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U.S. special envoy starts visit to North Darfur

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July 26, 2016 (EL-FASHER) - The United States special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth on Tuesday has started a visit to North Darfur state to assess the security and humanitarian situation on the ground particularly in Jebel Marra area.

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Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud, (L) shakes hands with U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth at his office in Khartoum on July 29, 2016 (ST Photo)

On Tuesday, Booth has discussed with North Darfur’s deputy governor Mohamed Braima Hassab el-Nabi and senior military and security officials in El-Fasher several issues including IDPs conditions and government efforts to achieve security and stability in the state.

In press statements following the meeting, Hassab el-Nabi said they briefed the American envoy and his accompanying delegation on the situation in the state, pointing “we asked them to play their role with credibility”.

He added they underscored that the security situation in the state is stable, saying we told the delegation that field commanders from rebel groups, which he didn’t name, would soon join the peace process.

For his part, Booth hailed government efforts to achieve reconciliation and conflict resolution, pointing that his country would continue to support peace and stability in Darfur.

He demanded the government to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the IDPs in Sortoni area, saying the government officials explained that there were no difficulties in delivering relief to the IDPs and mentioned efforts made to that effect.

Since the start of hostilities between the Sudanese army and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) led by Abdel-Wahid al-Nur in Jebel Marra in January 2016, Sortoni is hosting over 90,000 displaced persons.

Sortoni camp, which is located near a UNAMID site in North Darfur, has become the main refuge for the IDPs who fled the recent fighting in Jebel Marra area between the government forces and SLM-AW fighters.

The Sudanese army says its troops have retaken all the rebel controlled areas in Jebel Marra, following a four-month campaign on the rebel position in the areas.

The American envoy intends to visit Jebel Marra to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground.

UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)

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