Capacity Building of African Union Forces in Darfur

Fast Facts:
Project document and reports:
• Capacity Building of AU forces in Darfur project document
Location: North, South and West Darfur
Joint Programme Steering Committee based in Khartoum, with the representatives of all UN agencies involved and African Union
Duration: March 2006 - February 2008
(Operationally Closed)
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Donors: Government of Japan through the UNTFHS
Partners: UNFPA, UNICEF, Save the Children Sweden, UNMIS Human Rights Unit, OHCHR, UNOCHA, Sudan Development Organisation (SUDO)
Delivery for 2007: US $ 963,093.05
Contact person in UNDP: Esam Ismail, Programme Officer,
Four years after the fighting broke out, the situation in Darfur continues to be characterized by a lack of security. More than 200,000 people are estimated to have died and at least 2 million have been displaced from their homes - almost one third of the population of Darfur before the conflict.

The deployment of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in Darfur has contributed to improving the security in the region. In April 2005 the Mission was further expanded to a total of 6,171 with the proportion of Civilian Police raised to 1,560, focusing on supporting and implementing the Darfur Peace Agreement, signed in Abuja between the Government of National Unity (GoNU) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM). However, there was a common understanding that AMIS lacked the resources and capacity to control the violence on the ground and help bring peace to Darfur. In order to expand its outreach and further impact the situation, the African Union recognized that its capacities must be strengthened - both in terms of logistical support and technical assistance.

With the support of the Government of Japan, through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS), in March 2006 UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNMIS and OHCHR launched the project “Capacity Building of African Union Forces in Darfur”. This first UN joint programme in Darfur is designed to strengthen the capacity of the AMIS forces to protect the civilian population in Darfur and to contribute to building an environment that is conducive to human security, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

In addition to participating in the training of AU forces, UNDP ensures the overall management and coordination of the project’s activities, including the provision of logistical assistance to the field training team, coordination of the implementation of the programme, and the design and production of the training curriculum. The UNFPA leads the Gender-Based Violence component, while UNICEF provides training in Child Rights and Child Protection, which is implemented by the international NGO - Save the Children Sweden. The training in human rights monitoring and reporting is carried out by UNMIS, while the OHCHR provides technical backup on human rights, and technical support on Internally Displaced Persons principles is ensured by OCHA. The Sudan Development Organisation (SUDO) is a national NGO which also contrbutes to this project by providing technical support on Sudanese legal and customary frameworks.

The project’s main objective is to strengthen the AMIS personnel’s understanding of international standards and norms, including International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Children and Women’s Rights, as well as Sudanese legal and customary frameworks, and cultural values.

To this end, the specific objectives of the project are:
• To enhance effective coordination amongst relevant actors.
• To build confidence between local communities, IDPs, the humanitarian community and the African Union Military and Civilian Police (CIVPOL).
• To empower AU Military and CIVPOL to develop a normative framework to prevent human rights abuses and ensure public safety.
• To promote human security and protection of civilians in Darfur.
• To empower AMIS Military and CIVPOL to more effectively employ a normative framework in their work.
• To strengthen the AU forces’ understanding of international standards and norms, including International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Children and Women’s Rights, as well as Sudanese legal and customary frameworks and cultural values

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
This challenging inter-agency project is a courageous and ground-breaking initiative which provides useful lessons on joint programming. The project has to date:

• Trained 4,130 AMIS personnel which has resulted in an increased understanding of and compliance with international human rights standards, principles and norms, with a focus on altering knowledge, attitudes and practice. This has also consolidated the in-house capacity of AMIS to carry out the training activities using its own personnel.
• Distributed reference materials to AMIS forces.
• Distributed communications equipment to all the 8 sectors of AMIS to strengthen the communication capacities of AMIS forces.
• Conducted a 2-week rapid training needs assessment involving IDPs, host communities, UN agencies, NGOs, AMIS and local administrations. This was done in order to increase the understanding of the AU of the primary protection threats and their causes; international legal standards, principles and norms; and Sudanese laws, customs and services.
• Developed training materials which included Participants and Trainers’ Guides on 3 major component areas (human rights and international humanitarian law, child rights and child protection, and gender based violence) along with a project brochure
• Conducted an 8-day Training of Trainers Workshop for 122 AMIS forces
• Supported the training of 3,300 AMIS personnel (1,100 CIVPOL and 2,200 Militaries)
• Developed training materials on Community Policing in Darfur.
• Formed a task group with inter-agency trainers.
• Produced a preliminary assessment report on confidence building measures.
• Supported the participation of AMIS in existing humanitarian forums (child protection and gender based violence consortium, inter-agency meetings).
• Procured communication equipment which was presented at an official ceremony held on January 31, 2007.
• Established a foundation that can be utilized for capacity-building of peacekeeping forces under the auspices of the forthcoming UNAMID and other future missions in Darfur and elsewhere.
• Donated communications equipment including computers, multimedia projectors, printers, photocopier and fax, video cameras, digital senders, Thuraya satellite phones, VHF radios, and land-line telephones.

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