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High level meeting decides to create an international group to back transition in Darfur

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A Nigerian peacekeeper plays a tuba trombone in a march to celebrate the Peacekeepers Day in El Fasher on May 29, 2017 (UNAMID Photo)

September 28, 2018 (NEW YORK) - A high-level meeting on Darfur Friday decided the creation of a Group of Friends to back this transition the transition from peacekeeping to peace-building and development in Darfur.

The decision was taken during the high-level meeting held on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual general debate, convened by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui.

In her opening speech, the deputy secretary general said that the security situation in Darfur has largely improved since the height of the conflict in the late 2000s. She pointed out that only "intermittent clashes" occur in the mountainous area of Jebel Marra.

Further, she called on AU-UN partners in Darfur to support this transition to a sustainable future, saying it is time to consolidate the gains on the ground and make sure that Darfur moves towards peace and development.

"This is not the time to disengage. We have invested $16 billion in peacekeeping alone over the past ten years, in addition to humanitarian funding and bilateral aid to alleviate the suffering of the population," she underlined.

The deputy UN chief proposed the creation of a “Group of Friends of the Transition in Darfur” to provide political support and ensure the United Nations Country Team has sufficient resources to achieve the transitional tasks.

"We also propose holding a pledging conference in the near future so that the UN system can ramp up its work immediately. This would ensure there is no gap in critical work as UNAMID draws down," she added.

Participants included representatives of China, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sudan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The participants in the meeting expressed support for the creation of a “Group of Friends of the Transition in Darfur” and the organization of a pledging conference to ensure sufficient funds are available to the UN Country Team (UNCT) which will implement the transition’s plan.

It was agreed that the Group would accompany the transition, including ensuring the UNCT has sufficient resources for its critical work during this period and after UNAMID’s exit, to consolidate peace and prevent relapse into conflict.

Also, the meeting expressed support for the four priorities of the transition concept: (i) rule of law; (ii) durable solutions for IDPs and host communities; (iii) immediate service delivery for IDPs; and (iv) human rights.

They expressed support for the African Union-UN resolutions to drawdown the UNAMID with a view to its eventual exit in 2020. Also, they welcomed the efforts of the Sudanese government and encouraged it to undertake the necessary reforms to further these priorities, as well as to reach an inclusive political settlement in Darfur.

(ST)

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