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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Escalating Problem in AMIS

The inability of AMIS to pay its people is causing a situation where individuals’ lives are in danger now. The chief finance officer was held up at his house a couple of days ago by armed men who wanted their MSA. In the end after threatening to kill him if they did not receive their money the men left with a mobile phone and his vehicle, leaving him tied up. Apparently they told him that they will return his vehicle to him upon receiving their MSA. The situation is becoming critical now and is worsened by the inability or reluctance of the top structure of the AU or AMIS to rectify the situation. The top structure receives their money religiously every single month, but the rest of the AMIS personnel have only received money up to November.

In the process of rectifying this AMIS may want to explain why there is no satisfactory answer to the question of why its members are not paid on time. Good communication may yet prevent an escalated violent situation that all of us do not want to see happen. The lack of a satisfactory answer may also create the perception that the top structure of AMIS do not care for their people. I am sure that the fact that they receive their money on time does not detract from their genuine concern for the ever-escalating situation and that they are doing everything in their power to extract the funds from the responsible person.

I am also convinced that there are thousands of people who are currently employed by contract by AMIS who would want to know exactly who the responsible person is with regards to non-payment of its members so that future peaceful inquiries may be directed towards him or her. It is an understanding in the military that if the responsible channel of command cannot provide a satisfactory answer to a grievance that the next channel will be followed. It is therefore not unlikely that inquiries will soon or has already been directed at the responsible person at DITF.

It is disgraceful that the people who are risking their lives daily for the people of Darfur should be neglected in this way. I would like to remind the AMIS commanders and political leaders that when AMIS personnel join this mission they assume in good faith that every reasonable effort will be made to ensure they are treated with respect and that compliance with their contracts is a priority. They do not expect more than what they are entitled to and after being absent from their loved ones for extended periods and risking injury and death that at least they will receive the money they earned on time or that a slight effort will be made to communicate the reason for the absence of timely payments to them.

2 comments:

Karl said...

Hi, I am a journalist in Khartoum, just back from fasher in fact. Wondering if you know any more about the identities of the guys who hit the chief finance officer. don't worry, not citing your blog in any story. just wondering if you know. check out my blog at http://makingrainfall.blogspot.com/

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