January 2, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese army has equipped a joint security-keeping force to protect civilians in Darfur, ahead of its deployment in the restive region two years after the signing of a peace agreement.
In line with the Juba peace agreement signed in October 2020, the government and the former rebel groups agreed to establish a 12,000 force to protect civilians in Darfur after the withdrawal of the UNAMID.
After nearly two years in July 2022, the first batch of the joint security force, about 2000 troops, was formed.
In October 2022, the Darfur governor and former rebel leader complained that government forces continued work without their combatants, adding that the trainees did not receive the needed equipment.
Sudanese army spokesman Brigadier General Nabil Abdallah told Sudan Tribune that the army has now equipped the joint forces with the needed logistics.
“About 162 vehicles have been delivered to the Civilian Protection Forces in Darfur, including four-wheel drive combat vehicles, troop carriers, medical ambulance and fuel and water tankers,” Abdallah said on January 2.
He stressed that the provision of vehicles is part of the government’s efforts to operationalize the force adding it would be deployed in the locations that had been occupied by the forces of the former African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
The signing of a peace agreement after the ouster of the al-Bashir regime increased tribal tensions in the western Sudan region. The nomadic tribes that supported the former regime clashed several times with the tribes that supported the armed insurgency.
UN officials particularly the UNITAMS head called to implement the National Plan on Civilian Protection agreed upon by the parties. On the other hand, the government pointed out the lack of international support and called to lift the arms embargo on Darfur.
The military spokesman stressed that these equipment were provided by the Sudanese government with its own resources after the failure of donor countries to fulfil their pledges to support the enforcement of the Juba Peace Agreement.
“Donor lack of commitment is one of the obstacles to the implementation of the Security Arrangements Protocol and a major factor in the delay in its enforcement,” he added.