South Sudan: UNAMID Deputy Chief and DRA Chair Meet South Darfur Community, Assess Security

press release

El Fasher — UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR) Joseph Mutaboba travelled with Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) Chair Tijani Seisi on 12 May 2014 to Buram, South Darfur

, to meet with members of the local community, hear their concerns, assess the security situation and discuss progress on the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

As part of the trip to Buram, where UNAMID has an operating base, the DJSR and the DRA Chair met with South Darfur Governor Adam Mahmoud Jar El-Nabi, the Nazir of Habaniya and Buram's Commissioner. They inaugurated several DRA projects, including a technical school and the foundation for what will later become Buram Hospital's Maternity Ward, and held discussions with local leaders, including members of native administration and tribal elders in the area.

In a speech delivered at the locality's headquarters, DJSR Mutaboba welcomed the DRA's work to restore harmony and peace in the area through implementing such projects, and highlighted the importance of the Government of Sudan, the DRA and UNAMID working together to rebuild communities and create a stable security environment for peace to flourish.

"UNAMID is ever willing to extend logistics and substantive support to all initiatives and efforts in accordance with our mandate and within our limited resources," said the DJSR, who noted that the people of Darfur have suffered a decade of misery, with conflict and mutual mistrust blocking lasting and peaceful solutions. "Negotiations and dialogue are the best means to resolve disputes," he said. "Many African nations have gone through similar conflicts, but peace has only come through dialogue."

The DJSR urged all combatants to put down their arms and to heed President Bashir's call for national dialogue. "Dialogue is the best opportunity to secure the future of Darfur and Sudan," he said, noting that while UNAMID is mandated to support the DRA in the implementation of the DDPD, the pace of the Doha Document's implementation has been slower than expected.

"It is imperative that the backlog in the implementation of the DDPD is taken care of as soon as possible," he said. "UNAMID is willing and ready to support all DDPD-related activities."

DRA Chair Seisi, also addressing those gathered at the locality's headquarters, stressed the need for reconciliation. "People must embrace peace and social coexistence, and must forget their grievances," he said, noting that weapons have been proliferating in Darfur, and threatening peace. "We call upon all armed movements to join the peace process," urged the DRA Chair.

"The Darfur Regional Authority and the citizens of Darfur are partners for achieving peace and development," the DRA Chair concluded. "We must concentrate on projects, in line with the DDPD, to meet people's needs."

Buram, a multi-ethnic locality situated approximately 50 kilometres from Sudan's border with South Sudan and located at the intersection of several travel routes, not only is a hub of international trade, but also is an area where residents frequently have been caught in the conflict between armed movements and Government forces. With different tribes living in and around Buram, sporadic conflict related to competition over natural resources has emerged from time to time, but most residents have been living peacefully in recent months, thanks in part to local-level mediation initiatives supported by UNAMID.

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