10 January 2016

Sudan Proposes Resumption of Unamid Exit Talks

Khartoum — Sudan has proposed to resume discussions on the exit strategy for the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (Unamid) by the end of this month in Addis Ababa.

FA Minister Ibrahim Ghandour met with the newly appointed Unamid chief Martin Uhomoibhi in Khartoum on Thursday, Sudan Tribune reported.

The spokesman of the FA Ministry, Ali El Sadig told reporters in Khartoum after the meeting that Ghandour proposed for the tripartite committee to meet on the margins of the AU summit in Addis Ababa on 29 or 30 January, to discuss Unamid's exit strategy.

He said that the Minister stressed the need to reach an exit agreement in line with the 2008 Sudan-Unamid agreement.

He further announced that a tripartite technical committee would visit Darfur soon to assess the humanitarian and security situation, and decide on the first areas Unamid will withdraw its peacekeepers from.

Following a meeting between Ghandour and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York last October, the Sudanese FA Ministry announced that talks on Unamid's exit strategy would resume in November in Khartoum.

Protection

With 15,845 military personnel and 1,583 police officers, 3,445 civilian staff, and 169 UN volunteers, Unamid is currently the largest peacekeeping mission in the world.

In his report to the UN Security Council on 26 May last year, Ban linked the peacekeeping mission's withdrawal from the conflict-torn region with the signing of a peace agreement that guarantees the protection of the Darfuri people. In June, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of Unamid until 30 June 2016.

Sudan called for Unamid's withdrawal from Darfur following a dispute over the mass rape in the village of Tabit in North Darfur by army troops in October last year.

(Sudan Tribune)

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