Strengthening Rule of Law and Sustainable Protection in Darfur

Fast Facts:
Project document and reports available upon request
Location: 5 States in Darfur
Duration: September 2004 – December 2012
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Contributions(USD): DFID : 6,798,119
UNDP : 393,047
NET : 2,471,282
NOR : 1,149,900
SIDA : 1,810,958
TTF : 887,597
Partners: Darfur State Universities
Amel Center
International Rescue Committee
African Center for Human Rights
Delivery(USD): 2011: 1,323,015
2010: 3,388,035
2009: 2,650,161
2008: 2,671,256
2007: 2,833,418
Contact person in UNDP: Christopher Dennis Laker
Regional Programme Manager,

Noha Abdelgabar, Programme Officer,

The slow destruction of effective formal and informal conflict resolution mechanisms is a consequence of a series of root-causes of Darfur conflict. Darfur has long been affected by desertification and competition over natural resources (land, water and livestock), and recurrent droughts and shortage of grazing lands have repeatedly led to violent conflict between nomads and farmers, contributing to tensions between tribes along the lines of ethnic divisions. Local conflicts have also been exacerbated by under-development, the dismantling of the native administration, the spread of small arms, and weak local governance and rule of law structures.

Influencing factors of ethnicity and identity have further fuelled the conflict. Although the conflict was essentially rooted in the fierce competition over natural resources between pastoralists and farmers, it has progressively assumed an ethnic and cultural dimension. This is illustrated by the re-demarcation of local administrative boundaries along ethnic/tribal lines, the politicization of tribal leaders, and disputes over customary and statutory laws governing land tenure and access to land. As result of these realities, the crisis has gravely upset the social balance in Darfur; while arms and violence have come to define the relationships between groups and communities. These factors have – together with lack of socio-economic development and marginalization – culminated in a highly militarized environment in which the rule by force has replaced the rule of law.

• Raise awareness of human rights and rule of law amongst law-enforcement, judiciary and security officials;
• Empower local stakeholders to actively engage in preventing and bringing an end to existing violations of international human rights standards and Sudanese laws;
• Restore confidence in rule of law institutions, and gradually build a culture of justice - a culture that is conducive to peace and sustainable human development

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• To contribute to increased awareness raising of human rights issues and peace building in Darfur society, a total of 11, 603 persons, 4, 066 (1,650F & 2,416M) in North Darfur, 4,183 (2,066F & 2,117M) in South Darfur and 994 (421F & 573M) in West Darfur participated in awareness raising sessions and workshops conducted by the paralegals in conjunction with UNAMID partners on issues related to the principles of human rights, the Sudanese laws, international human rights and legal instruments, GBV, HIV, AIDS, protection issues etc.

• Paralegals groups were support to provide awareness raising sessions and access to justice services, including: In West Darfur, JCCs in Dorti, ZamZam and Abou Shouk IDP camps were renovated. Paralegals at al Taqwa were supported to register with the Humanitarian Aid Commission. In South Darfur, technical support was provided to paralegals at Otash IDP camp.230 cases were mediated through the paralegals of the JCCs: 104 cases in North Darfur, 69 in South Darfur and 75 in West Darfur.

• Strategies to promote non-State legal aid system through pro bono lawyers, the Legal Aid Network Lawyers provided legal aid services to 163 cases: in West Darfur, the two legal aid networks Al Mustagbal and Al Nahda Organizations handled 75 cases; in South Darfur, Humanity Organization handled 69 cases; in North Darfur, Mutawinat Benevolent Company handled 19 cases.

• To enhance the delivery of legal aid services to the marginalized and vulnerable groups, a Legal Aid Office, at the State Legal Administration Department, in North Darfur, was equipped and furnished.

• A regional seminar on Legal Aid was organized, in collaboration with UNMID, in North Darfur, that brought together 55 participants from legal aid providers from various institutions across Darfur, including: the Bar Associations, and States Legal Administrations, the States Judiciaries, NGOs, the police, the prison.

• To increase the number of lawyers in Darfur, especially female lawyers, 27 (18M & 9F) law graduates were supported to sit for Bar Exam in Khartoum.

• To improve dissemination of legal information, UNDP supported the establishment of a small library with 40 key legal texts at the Prosecutors office in Zalingie, West Darfur, which is now accessible to all legal practitioners in Zalingie. A library at the University of El Fasher, Faculty of Law, was established, which is now accessible to the public.

• To improve the capacities of the Prisons, support was provided through: Training of staff on best practices and skills based on international standards and norms; provision of office equipment and furniture; support to infrastructural works in prioritized prisons; prisons Working Groups were established in all the three states of Darfur, comprising: UNDP, UNAMID, and the Government of Sudan Prisons Directorate; access of legal aid lawyers to inmates improved; in order to improve collaboration between national Government of Sudan Prisons/Corrections Department, UNDP, and UNAMID, a National Prisons Development Committee was also constituted in early 2011 to oversee Prisons/Development Programmes in Darfur supported by UNDP and UNAMID. The Committee is chaired by the Director General of the Directorate of Prisons based in Khartoum, and meets on a rotational basis in the Darfur Region.

• To improve access to legal aid for inmates in the Prisons, five legal aid desks in prisons and detention centers were established in the Darfur States.

• To improve the management of the prison, 230 prison officers were trained in the three states of Darfur on “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, Human Rights, Computer Skills, English Language etc”. In addition, three high ranking Government of Sudan Prison Officers (including the national Director General) were sponsored to attend an international conference in Singapore.

• To facilitate more responsive justice delivery at the State level, infrastructure was improved at Kabkabiya Prison in North Darfur and Buram in South Darfur. Assessments to rehabilitate Prisons were completed.

• In South Darfur, training for 17 Judges (all males) was facilitated by Supreme Court Judges and the Sudan Judiciary Training Administration. The training centered on “the Sudanese Personal Law, Criminal Procedures, Civil Procedures, Evidence Law (Sharia jurisprudence), Women and Child Rights in Personal Law”.

• To strengthen the justice institutions in a comprehensive manner to ensure that they are well trained to provide legal protection, safety and security and access to justice to all, a two-day workshop for the prosecutor office, in West Darfur, was organized which brought together 7 prosecutors, 1 judge, 2 police officers, 1 advisor on women and child affairs. The workshop addressed prosecution of SGBV cases.

• In West Darfur, UNDP in collaboration with UNAMID Rule of Law, the Office of the Wali Advisor for Women and Children, the parliament, State Ministers, other UN agencies, religious leaders, community leaders, and Al Khubra Training Center conducted a two day workshop (attended by 40 women from 5 localities) for the women leadership on “Challenges Women Faced in the Legal Practice and Their Role in Social and Economic Development”.

• In West Darfur, in collaboration with UNAMID Gender and Child Support Unit, a one day human rights sensitization campaign was conducted, with a focus on ‘Eliminating Sexual and Domestic Violence in the Society.’ And, efforts continued to be made to set up a legal aid centre in Zalingei.

• UNDP, UNAMID Gender and UNAMID Human Rights held a community meeting with the Sheiks, elders and IDPs of the Hamadia IDP camp in Zalingie (11F & 32M) to discuss challenges and intervention for GBV Survivals in the camp.

• To support capacities for forcing orders, 9 printers were provided to Directorate of Prisons and Reform in North Darfur, and 10 laptops, 5 printers and 1 photocopier were provided to the Prosecution Office in West Darfur.
• To provide strategic and technical guidance to project implementation, Project Boards meetings were held during the year to approve quarterly work plans, review performance of the project implementation, approve contracts and suggest/explore solutions to challenges encountered during the project implementation.

• 51 police officers (Police Family and Child Protection Units) (20 from North Darfur and 31 from South Darfur) were trained on various aspects of “Criminal Law, Criminal Investigations, Juvenile Justice under International Standards and Sudanese legislation”.
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