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Security Council calls to create conducive environment in Darfur for 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)
February 1, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations Security Council said it remains concerned by the by the presence of 2.7 Sudanese displaced in displacement camps in Darfur region and called on the conflict parties to create a conducive environment for their return to areas of origin.

In a presidential statement issued on Wednesday, the 15-member body welcomed the improvements in the security situation, "the ongoing absence of armed clashes" between government forces and the armed groups, and the extension of unilateral cessations of hostilities by both sides.

It also praised the humanitarian throughout Darfur and the return from Chad and the Central African Republic of more than 5,000 refugees in recent months.

However, “The Security Council reiterates its demand that all parties to the conflict in Darfur create the conditions conducive to allowing the voluntary, informed, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons,” further said a Presidential Statement on Wednesday.

The Council also underlined that improvements in the security situation have not translated into a "commensurate reduction" in the level of human rights violations and abuses, such as sexual and gender-based violence, and serious violations against children, perpetrated with impunity.

The UN body reiterated its support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) as a viable framework for the peace process, urged the implementation of the Land Act and provisions related to compensation and the creation of a conducive environment enabling the return of IDPs and refugees.

Regarding the armed group, the presidential statement "demands that the non-signatory armed movements refrain from impeding the implementation of the DDPD and encourages UNAMID and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) to continue to engage fully in support of the implementation of the DDPD".

Furthermore, the Council pointed to the African Union roadmap and urged all parties to "make immediate progress on the implementation of the Roadmap, including the signing of a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian assistance agreements (...), and further urges the non-signatory armed groups to sign it without delay".

Referring to the recent reduction of the peacekeeping troops deployed in Darfur, the statement said it was “still too early to reach conclusions on the full impact of the hybrid mission’s reconfiguration.

With phase two of UNAMID’s reconfiguration due to begin on 31 January, the Council said it supported a recommendation by the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Secretary-General for a review – prior to the renewal of UNAMID’s mandate in June – that would consider a new mission concept with adjusted priorities reflective of trends and the situation on the ground.

(ST)

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