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Washington urges “close cooperation” to reach lasting peace in Darfur

N. Darfur Governor Abdel Wahid Youssef meets with the US military attaché Lieutenant Colonel Jörn Pung on 9 April 2017 (ST Photo)

April 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The U.S. Administration has called for close cooperation among the Sudanese government, United Nations, and native administrations in Darfur to reach a negotiated lasting peace for the restive region.

In a press release Tuesday, U.S. embassy in Khartoum said the “U.S. Defence Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Jörn Pung and Regional Security Officer (RSO) Corynn Stratton visited North and Central Darfur states, April 9-13, 2017, to gain deeper insights and better understanding about Darfur”.

According to the press release seen by Sudan Tribune, the delegation “met with local, military, and political leaders within the Government of Sudan, Sudanese Armed Forces, and the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID)”.

“Their discussions provided an opportunity for the U.S. Embassy officers to learn, hear, and understand from various leaders about their priorities, challenges, and successes,” further reads the press release.

It pointed out that the U.S. officials “came away with a clearer understanding from many leaders about the essential need for safety and security for all men, women, and children in Darfur”, stressing the “establishment of rule of law will require successful disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration process for former combatants”.

“The United States encourages close cooperation among the Government of Sudan, United Nations, and native administrations to find a negotiated lasting peace for the region, and to abet, arrest, and prosecute criminality and gun violence, overcome challenges of tribalism, land reform, and resource management,” the press release added.

Darfur region has recently witnessed a number of visits by Western diplomats including from the European Union, France and the United Kingdom.

On 4 April, the newly appointed head of Darfur hybrid mission (UNAMID) Jeremiah N. Mamabolo told the UN Security Council that security situation in the western Sudan region has changed and the fighting has by far diminished.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)