Khartoum — The Foreign Ministry has condemned actions that delay the implementation of the withdrawal from Darfur by the AU-UN peacekeeping mission. The ministry has set deadlines for Unamid's exit in 2020.
On Thursday, the Sudanese foreign ministry announced that the recommendations of the strategic review team have been used to set the deadline in 2020, also as promised by the African Union Peace and Security Council.
In a press statement the ministry added that it had noticed "moves by some parties to put obstacles in the way of Unamid's exit as scheduled".
The moves are "creating confusion and attempting to cast doubt on the achieved stability through false pretexts and feeble arguments to circumvent the statement of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the recommendations of the Strategic Review Report".
Three armed opposition groups, namely the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Minni Minawi, the SLM-Transitional Council (SLM-TC) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have recently petitioned for the UN Security Council to reconsider plans to withdraw the peacekeepers from Darfur.
Also, Amnesty International released satellite images showing 13 villages burned and destroyed in Jebel Marra area and called on the Security Council to not downsize Unamid, the "only source of security and safety" for Darfur civilians.
According to the Foreign Ministry: "The Government of the Republic of Sudan deplores these negative moves and reaffirms its readiness to continue to cooperate and facilitate Unamid's mission and exit in the year 2020."
The ministry's statement also pointed to government efforts to protect civilians in the areas where Unamid has closed its team sites. With the handing of the Zamzam team site in North Darfur to the Sudanese authorities on October 21, Unamid completed the first phase of the reduction.