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New UNAMID chief meets Sudan’s defence minister

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January 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The newly appointed Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Martin Uhomoibhi Wednesday has officially begun his duties by meeting Sudan’s defence minister Awad Ibn Ouf.

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President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, addresses the eighth special session of the Rights Council after his election on 19 June 2008 (Photo UN)

Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Ali al-Sadiq told reporters that Uhomoibhi arrived in Khartoum early Wednesday and immediately met with Ibn Ouf, noting he would meet with several officials including the foreign minister, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the head of the Darfur peace implementation office.

He added those meetings aim to exchange views between the government and Uhomoibhi on the UNAMID and to agree on the exit strategy of the mission according to the 2008 agreement.

A tripartite committee including the Sudanese government, AU and UN has been set up last February to develop an exit strategy for the UNAMID from Darfur.

The committee was expected to sign an 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.

Uhomoibhi, 61 years Nigerian diplomat, was appointed last October by the United Nations and African Union as Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of UNAMID.

He holds a PhD in modern history and international relations .Most recently, he served as the Founder and President of the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy. From 2008 to 2009 he was the third President of the United Nations Human Rights Council and Chair of the World Intellectual Property Organisation General Assembly.

The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in the restive region.

It is the world’s second largest international peacekeeping force with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops.

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

(ST)

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