Final two Sudan rebel groups sign landmine ban
The rebel Sudan Liberation Movements, headed by Abdel Wahid El Nur (SLM-AW) and by Minni Arko Minawi (SLM-MM), both agreed to combat the use of landmines and signed the Geneva Call group’s Deed of Commitment on Thursday. With their signature, all of Sudan’s main armed non-state actors now have pledged to the Geneva Call to ban landmines and destroy stockpiles.
Abdel Wahid, Deputy-President of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an umbrella organisation of the main rebel movements in Sudan), told Radio Dabanga from Geneva, Switzerland, that this step came in order to combat the AP mines, short for anti-personnel mines, in Darfur. Years of conflict have left Darfur littered with potentially deadly explosives and munitions.
He further reported that the meeting was held with officials of the United Nations, who discussed the protection of internally displaced people living in camps in Darfur against continuous attacks. Abdel Wahid demanded international forces to protect the camps, “after the failure of the joint AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid)”. He also stressed the need to hold an international conference on the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur.
‘Report found landmines’
Rebel leader and also Deputy-President of the SRF, Minni Minawi, described the signing of the Deed of Commitment banning AP mines as “an important step that came within a humanitarian framework”.
He called via Radio Dabanga on all organisations and individuals to report found landmines. “The SLM-MM has banned the use of landmines and committed to not use them.”
Following SPLM-N, JEM commitments
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) committed to ban the use of AP mines and destroy all its stockpiles, in an agreement with the Geneva Call on 29 August last year. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) committed to ban landmines in April 2012.
By signing the Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning AP mines, armed non-state actors (‘ANSAs’) agree to prohibit the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of AP mines, as well as cooperate in stockpile destruction, victim assistance, and mine awareness in cooperation with specialised organisations.
Since 2000, Geneva Call has engaged ANSAs to seek their compliance with international humanitarian norms. Its Deed of Commitment allows them to be held publicly accountable for their commitments to humanitarian norms. See the activities of the Geneva Call group regarding Sudan, such as commitments to protecting children, and prohibiting sexual violence, here.
News photo: Abdel Wahid El Nur (fifth from the left) and Minni Arko Minawi (fourth from the right) during the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14 August 2014.
Landmines exposed by rain in North Darfur (22 July 2014)
Sudan’s SPLM-N signs mine ban: Geneva Call (1 September 2013)