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U.N. official calls for UNAMID free movement in Darfur

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October 11, 2016 (EL-FASHER) - The Director of Africa Division at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Michael Kingsley-Nyinah has asked the Sudanese government to give teams of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) access to remote areas to provide services for the affected.

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

UNAMID continued to complain about restrictions imposed on the movement of its patrol teams in some Darfur areas where the government demands the mission to notify the authorities in advance in order to put the necessary security measures.

On Tuesday, Kingsley-Nyinah discussed with the Deputy Governor of North Darfur State Mohamed Braima ways to support government efforts to implement development and services projects in Darfur.

According to the official news agency (SUNA), the visiting UN official said he came to Sudan to enhance the joint cooperation between UNAMID and the government and to assess the mission’s work on the ground.

He demanded the Sudanese government to allow the mission’s staff and patrol teams access to remote areas to provide services for the affected and submit reports enabling the UN to implement development and services projects.

Kingsley-Nyinah pointed to the vitality of establishing development and services projects in the IDP’s and refugees original villages, saying he would give this issue his personal attention.

He said the UN doesn’t intend to blame the government or accuse it under any pretext, stressing that the ultimate goal of the organization is to achieve the highest degree of cooperation and coordination with the government to better serve the residents.

He hailed the ongoing cooperation between the UN and the Sudanese government in the various domains, underscoring that cooperation would continue during the coming period to achieve the joint tasks.

For his part, Braima briefed the UN official on the security and humanitarian conditions in North Darfur, underlining the security situation has improved significantly due to the decisions and measures taken by the government.

He called on the UN to support government efforts to build the model villages and infrastructure projects and provide water, health and education services in IDP’s and refugees original villages.

The deputy governor also asked for the UN help to pull out gunmen from rebel groups who infiltrated the Sortoni camp for IDP’s and sought to destabilize the security situation inside the camp.

Braima further stressed the need to enhance cooperation between UNAMID and the government in order to carry out the mission’s tasks, stressing the government doesn’t restrict the movement of the mission’s staff and patrol teams.

He said that his government started to take practical actions to normalize the situation in the state, pointing to the imposition of state authority and the rule of law through the police and the judiciary.

The deputy governor described Amnesty International’s allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Jebel Marra as mere fabrications, saying the government doesn’t have such weapons.

The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in the western Sudan’s 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 peace agreement in Doha in July 2011.

(ST)

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