26 June 2012

Africa: UNAMID to Open Office in Western Ethiopia

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia has offered the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the opportunity to open offices in western Ethiopia's Assosa town near the Sudanese border, the State Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed on Tuesday.

Ethiopia's deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn on Tuesday held talks with visiting UN department of field support assistant secretary general, Anthony Banbury over the country's peace-keeping contribution and generally on the activities of the AU-UN hybrid peace keeping operations.

During the talks Dessalegn said the opening of the office in Ethiopia will make an important contribution to the efforts of bringing lasting peace and stability in Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan.

The Ethiopian minister reaffirmed his country's firm commitment to supporting peace efforts in Sudan, South Sudan and the region as a whole.

Regional and continental bodies such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the AU have also provided significant support to Ethiopia's role to the peace efforts in Sudan, Somalia, and South Sudan, according to Dessalegn.

Assistant secretary general, Banbura, who arrived in Addis Ababa after visiting peacekeeping operations in both Darfur and Abyei regions to his part said he has witnessed Ethiopia peace forces contributions in bringing relative peace and stability in the areas.

Banburra further said there is a plan to boost the number of peace keeping forces in Sudan and South Sudan to 4,200.

Currently over 3,800 peace keeping forces have been deployed in North and South Sudan.

The provisional office in Benisnangul-Gumuz State, which will be opened in coordination of the UN, will provide technical support and follow-up services to the AU, Sudan Tribune understands.

Darfur hybrid peacekeeping mission has already an office in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

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