The present report covers the period from 13 March to 23 November 2018. The Panel has continued to monitor developments in Darfur and in the region in accordance with its mandate.
The peace process has been shaped by a number of initiatives which have not, however, led to an agreement between the Government of the Sudan and the non-signatory Darfurian armed movements. During the reporting period, the regional dynamics, including the Sudan’s relations with neighbours, evolved positively. The crisis in Libya remains the major source of possible conflict spillover in the region, including Darfur.
The main development in conflict dynamics has been the resumption of significant clashes across Jebel Marra between Government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW). The Government of the Sudan has responded to SLA/AW hit-and-run attacks with large-scale military operations aimed at driving the group out of its main strongholds. The ongoing fighting has resulted in a significant number of casualties on both sides.
Most of the Darfurian armed groups have consolidated their presence in Libya. Some of them participated in clashes between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and anti-LNA forces. While the current security situation in the Sudan does not allow for the Libya-based Darfurian elements to stage a large-scale operation in the home country, they are building up their military capability so as to return to the Sudan when the environment becomes more conducive for such a move.
The Government of the Sudan continues to transfer military material to Darfur in support of the various security forces deployed there and in violation of the arms embargo. These transfers are in contravention of paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 1591 (2005). The Government has not sought approval from the Sanctions Committee before such transfers are made. Armed groups have also violated the arms embargo. The Government’s weapons collection campaign has resulted in some improvement of the security situation in urban areas. However, it has not been fully comprehensive, and security incidents such as intercommunal clashes continue to occur, particularly in rural areas.
Concerns over the protection of civilians remain. Clashes in Jebel Marra have resulted in new displacement, humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses. Across Darfur, women and girls continue to be subjected to conflict-related sexual violence. Returns of internally displaced persons have also been fraught with challenges, including land disputes and lack of basic services.
Challenges in the implementation of the travel ban and assets freeze remain. The Government has not implemented these measures. While the support extended by South Sudan to the Darfurian rebel groups in terms of financial and logistical assistance has diminished, Libya has emerged as an important source of financing for such groups. SLA/AW is the only Darfurian rebel group that is presently active inside Darfur and is generating income from within Darfur.