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UNAMID to fully exit three Darfur states by June

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UNAMID officially handed over the Mission's team site in Tine, North Darfur, to the Government of Sudan, on 19 October 2017 (UNAMID Photo
March 29, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Foreign Ministry has described the recent visit of the joint delegation for the review of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) exit strategy as successful.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted a well- informed source at the Foreign Ministry as saying the visiting delegation has assessed the situation at areas where the Mission has withdrawn as well as areas implementing the third phase of the exit strategy.

The same source pointed out that the Mission would fully withdraw from East Darfur, West Darfur and South Darfur in April, May and June respectively according to the UN Security Council resolution (29-24).

A tripartite working group including the Sudanese government, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have been set up in February 2015 to develop an exit strategy for the UNAMID from Darfur.

In June 2017, the AU and the UN decided to draw down the UNAMID by withdrawing the military personnel by 44% and that of the police component by 30%, the closure of 11 team sites in the first phase and the withdrawal of the military component from another 7 team sites in the second phase.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) admitted that the security situation in Darfur has improved but it decided to reinforce its presence in the mountainous area of Jebel Marra because there is no cessation of hostilities as a Sudan Liberation Movement faction led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) refuses to declare a unilateral truce or to engage in peace negotiations.

Last July, the UNSC unanimously decided to extend for one year the mandate of the UNAMID and also to reduce the number of its troops in line with an exit strategy aiming to close the hybrid operation in two years.

The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in western Sudan’s region.

It is the world’s second-largest international peacekeeping force with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.

(ST)

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