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13,000 blue helmets withdrawn during first phase of UNAMID reconfiguration: FM

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UNAMID officially handed over the Mission's team site in Tine, North Darfur, to the Government of Sudan, on 19 October 2017 (UNAMID Photo

April 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said around 13,000 personnel have been withdrawn during the first phase of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reconfiguration process.

Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’im told Ashorrooq TV that the second phase of the process has begun following the successful reduction of the Mission during the first phase.

Al-Nai’im, who spoke to Ashorrooq following a workshop organized by the national committee tasked with facilitating the Mission’s exit, stressed the security situation in Darfur’s five states is stable.

He pointed to concerted government and community efforts during the disarmament campaign as well as the donors’ efforts to enhance development and stability in the region.

The Sudanese diplomat added the African Union and the United Nations representatives at the workshop underlined the reduction of the Mission wouldn’t adversely impact on the security situation in Darfur.

In June 2017, the African Union and the United Nations decided to draw down the UNAMID by withdrawing the military personnel by 44% and that of the police component by 30%, the closure of 11 team sites in the first phase and the withdrawal of the military component from another seven team sites in the second phase.

But at the same time, the Council decided the opening of a temporary operating base in the Jebel Marra town of Golo.

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 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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