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Darfur joint protection force to be formed within two weeks, official

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Mohamed Hassan Eltaishi
April 15, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Darfur joint forces including former rebels will be formed within two weeks, said the head of the government negotiating team with the armed groups in western Sudan on Thursday.

Mohamed Hassan Eltaishi who is also a member of the Sovereign Council told the Sudan News Agency on Thursday that several reasons delayed the formation of the joint force to maintain peace and security in Darfur.

"This led to a change in the security arrangements implementation matrix in the various fields related to the peace agreement," he stressed.

He further said the formation of the joint force has been disturbed by the financial conditions of the country because the preparation of the troops requires training, uniforms, logistical support and other commodities.

"Now the signatory groups have handed over the lists of the forces participating in the first batch that will be formed. Also, It has been agreed on the lists (of troops ) and equipment that will be used by the force," he said.

"I think that a joint force of 3000 to 5000 troops will be formed during the next two weeks," he further said.

In line with the Juba peace agreement, a 12000-troop force will be formed to protect civilians after the withdrawal of the African Union-United Nations peacekeepers from the region.

Regarding the forces of the SLM Minni Minnawi and SLFA of Tahir Hajar, Eltaishi said only 45 troops will remain in the capital for the protection of their leaders.

On Wednesday, the rapporteur of the South Sudanese mediation Dhieu Matouk told reporters in Khartoum that the presence of heavily-equipped former rebels in Khartoum violates the provisions of the peace agreement.

The peace pact provides that the former rebels should not bear their weapons outside the cantonment sites in Darfur.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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