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Discussions over UNAMID exit strategy to resume next November

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October 11, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The African Union, United Nations and Sudan tripartite mechanism will resume discussions next month on an exit strategy of the hybrid peacekeeping mission from Darfur, said a Sudanese official on Sunday.

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A UNAMID peacekeeper during a routine patrol in Tawila, North Darfur.(Photo UNAMID/Hamid Abdelsalam)

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Sudanese in September, foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour discussed with UN chief Ban Ki-moon the withdrawal of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and called to resume the talks.

The foreign ministry spokesperson Ali al-Sadiq, told reporters on Sunday that a meeting was held in New York with the participation of the three parties, adding that the chairperson of the African Union Commission Dlamini Zuma was represented by its deputy.

"The meeting reiterated the importance of achieving the UNMAID exit strategy form Darfur. It has also been decided that the tripartite team determines the date of its next meeting which is expected to convene early in November in Khartoum," Sadiq said.

The tripartite committee tasked with the development of the exit strategy had been expected to sign a agreement last May. But in June, Sudanese officials said that the UN retracted from an agreement reached by the joint team on an exit strategy.

In a report on 26 May, Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council that UNAMID could only withdraw gradually from West Darfur, and leave from three bases in North and South Darfur, in areas that do not currently necessitate its presence.

He linked the full withdrawal from the region with signing of a ceasefire agreement within a peace agreement where the protection of civilians can be ensured.

The government says the situation is favourable for the withdrawal of the expensive mission and propose to directs its money for recovery and development projects. The government also argues that the displacements that occurred earlier this year are caused by communal fighting and they are now under control.

UN agencies say there are nearly 2.5 million displaced persons in Darfur, despite the signing of peace agreement in Doha in July 2011.

(ST)

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