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Sudan still waiting for UNAMID plan to establish new base in Golo: official

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AU, Sudan and UN tripartite meeting on UNAMID base in Golo in New york on 24 Sept 2017 (UNAMID photo)
September 29, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government is not responsible for the United Nations delay in the establishment of a new base to be established in Jebel Marra following its decision to reduce the peacekeepers deployed in Darfur region.

Last June the UN Security Council decided to lower the hybrid force (UNAMID) in Darfur region by 40 percent but at the same time it decided to deploy the Jebel Marra Task Force and requested the Sudanese government for land to establish a Temporary Operating Base (TOB) in Golo.

The tripartite coordination mechanism on the UNAMID including African Union, Sudanese government and United Nations held a meeting in New York on 22 September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss the matter.

The UNAMID in a statement released on 24 September said the meeting "agreed to resolve outstanding issues on visas and shipments and to cooperate towards the completion of UNAMID’s mandate, including the establishment of a temporary operating base in Golo, Jebel Mara”.

However, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani Al-Nai’m who chaired the Sudanese side in the meeting said they are still waiting for TOB plans before to discuss it with them and eventually give their approval.

"The Government of Sudan requested details on the establishment of the temporary operating base in Golo, to which UNAMID committed to reply," he told Sudan Tribune when asked about the details of the agreement on the new base in Golo.

According to the UNAMID reports, rebel presence in Darfur is reduced to some parts of Jebel Marra mountainous area that harbour fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur.

The armed group refuses to negotiate with the government which deployed its forces in the area to limit their activities.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council about the situation in Darfur on 15 September, the UNAMID head Jeremiah Mamabolo said the establishment of the TOB is a matter of priority.

"The cooperation of the Government for the reconfiguration of UNAMID, particularly for the establishment of a TOB in Golo, is a matter of priority," stressed Mambobo.

EU, UK and US called on the Sudanese government to authorise the new base which is crucial in the new UN plan for the protection of civilians in Darfur.

(ST)

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