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U.S. diplomat visits recovery projects in Darfur’s Jebel Marra

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U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Steven Koutsis, USAID and UNAMID officials in Central Darfur Golo town on 19 June 2017 (Photo US Embassy)
June 19, 2017 (GOLO, Central Darfur) - A U.S. delegation chaired by the Ambassador Steven Koutsis on Monday arrived in Central Darfur Jebel Marra area to inspect recovery projects implemented by the USAID agency in Golo town.

U.S. Chargé d’affaires Steven Koutsis and USAID officials are in a three-day visit to Darfur region. On Sunday the delegation met with North Darfur government officials, UNAMID, displaced persons, Native Administration and El-Fasher University teachers.

In statements to Sudan Tribune, Koutsis said he arrived in Golo with the deputy commander of the hybrid peacekeeping force and met with the locality commissioner and local leaders.

"They expressed to me their desire for a lasting peace and more basic services in their area," he added.

"Through this visit, we have been able to get acquainted with the USAID water project, which helps thousands of people find safe drinking water. The water project is the most important now because the main station is out of service. We also visited the local hospital, which has been receiving patients despite the challenges it faces. "

The visiting diplomat stressed that Golo Hospital is the only hospital in the area that receives patients, emergency deliveries and contributes to the treatment of malnutrition.

Earlier this year, in coordination with the Sudanese authorities and local humanitarian partners, USAID provided vaccines and staffing support to a hospital in Golo and plans to rehabilitate the outpatient department and nutrition support facilities.

Also, USAID provided drilling equipment and constructed water infrastructure, including two hand pumps, to improve access to safe drinking water in Golo.

Koutsis stressed that the presence of UNAMID peacekeepers in the area would contribute to providing more services to the people of Golo and protect humanitarian operations.

The Sudanese government in line with a five-engagement agreement on the lift of U.S. economic sanctions stopped air and ground attacks on rebel positions in the mountainous area of Jebel Marra and opened humanitarian access to the area.

on 27 June, the UN Security Council is expected to endorse a resolution reducing by 44 percent the peacekeeping mission which would be gradually transformed into peacebuilding operation.

However, peacekeepers will be maintained in Jebel Marra area due to the presence of rebel fighters belonging to the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW), a rebel group that refuses to join the peace process or to declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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