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Security Council drastically cuts Darfur UNAMID ahead of full withdrawal

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UNAMID's new Temporary Operating Base in Golo, Jebel Marra, Central Darfur on 30 April 2018 (Photo UNAMID)
July 14, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations Security Council unanimously decided to extend for one year the mandate the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and also to reduce the number of its troops in line with an exit strategy aiming to close the hybrid operation in two years.

However, the 15-member body stressed that the drawdown of the mission should be based on progress against related indicators and benchmarks.

The resolution 2429 (2018), which was passed late on Friday 13 July, provides to cut the troop strength of the hybrid mission from the current 8,735 to 4,050 personnel and to maintain its police strength at the current level of 2,500 personnel.

According to the terms of the resolution, the mission will shut down its 14 sites in Darfur, except for 13 sites in the Greater Jebel Marra area and transfer its headquarters to Golo.

The decision was based on a joint report by the African Union and the United Nations recommending to close the UNAMID on 30 June 2020 and the total full withdrawal of its troops by December of the same year.

However, as the situation is based on the improvement of the security situation despite the lack of a final peace agreement with several armed groups in Darfur, the Council gave its self the possibility to reconsider its decision in case of a significant change in the security situation.

The resolution requests UNAMID to consolidate the whole-of-system approach to Darfur focused on peacekeeping and providing sustainable solutions to the drivers of conflict with the mission’s current two-pronged approach, to prevent relapse and enable the Government of Sudan, United Nations country team, civil society and other actors to prepare for the eventual exit of UNAMID.

Further, it directs the UNAMID to work closely with the United Nations country team and other United Nations agencies to coordinate in the transfer of responsibilities. and to identify ways to address the gaps in capabilities to prepare for the mission’s exit.

International human rights organization and Darfur armed opposition issued several statements calling on the UN Security Council to not follow the recommendation of the joint report pointing to the continued violence against civilians.

(ST)

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