18 September 2017

Sudan: UNAMID to Close Sites in South Darfur This Month

Nyala — The southern section of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) is ready to close its sites in Ed El Fursan and Tullus localities in South Darfur before September 30.

After meeting with the Governor of South Darfur, Adam El Faki, in Nyala on Saturday, the head of Unamid's southern section, Burhani Miskal, told reporters that they discussed the future use of the buildings with the joint team of the state government.

He stated that the final decision on the use the buildings is up to the Sudanese authorities, suggesting that the local communities could make good use of them.

The Darfur peacekeeping mission identified 11 of its bases to be closed by next January after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2363 on 29 June.

The Council decided to renew Unamid's mandate until 30 June next year, yet with a reduction of more than a third of the nearly 19,000 Unamid military troops and police officers present in Darfur.

The peacekeeping mission has already delivered its sites in Muhajiriya in East Darfur and El Malha, Mellit, and Um Keddada in North Darfur. The other bases to be dismantled are those in Abu Shouk, Zamzam, El Tina, Habila, and Foro Baranga.

The Unamid team sites are handed over to the Sudanese government or appropriate private parties as per lease agreements signed by the Mission, Unamid explained in a statement last Monday.

In the statement, Unamid responded to claims by Darfur rebel movements that it had handed its sites in El Malha and Mellit "to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia".

According to the rebel movements, the agreement signed between Khartoum and Unamid on the reduction of the peacekeeping troops stipulates that any property left by the mission is should be handed to the local authorities, and is to be used for civilian purposes only.

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