Photo by Amin Ismail, UNAMID.
Zalingei-23 September; “For the first time in Darfur’s almost 17-year conflict, successful joint patrols are being conducted by the Sudan Police Force (SPF) and UNAMID Police in farming areas and will be extended shortly to Camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). This is a great, timely move by both parties in enhancing protection of civilians measures,” UNAMID’s Deputy Police Commissioner, Dr. Sultan Azam Temuri stated at the recent launch of the joint patrol initiative in Zalingei, central Darfur.
UNAMID Police component and the Sudan Police Force on 31 August 2020 commenced joint security assessment and confidence building patrols in Shawa village farming area. These joint patrols are aimed at enhancing community based policing, preventing crime occurrence , ensuring public safety and security, building confidence of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) towards the SPF, conducting security assessments, facilitating interactions with farmers thereby building confidence and trust, securing IDPs camps and surrounding villages, including farming areas and safeguard wood collection and livelihood areas.
The joint UNAMID and Sudan Police patrols launch in Zalingei was attended by Brigadier Mohamed Saied and Col. Asam Omar of Sudan Police Force Headquarters in Central Darfur where UNAMID was represented by the Zalingei Team Site Commander, Ms. Tsitisi Paradzayi and the Joint Patrol Team Leader, Ms. Melody Ndidi Okoro.
“We commend UNAMID for the critical lead role it has taken to ensure that the provision of security and safety for the people of Sudan by the SPF, especially for Darfuris, is fully complemented and supported by the Mission,” Lt. General Anan Hamid, the Sudan Police Force Commander, responsible for the five Darfur states, stated at the launch ceremony. General Anan further acknowledged UNAMID and SPF leadership in central Darfur for achieving such a momentous breakthrough through the implementation of the joint UNAMID-SPF patrols in the farming areas, areas of return and patrols within the IDPs camps.
"I feel comfortable, safe and happy seeing UNAMID and the SPF patrolling in our farming areas", said Adam Ahmed, a 75-year-old a farmer at Dinga Juray Farming Area, just outside Zalingei town. He emphasized that UNAMID and Sudan Police joint patrols have increased their sense of security, protection and trust in the Police and appealed to both parties to Increase these patrols in the farming areas during the harvest season, to prevent criminal activities from occurring.
Abdallah Tahirr Sheriff, a 45-year-old nomad, observed that a cordial relationship is being established between the nomadic community and the farmers, stating that there are established routes for livestock that if followed, can assist in lessening damage to crops and in cases where damage to crops by nomad livestock occurs, nomads should negotiate payment of compensation to the farmers. “I am really very glad to see UNAMID and the SPF patrolling together. I wish these joint patrols had been introduced much earlier. They could have saved lives and property,” Mr. Sheriff added.
From 31 August 2020 to date , 11 joint patrols have been conducted in Dankoung, Nassim and Almatara IDP Camp and Al Salama, Safra Souk Farming area in Sarif Umra, Umdersey IDP Camp and Shadad Farming area in Shangil Tobaya, Dally and New Rwanda IDP Camps in Tawilla, Abdulshkur in Kutum, Kirkira and Kablabiya in North Darfur, Duinga jury farm area in Zalingei, Central Darfur and Duma village and Beliel locality farming areas in Kalma, South Darfur and )various areas surrounding villages and IDPs camps in North, South and Central Darfur, that include long and short patrols for firewood, grass and farm patrols, as well as confidence building and market patrol