Khartoum / Darfur — The government, the African Union, the United Nations and the joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) discussed how the mission will finally exit by the end of this year in a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.
The meeting was held in preparation for the arrival of Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaїl Chergui in Khartoum tomorrow.
Lacroix and Chergui will meet various interlocutors, including the Chair of the Sovereign Council, Abdelfattah El Burhan, and Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok, to discuss the overall situation in Darfur and the implementation of UNAMID's mandate, in particular issues surrounding the UNAMID drawdown. They will also participate in person in the 28th meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID on 25 October.
During the joint visit, from October 24 to 26, Lacroix and Chergui will travel to El Fasher in North Darfur, where they will meet representatives of the local government and hold a virtual town hall with UNAMID staff to thank them for their work in protecting civilians.
On May 4, a group of 98 Sudanese civil society activists urged the PM to add 'physical protection' to his request for a new UN force to be deployed in the country.
"As you're well aware that Chapter VI of the UN Charter aims to support the maintenance, monitoring, and building of peace, usually in the context of peace agreements, but not a peace enforcement mechanism to prevent violent conflict as it is the case in Chapter VII," they wrote in their petition to the PM.
The government expressed its firm position that UNAMID does not overlap with the new UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) during yesterday's preparation meeting.
UNITAMS is set to start when the mandate of UNAMID ends on December 31. At the beginning of this year, the Sudanese transitional government asked the United Nations Security Council to establish a Special Political Mission/Peace Support Operation to assist in the peace process and help Sudan to mobilise international financial assistance.
The planning team of UNITAMS visited Sudan in August to identify challenges in Darfur and to discuss how the mission can contribute to meet the needs of the people in the region. During the visit, Adeeb Abdelrahman, Governor of Central Darfur, discussed the realisation of peace, the Rule of Law, and the protection of civilians with the delegation, in addition to the poor economic situation in the state.
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