Umm Sirdiba Partners' Forum
Volume 2, Issue 1, October 2002
Between 17-20th July 2002 The office of UN Resident/Humanitarian Co-ordinator (UNRC/HC) organized the first Nuba Mountains Programme Advancing Conflict Transformation (NMPACT) in Um-Sirdiba at the Headquarter of Joint Military Commission (JMC) and Joint Monitoring Mission (JMM) in Nuba Mountains.
This Partners' Forum Meeting was attended by 59 representatives from Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA), UN Agencies, International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs), National Non-Governmental Organisations (five of which are within Nuba Net Umbrella), three donor representatives and Joint Monitoring Mission/Joint Military Commission who supported the organisation of the meeting.
The Partners' Forum during the three days meeting first reviewed the firs six-months of the Cease-fire Agreement and JMC/JMM work during this period. The Chairman of the JMC/JMM, General Jan Erik Wilhelmsen who opened the conference gave explanation about the military situation and that all military units in the region have been surveyed and the redeployment of troops has taken place in the Moro and Otoro valleys, the Miri Jebels and Heiban area. SPLM forces have been redeployed to 14 defined positions. He added that 106 complaints of alleged cease-fire fire violations had been reported and are under investigation by the JMC/JMM.
Gen.Wilhelmsen reviewed JMC/JMM support to humanitarian implementation activities
in the region in all sectors and he also highlighted the importance of promoting
peace in the area as part of both the JMC/JMM work and the IMPACT interventions,
as he highlighted the need for humanitarian activities in peace building, human
rights, health, nutrition, education, agricultural and food security, water
and environmental sanitation and livelihood rehabilitation in the Nuba Mountains,
as outlined by the NMPACT programme Framework.
The participants agreed that the cessation of the hostilities had contributed to an improvement of people's life in the region and allowed for increase freedom of movement as well as improved access to assets and resources. However, it was also felt by the participants that the implementation of the Cease-fire Agreement had been marked by significant shortcoming that need attention during the next phase. Main recommendation for the coming six months include: completion of the demilitarisation of the area; marked increase of demining operations; strengthening JMC capacity, clarification of the boundaries of the Cease-fire Agreement map; revision of the administrative procedures regulating access to the area, better interaction between Friend of Nuba Mountains (FoNM) and humanitarian organizations in the area and initiation of cross-line activities.
In reviewing the NMPACT programme Framework it was found that there is a strong
need for coordination in the region at several levels. It was suggested that
there is a need to move into more needy areas than concentrating on a restricted
number of locations and that there is a need among the partners for greater
and more proactive information sharing.
On discussing the implementation of NMPACT according to the principles of engagement it was agreed that Humanitarian Aid Commission, SRRA and the NMPACT coordinators should met every 2 months, possibly in Umm-Sirdiba and that partners' Forum meetings should be quarterly.
It was recommended that an airstrip be built in Umm-Sirdiba to facilitate access
to the area. It was also agreed that the agencies should focus on promoting
community participation rather than limiting their intervention to the delivery
of services and that the NMPACT partners need to do more to ensure their programmes
do support capacity building and promote self-reliance.
The Participants reviewed also human rights and commented that there was no
human rights awareness in the region and that agency staff had a limited understanding
of human rights issues. It was suggested that special training on general human
rights issues should be organized for NMPACT Agencies staff.
Finally, the organizations which participated in this workshop were: Amani, the Canadian Office, Care, Carter Centre/Global 2000, CIDA, Concern, Worldwide, Diocese of El-Obei, El-Bir, FAO,FAR, German Emergency Doctors, HAC, IRC.JMM, Koinonia, MSF-Holland, Nuba Net, NRRDO, OCHA, OXFAM_GB, SCF-US, SRRA, UNDP, UNCEF, UNMAS, USAI, WHO and one independent consultant with experience of working in the Nuba Mountains.