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Sudan developed plan to protect civilians after UNMAID exit: minister


Members of the Sudanese Army in Jawa village, in East Jebel Marra South Darfur State on 18 March 2011 (Photo UNAMID)

July 18, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government has developed a solid plan to protect civilians in Darfur region after the withdrawal of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) by the end of the year, said a senior official on Saturday.

"The country’s leadership has the political will and the firm determination to lay down a solid plan to protect civilians in Darfur (five) states after the exit of UNAMID. This plan involves all the state’s military and civil agencies, in line with international standards for the protection of civilians," said Omer Monis the minister of cabinet affairs.

This plan aims to address the issues of the displaced and refugees and to create a voluntary return environment for the displaced people, added Monis who is also the supervisor of the national mechanism for the protection of civilians.

Nertiti’s sit-in Jebel Marra earlier this month and the number of peaceful protests that took place in Darfur have shown the continuation of attacks on civilians and attacks on the farmers by the armed pastoralists, recalling the political atmosphere in the region before the insurgency in 2003.

The bloody attack on protesters in the Fata Borno area of the Kutum increased fears that the local authorities are not prepared to quell armed gunmen who are well equipped and suspected of been close to the government’s militia Rapid Support Forces if not part of it.

The minister further pointed out that this suitable atmosphere requires to provide basic health, education and water services, e expanding government services complexes, creating jobs for the returnees, enhancing youth employability.

IDPs fear that the UNAMID withdrawal will create a security vacuum saying that this issue remains their first concern, for the time being, pointing that the RSF militiamen participated openly in the attacks on IDPs in December 2019.

After its meeting on Saturday, the National Mechanism for Civilian Protection stressed the need to facilitating the access of rights groups supporting the protection of civilians as well as spreading the values of peaceful tribal coexistence and setting up corridors to ensure herders can safely move with their livestock for grazing.

On 4 June, the UN Security Council extended UNAMID the mandate until 31 December.

The 15 member body further decided that the peacekeeping mission will maintain its current troop and police ceilings during this period, and expressed its intention to decide by 31 December courses of action regarding UNAMID’s drawdown and exit.


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