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Time for UNAMID to leave Darfur, says Sudanese official

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October 29, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – A senior Sudanese diplomat in Khartoum said that the dispute with the United Nations over containers destined to ??? peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) is "completely resolved" while another official announced that time has come for UNAMID to depart.

Nepalese soldiers from the hybrid African Union-United Nations MIssion in Darfur (UNAMID) perform training exercises at UNAMID’s Super Camp in El Fasher, Sudan (Photo: UN/Olivier Chassot)

A diplomat in Khartoum told Sudan Tribune that all but five containers were released adding that the rest will be cleared within the next 24 hours.

He stressed that the issue was not a crisis but rather related to slow clearance process.

On October 14th the UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous told the UN Security Council (UNSC) that some 190 containers, largely food rations are blocked in the coastal city of Port Sudan and urged the Sudanese government to release it immediately.

But the foreign ministry in Khartoum denied the claim, and accused the joint mission of causing the delay by not providing its details at time.

In a related development, the minister of state at the Sudanese Foreign Ministry Kamal al-Din Ismail called on the UN to implement the UNAMID exit strategy, stressing that the time had come for it to leave.

Ismail stressed in his speech today at a ceremony held by the Foreign Ministry on the occasion of United Nations Day, that the justifications that necessitated the deployment of the hybrid mission in Darfur no longer exist.

He also renewed the call for structural reform in the UN and its security council, describing the current international system as no longer acceptable or commensurate with the major changes that the world is witnessing.

The Sudanese government, the African Union (AU) and UN are expected to resume talks on the UNAMID exit strategy that Khartoum demanded since nearly two years ago.

It has been negotiating a plan for the gradual UNAMID exit from the western Sudan region. Khartoum asserts that the security situation in Darfur is now under control, and it is striving to end the tribal violence.

Sudanese officials also claim that the UNAMID staff members are seeking to draw a gloomy picture of the situation there in order to justify their presence and keep their high salaries and privileges.

(ST)

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