May 1, 12011 (EL FASHER) – The hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) during the next three weeks will launch "Operation Spring Basket" aiming to bring humanitarian assistance Darfur affected civilians in the inaccessible areas in the restive region.
- Ibrahim Gambari meets with local leaders in En Siro, North Darfur on 1 May 2011 (photo UNAMID)
Organized by UNAMID and the UN Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator (OCHA) the operation aims to increase the accessibility of aid workers to isolated areas in Darfur as Jebel Marra where they were denied access since long years ago.
"I can assure you that this will be an ongoing process, the humanitarian community will follow up in order to deliver humanitarian relief to those in need," said the UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari on Sunday after his return from En Siro and Kutum in North Darfur.
"We have undertaken intense negotiations and outreach to secure access to these areas, which are controlled by various parties," Gambari further said , stressing that the UNAMID will provide security and logistical support to the aid groups that are willing to work there.
The humanitarian situation in Jebel Marra particularly was a major issue of concern for the UN Security Council since last year. A delegation from the Council visited the region last October said deeply concerned for the "continuing restrictions on access by UNAMID and humanitarian workers”.
Nonetheless, Darfur authorities continued to expel aid groups accusing them of supporting the rebel groups. In February 2011, the governor of South Darfur State expelled the French Médecins du Monde saying they had "evidences proving that it was cooperating with a rebel group and that it was writing reports on movements of the army".
Gambari said on Sunday the hybrid mission undertaking intense contacts and outreach to secure the access to those areas.
"We are fully committed to ensuring the protection of civilians where we can implement UNAMID’s core mandate of protecting civilians and facilitating humanitarian delivery."