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UNAMID quick withdrawal puts Darfur at risk, say UK lawmakers

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A photo released on 1 March 2018 showing an UNAMID integrated team conducts a humanitarian and security assessment mission to Golo and Rokero, Central Darfur ( UNAMID Photo)
September 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A delegation of UK parliamentarians visiting Sudan nowadays stated that the hastened pullout of UNAMID troops from Darfur region may jeopardize the relative stability in the region as the displaced persons are still living in the camps.

A four-member delegation from the House of Commons and House of Lords on Wednesday met with the North Darfur governor, Abu Shouk camp for IDPs outside, and UNAMID officials.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, David Drew MP, leader of the visiting delegation warned against the ongoing downsizing of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur region.

“Withdrawing too quickly without a clear plan puts the progress made in Darfur at risk. Any further cuts must reflect genuine improvements on the ground, as well as assurances that the UN Country Team will have the resources and support necessary to fill the gaps,” said Mp Drew.

On Friday 13 July, the UN Security Council decided to cut the troop strength of the hybrid mission from 8,735 to 4,050 personnel and to maintain its police strength at the current level of 2,500 personnel.

Drew admitted that the improvement of the security situation in Darfur, however, he stressed that there are” too many IDPs” who feel “unable or unwilling” to return to their home areas due to security concerns.

“The conflict in Darfur has changed, but instability and insecurity remain,” he said.

According to the UNAMID reconfiguration plan, the hybrid mission will shut down its 14 sites in Darfur, except for 13 sites in the Greater Jebel Marra area. Also, its headquarters should be in Golo town of Central Darfur State.

The visiting delegation of British lawmakers is part of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sudan and South Sudan which promotes peace, human rights, justice and development in Sudan and South Sudan.

(ST)

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