International Operation Name: African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS)
International Operation Dates: 2004/05/28 – 2007/13/31
Mandating Organization: African Union
Region Name: Africa
Canadian Operation Name: Operation AUGURAL
Canadian Operation Dates: 2004/09/01 – 2007/12/31
AMIS was to monitor the ceasefire and report on violations; and to protect civilians in the immediate vicinity.
Sudan’s recent history has featured two separate internal conflicts – and two separate international efforts to help. The twenty-year civil war in the south was eventually brought to an end in 2003, the agreement calling for the presence of the United Nations Mission in Sudan. (UNMIS). However, the oil-revenue sharing provisions of the agreement provoked a strong response from the non-Arab population of the western Darfur region, who believed that they had been treated less than fairly in their dealings with the Sudanese government. As a result, two non-Arab groups - the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudanese Liberation Army, (SLA) - began their own campaign of violence, attacking government forces and installations in early 2003. Still preoccupied with the peace process that was unfolding in the south, the government responded with air attacks and by arming the local Arabs militia – the Janjaweed. In the ensuing conflict, these irregulars (and the irregulars of the JEM and SLA) freely engaged in terror: the death toll has been estimated in the hundreds of thousands, while the number of displaced persons is in the millions. In 2004 the Government of Chad was able to assist in the 8 April 2004 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement signed by the Government of Sudan and the JEM and SLA rebel groups. In response the African Union created a Ceasefire Commission on 28 May to observe compliance of the ceasefire. At its meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6 to 8 July 2004, the African Union decided to increase the number of observers to 80 and to deploy a protection force. At the same time, negotiations were to continue such that the rebel forces and militia would disarm at a mutually agreed time and site, monitored by the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS).
The first AMIS troops sent to protect the observers were 150 Rwandan soldiers in early August, with a further 150 arriving from Nigeria later that month. The force was authorized a strength of 8,000, with 3,000 expected by November. However, a lack of funds and logistical difficulties prevented this number from being attained. In May 2005, the mission was authorized to expand to 5500 military personnel, 700 military observers and 1600 civilian police.
Despite the ceasefire agreement and a further agreement signed on 9 November 2004, fighting between the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed militia on one side, and the JEM and SLA on the other, continued, often in plain view. Aid convoys and non-governmental organisations l have also been targeted. International efforts to bring all sides under control have proven futile, however, and the Sudanese government has consistently maintained that AMIS should have only a limited mandate to monitor the ceasefire, report on violations, and protect civilians in the immediate vicinity.
No name Operation
Even so, and despite being targeted themselves, the under-strength AMIS forces have produced some measure of stability in the areas they have been able to cover. (Sudan itself is about twice the size of Ontario, and its Darfur region about half the size of the province.) Although predominantly an initiative by the African Union involving troops from African states, NATO and the European Union agreed from the outset to provide specialist support staff to the AMIS headquarters in Addis Ababa. Canada’s participation began in September 2004. Following a request from the AU, on 1 September the Minister of National Defence authorized the donation of protective vests and helmets, and more significantly the deployment of two CF officers to Addis Ababa to assist in the planning for the expanding AU mission. This deployment initially had no operations name.
On 11 May 2005, it was given the name Operation AUGURAL In May 2005, the Government of Canada proposed sending about 150 personnel to Darfur. This was rejected by Sudan; what was accepted was an increase in the number of Canadian military advisors to AMIS headquarters, raising the number of personnel deployed to 11.
In July 2005, Canada announced that it would lend AMIS one hundred Grizzly armoured fighting and five Husky armoured recovery vehicles and provided the requisite training for their use and maintenance. These were sent to Senegal, in West Africa, until Sudan granted clearance for their delivery there.
To date, about one hundred Canadians have been deployed to AMIS and on Operation AUGURAL, eighty of them to provide training on the Grizzlies and Huskies.
Under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and with support of the UN and other partners, the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed on 5 May 2006. As few parties signed on, a renewed peace process under a joint AU-UN mediator took place in Doha, Qatar, over 2010 through June 2011, producing a framework document. Intensive diplomatic and political efforts to bring the non-signatories into agreement with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur continue.
Following the 16 November 2006 High-Level consultations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) augmented the existing African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and prepared to deploy an unprecedented joint AU/UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur.
Intensive diplomacy by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and several actors in the international community resulted in Sudan’s acceptance of this force in June 2007. The African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur was formally established by the Security Council on 31 July 2007 through the adoption of resolution 1769, referred to by its acronym UNAMID, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. UNAMID formally took over from AMIS on 31 December 2007.
The content of this webpage was prepared by the Operational Records section within the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH).
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