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UNAMID, Central Darfur government discuss opening of new base in Golo

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UNAMID peacekeepers on patrol in Sortony, North Darfur on 10 Nov 2016 (UNAMID Photo)
October 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Sunday said the Mission’s Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah Mamabolo has discussed with the governor of Central Darfur the opening of a temporary base in Golo area, Jebel Marra.

In a short statement released on Sunday, UNAMID said Mamabolo visited the capital of Central Darfur state, Zalingei and discussed with governor Ga’afar Abdel-Hakam “the opening of a temporary operating base in Golo as part of the Mission’s ongoing reconfiguration”.

“Mr Mamabolo also updated UNAMID staff at the Mission’s headquarters in Zalingei on current achievements and challenges,” further read the statement.

Last June the UN Security Council decided to lower UNAMID 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 the African Union, the 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 on 29 September said they are still waiting for TOB plans before to discuss it with them and eventually give their approval.

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

Golo area is at 56 km. east of Zalingei. It was the first area attacked by the rebels in February 2003.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

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.

(ST)

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