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Sudan Tribune

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North Darfur governor cancels meeting with the visiting AUPSC team

August 21, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of North Darfur state, Abel-Wahid Youssef, on Friday has cancelled a meeting with the visiting delegation of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) saying they failed to meet the specified date and time of the meeting.

head of the African Union Peace and Security Council assessment Ambassador Noémie Aziz  (Photo SUNA)
head of the African Union Peace and Security Council assessment Ambassador Noémie Aziz (Photo SUNA)
An AUSPSC team headed by ambassador, Noémie Aziz has arrived in Khartoum on Wednesday on a 3-day visit to assess the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Friday, the government of North Darfur said Youssef has cut short a visit to Khartoum and waited for the AUPSC team for two days in El Fasher.

It pointed that “the governor ordered cancellation of the meeting because its date has been amended for four times without consulting with him,” adding the assessment team also visited Khour Abashi IDP’s camp in South Darfur on Thursday without informing the state government.

The statement also mentioned that the visiting team held closed meetings at the headquarters of the hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in El-Fashir.

It added the team agreed to meet the governor and the security committee at 10:00 am (local time) on Friday, saying that Youssef , members of the security committee and several ambassadors from the foreign ministry arrived on time and waited until 11:00 am but the team has neither come nor did they offer an apology.

The statement saw this as apparent disrespect of the state government who “was keen to attend the meeting and ensure its success in order to satisfy desires of all parties”.

“Accordingly, the governor issued directives to cancel the meeting due to [the team’s] failure to meet the specified time and lack of seriousness,” it added.

The AUPSC delegation is expected to hold a press conference in Khartoum on Saturday before to fly back to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Meanwhile, sources told Sudan Tribune that some members of the AUPSC team held UNAMID responsible for lack of coordination which led to the delay of the delegation.

The same sources said the head of the delegation sought to fix a new date for the meeting with the governor but to no avail, particularly after the foreign ministry confirmed the cancellation of the meeting.

The AUPSC team’s program includes meetings with Sudan’s foreign minister, head of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), head of Darfur peace implementation follow-up office, rapporteur of Sudan’s Advisory Council for Human Rights (ACHR) and the humanitarian aid commissioner.

The delegation will meet with the first vice-president, Bakri Hassan Salih at the conclusion of the visit on Saturday.

In a meeting held on 31 July, the AUPSC decided to hold a field visit to Darfur to assess the situation on the ground in order to make the appropriate decisions to enhance the security and humanitarian situation and promote reconciliation and dialogue efforts in the restive region.

In a statement issued following its latest meeting last July, the AUPSC expressed concern over the continuation of the armed conflict in Darfur, saying it doesn’t only undermine peace in Sudan but also in the neighbouring countries.

It emphasized the need to renew commitment by all parties to facilitate the political process, expressing concern over the humanitarian situation in Darfur and calling upon all parties to allow aid group to access needy population in the region.

It is worth noting that AUPSC dossiers on Sudan include also Abyei issue and the outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) besides the peace in South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas.