Briefing the Security Council, via video conference, Jeremiah Mamabolo the head of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) also said there was “continuing concern” voiced by displaced civilians (IDPs) over continued attacks and harassment, the destruction of farms, land occupation and livestock theft.“UNAMID continues to focus on early warning, preventive measures, capacity-building and efforts to address the root causes of conflicts,” he said.The Mission was established in 2007 following a brutal civil war that broke out in 2003 and led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Darfuris and the displacement of nearly two million civilians, amidst allegations of ethnic cleansing of non-Arabs. Widespread atrocities, including murder and rape were reported in the fighting between Sudanese Government troops and militias and other armed rebel groups.Mr Mamabolo told Council Members that on the humanitarian front, aid agencies continue to provide assistance to people in need, despite limited funding and problems accessing some affected areas.Drawing attention to the importance of upholding the highest principles of human rights, the senior UN official noted a decrease in new cases of human rights violations and abuses in the areas the Mission is responsible for.Some 134 new cases involving 304 victims were documented by UNAMID during the current reporting period, compared to 169 cases involving just 508 victims in the period 16 February-10 June, he said, noting that most violations were reported in and around internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.“Our focus should be on building the capacity of the Government of Sudan to deal squarely with these challenges and to discharge its primary responsibility of protecting civilians and IDPs, providing security, addressing lack of confidence in reporting cases to authorities and lack of adequate law enforcement authorities and inability to provide basic social services.”In his briefing, Mr. Mamabolo also told the 15-member Council that the Mission has embarked on its reconfiguration and drawdown, and is in the process of relocating its headquarters from El Fasher to Zalingei.Alongside the reduction of military personnel at the Mission, the process is being finalized to reduce civilian staff – both national and international, he added. In addition, ten team sites are slated for closure by the end of the year and three sector headquarters by June next year.“We continue to monitor the impact on the security situation and protection of civilian in areas from which UNAMID has withdrawn. So far, we have not witnessed any adverse impact,” he said. read more

A pensioner killed two of his passengers when he parked his car in the fast lane of the M42 to ask a road worker for directions. James Davies, 71, was giving his partner Christine Evans, 53, and her friend Barbara Jones, 63, a lift to Birmingham Airport when he got lost having come across a diversion.He was driving on the northbound carriageway of the M42 attempting to reach Birmingham Airport at 3am on January 5 when he came across a diversion.Davies parked in the fast lane between junctions 9 and 10 near the Warwickshire village of Kingsbury – some 10 miles north of the airport – after spotting workers on the opposite carriageway which was closed for maintenance.He put on his hazard lights before clambering over the barriers on the central reservation to speak to Highways Agency worker Jake Ashmore, who was in his car.Three drivers managed to swerve past Davies’ Vauxhall Meriva before a white Mercedes Sprinter ploughed into it.His partner of 12 years Ms Evans and her friend, pub landlord Ms Jones, who were in the back seat, were killed instantly.Ms Jones’ partner Gareth Isaac, who was also in the car, escaped with minor injuries, as did the van driver.  Barbara Jones (left) and Christine Evans (right) On Tuesday, Davies, of Welshpool, Powys, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for two years and four months at Warwick Crown Court. Judge Anthony Potter said: “This was rightly described as a terrible tragedy, and it will affect all of those people, including you, for many years.”Although you had driven to Birmingham airport in the past, you were not particularly familiar with the M42, and when you encountered a diversion you became disorientated and you were heading north.”The southbound carriageway had been closed for some work to be done, and for reasons that are hard to fathom, having become lost, you decided to stop, not on the hard shoulder, but on the outside carriageway of the motorway.”The court heard Highways Agency worker Mr Ashmore watched in horror as Davies climbed over the central reservation and knocked on his window.Prosecutor Simon Davis said: “Mr Ashmore was immediately concerned, and ushered Mr Davies to the other side of the road, back towards his car, as quickly as he could.”It was obvious the defendant had parked in the fast lane of the northbound carriageway and crossed the central reservation and the closed southbound carriageway to the Highways vehicle.”Mr Ashmore, recognising the danger, ordered the defendant to move his car. He got out of his vehicle and took two to three steps towards the car with the defendant. Barbara Jones (left) and Christine Evans (right)Credit:SWNS Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “But within two to three seconds he saw a white van collide with the rear of the defendant’s vehicle.”The court heard Davies had been parked for no less than a minute and 15 seconds before it was hit by a Mercedes Sprinter van, which was projected forward and rotated twice in the air before crashing to the ground.The judge told the court putting the hazard lights on was a “wholly inadequate warning” to the danger the car presented. “Leaving a stationary vehicle in the fast lane of a motorway is dangerous enough, but to leave it with three people inside it, whose lives were in your hands, is even worse,” the judge added. In mitigation, the judge took into consideration the close personal relationship Davies had with his partner of more than a decade. But the judge also pointed out that a “significant” aggravating factor was that his driving caused the death of two people. The court heard that while Davies was subject to an interim driving ban he was caught behind the wheel teaching someone to drive.Jemma Gordon, defending, said: “Mr Davies finds himself before the court for the first time in his life in the most tragic of circumstances. A momentary decision affects those around us, and sometimes those effects are catastrophic.” read more