El Fasher — The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid) welcomes the issuance on 8 March of a Presidential decree lifting death sentences from 66 members of Darfuri armed movements and pardoning 193 others.
A statement by the Mission's communications office in El Fasher today says: This positive development comes in the context of ongoing mediation by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel, Unamid and other stakeholders as set out in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur and adopted by relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) and African Union Peace and Security Council resolutions.
"The Mission is heartened by this significant step forward which, it is hoped, will additionally reinforce the momentum of the ongoing peace process and national reconciliation," said Unamid's Acting Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah N. Mamabolo. "All parties to the conflict should capitalize on this gesture with a view to end hostilities and bring about a permanent and lasting peace for the people of Darfur. Unamid reiterates its commitment to do everything within its capacity to achieve this end," he concluded.
A total of 259 rebel fighters who were captured during various battles with government forces, were released from Kober prison in Bahri, Khartoum, on Thursday following a Presidential amnesty.
The rebel fighters were captured during the assault of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on Omdurman in 2008, and other battles in Darfur, including Donki Baashim, Goz Dungo, Fanaga and Kulbus. Many of them faced the death sentence.