Sudan: UNAMID Forces Leave Kass Site, ICC Prosecutor to Visit Darfur

Nyala / Khartoum — Yesterday, the joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) officially handed its last site in South Darfur to the authorities in Nyala. A delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrived in Khartoum to prepare the visit of Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to Darfur next month.

In his address at the handing ceremony of the Kass site, South Darfur Governor Mousa Mahdi spoke about the importance of the local community in maintaining the UNAMID equipment and machinery. He advised the local leaders to donate the site to the technology college of Nyala University.

The governor praised the community leaders in Kalma camp for the displaced near the state capital Nyala, in managing the former UNAMID base close to the camp and by transforming it into a hospital that "provides great services to the displaced in the camp and the surrounding areas".

He also stressed the ability of his government to provide security and protection for the displaced.

Mahdi warned for attempts to plunder the Kass site, pointing to three UNAMID sites handed over earlier, in Manawashi, Ghorebshi, and Nyala, that were looted. He promised to bring those accused of sabotage to a fair trial.

UNAMID has been gradually handing over its bases since the UN decided to set December 31, 2020, as the final date of exit of the mission. The international peacekeeping mission was deployed in Darfur in December 2007, with a mandate to protect the people of Darfur against hostilities. It has been the world's second largest international peacekeeping force, after the force in Congo, with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops.

The exit of UNAMID has stirred up many protests throughout the country as many feared that, with the mission leaving, security will decrease and violence and crime rates will go up.

ICC prosecutor

The delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) visiting Khartoum, yesterday discussed with Minister of Foreign Affairs Maryam El Sadig arrangements for the visit of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to Darfur in June, before the end of her term.

Vaciso Mushushoku, head of the ICC delegation, pointed to the remarkable progress in the ICC investigation files. He valued the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in facilitating the tasks of the ICC delegations and overcoming all the difficulties to implement the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in February to enhance cooperation between Sudan and the Court.

El Sadig expressed her appreciation for the efforts of the ICC delegation to achieve justice for the victims of the Darfur war, and confirmed her Ministry's readiness to facilitate the tasks of the delegation.

In October last year, the ICC prosecutor visited Khartoum, for the first time since the UN Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC in 2005.

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