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Talks on UNAMID withdrawal to resume after formation of Sudan’s new cabinet

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UNAMID handed over a police post at Al Riyadh camp for internally displaced persons in El Geneina, West Darfur, to the Government of Sudan police on 23 April 2018 (UNAMID photo)
August 27, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Officials from the African Union and the United Nations will hold talks with the Sudanese government on the UNIAMD drawdown next month, said the head of the UN Department of Peace Operations Jean Pierre Lacroix.

"Once the new cabinet is formed, we will engage relevant interlocutors on a range of issues, including the drawdown of UNAMID, planning for a transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, next steps for the Darfur peace process, and post-UNAMID engagement," Lacroix told the UN Security Council on Monday 26 August.

He further added that the meeting aimed to explore ways to accompany the Sudanese government in addressing the remaining conflict drivers in Darfur.

The transitional government will be formed on Wednesday 28 August and hold its first cabinet meeting on 1 September.

The Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok says he will dedicate the first six months to settle the armed groups in Darfur but also in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, in line with the political agreement agreed with the former military council.

The French diplomat told 15-member council in a regular briefing that African Union and the Sudanese officials have proposed a meeting of the Tripartite Mechanism on Darfur to discuss future AU-UN engagement in/on Darfur in the margins of the General Assembly next September.

Furthermore, there will be another high-level event on Sudan on the sidelines of the high-level week of the General Assembly, after the inauguration of the new cabinet in Khartoum.

The UN and the African Union are working to withdraw the peacekeeping mission from Darfur by the end of June 2020. However, last June they suspended the troops’ reduction until October 2019 and the handover of UNAMID sites to the Sudanese authorities after a decision by the military council to allocate these camps to the Rapid Support Forces.

The decision was a flagrant violation of an agreement between the Sudanese government and the United Nations as it provides to allocate these resources for the organizations supporting peacebuilding and community stabilization.

On this respect, Lacroix said UNAMID held a technical meeting with the Sudanese authorities on 5 August.

"During the discussion, the Sudanese authorities reiterated their pledge to allocate UNAMID’s camps for civilian purposes, while asking for the donation of other Mission assets," he said.

(ST)

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