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Central Darfur governor accuses holdout group of obstructing IDPs return

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An overview of the IDPS camp at Sortony, North Darfur, where a large number of people have fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area on 20 November 2016. (UNAMID An overview of the IDPS camp at Sortony, North Darfur, where a large number of people have fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area on 20 November 2016. Photo UNAMID)
May 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The governor of Central Darfur has accused the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) of inciting the Internally Displaced People (IDP) in the state’s camps against the government and obstructing their return to original areas.

The Sudanese government says its forces have crushed SLM-AW fighters and pacified the mountainous area of Jebel Marra, but the holdout rebel group maintains that their forces are present in the region.

Ina meeting with a visiting delegation from the African Union Peace and Security Council AUPSC on Wednesday, the governor Jaffar Abdel Hakam said the activities of the group has declined in the state, admitting the presence of "small active pockets" that he accused of attacking civilians.

He further said that after his military defeat the exiled leader of the group "has sought to plant sleeper cells inside the camps to blackmail the IDPs, incite them against the government to obstruct its efforts for their return to the areas of origin and to bring stability".

Abdel Hakam called on the visiting delegation "to convey his message to the international community, that they have to exert serious efforts to convince Abdel Wahid to join the peace process if they want to serve peace in Darfur."

The governor said the security and humanitarian situations have improved in the state particularly in Jebel Marra pointing that some 140,000 IDPs and refugees have returned to their original villages.

Next June, the UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Darfur and the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The UN is expected to reduce the authorised strength of 23,743 personnel including 19,248 uniformed peacekeepers.

The United States, which is the main contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, is preparing to cut 40% of its $2 billion’s contribution.

The budget of the peacekeeping operations in 2016 reached more than $8 billion. The UNAMID budget for this year is $ 1,039,573.2.

(ST)

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