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Sudan can protect civilians in Darfur, Hamdok tells AUPSC

Hamdok speaks to the media on 8 February 2021 (ST photo)April 1, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister reassured African Union about his government’s ability to protect civilians in Darfur after the end of the hybrid operation in the western Sudan region.

Abdallah Hamdok and head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met on Thursday with a visiting delegation of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), at the end of a three-day field mission from 29 March to 1 April.

The purpose of the visit is to assess the implementation of the Juba peace agreement and the progress towards the democratic transition in line with the Council’s mandate to promote and enhance peace, security and stability in Africa.

"Prime Minister Dr Abdullah Hamdok reaffirmed the Sudanese government’s ability to protect civilians in Darfur and the readiness of its forces to fill the void left by the exit of UNAMID (from the western Sudan region)," said his cabinet in a statement after the meeting.

The Sudanese government, up to now has deployed in Darfur 6,000 of 12,000 troops to protect the civilians in Darfur. The Africa Union-United Nations peacekeeping operation, UNAMID, terminated its mandate on 31 December 2020.

The PSC delegation visited Abushuk camp for displaced people outside El Fasher of North Darfur. Also, they met with UNAMID officials who are overseeing the liquidation process.

Al-Burhan who held a separate meeting with the delegation praised the support of the African Union to Sudan’s efforts for the success of the transitional period and the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement.

He further urged the PSC to persuade the holdout Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur, to join the peace process.

Also, the head of the Sovereign Council stressed that the Peace and Security Council should work to settle all African issues including the GERD process and the border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan.

For his part, Mohamed Idriss Farah Djibouti’s Permanent Representative to the AU who spoke on behalf of the PSC delegation told reporters they touched al-Burhan’s keenness to activate the role of the African Union to find African solutions to the continent’s problems.

"The meeting agreed on the need to provide the African Union with the necessary technical, political and legal capabilities to make its role in mediating the GERD issue a success," he added.

(ST)