15 elements, respectively. Both groups also attacked and abducted local Fur civilians suspected of collaborating with the opposing faction, and five civilians were reported killed, as well as five injured and 15 abducted.




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