December 28, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Wednesday said it would continue to promote reconciliation and peace initiatives stressing that there is no military solution to the conflict in the restive region.
- 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)
In his end-of-year message seen by Sudan Tribune Wednesday, UNAMID Joint Special Representative / Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Martin Uhomoibhi, said that “2016 hasn’t been an easy year for the people of Darfur and for UNAMID staff”.
“We have lost a colleague from South Africa in hostile action while others passed away due to unfortunate incidents,” he said.
“Furthermore, armed clashes among different communal groups in various locations around Darfur and the renewal of conflict in the Jebel Marra area have resulted in numerous casualties and mass displacements,” Uhomoibhi added.
He stressed that the mission and the “UN Country Team partners are doing their best to fulfill the protection needs of and provide humanitarian aid to the displaced”, saying however “their situation remains challenging”.
Uhomoibhi further underscored that the hybrid mission “shall carry on with its mandate assiduously and remain committed to the cause of peace, stability and security in Darfur”.
In the wake of a crisis between the Sudanese government and UNAMID on investigating mass rape claims in a village in North Darfur state in 2014, Khartoum informed the mission to begin an exit strategy from the restive region.
A tripartite working group including the Sudanese government, African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) has been set up in February 2015 to develop an exit strategy for the UNAMID from Darfur.
Last June, the UN Security Council (UNSC) extended the mandate of the UNAMID until 30 June 2017, stressing that the situation in the western Sudan region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security.
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.