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Sudan hands over land for UNAMID new base in Jebel Marra

UNAMID head Jeremiah Mamabolo (Cr) with Central Darfur governor Jaafar Abdel Hakam (C l) in Golo on 28 January 2018 (UNAMID photo)

January 30, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) this week officially received a land to establish a Temporary Operating Base (TOB) in Golo, Jebel Marra, in the context of a plan to reshape the mission and draw down its troops.

In June 2017, the UN Security Council extended the UNAMID mandate for another year and redefined its mandate to play a double role. In Jebel Marra, the force has to continue to protect civilians and ensure the delivery of emergency relief. In the other areas of Darfur, the mission has to focus on stabilising the situation.

On Sunday 28 January, UNAMID chief "Jeremiah Mamabolo, officially received a suitable location allocated by the Government of Sudan for the establishment of the Mission’s temporary operating base in Golo, Jebel Marra, Central Darfur," said the hybrid mission in a statement released on Monday.

Speaking at the site handover ceremony, Mamabolo thanked the Sudanese government and the Central Darfur state for supporting the mission to implement its mandate.

UNAMID and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) "will work together on community-based and development-oriented projects in the Jebel Marra area, in accordance to the Mission’s peacekeeping and stabilization goals," Mamabolo said according to the statement

He further said further pointed that the construction of the new site would start "immediately".

The handover Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Governor of Central Darfur, Jaafar Abdel Hakam Ishaq, on behalf of the Sudanese government and Lameck Kawiche, Head of Office, UNAMID Sector Central, on behalf of the joint operation.

A tripartite committee on Darfur peacekeeping force decided to establish this site taking into account the presence of Sudan Liberation Movement -Abdel Wahid fighters. the rebel group refuses to join the peace process or to declare a truce.

The head of UN peacekeeping department, Jean Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council on 10 January that UNAMID was preparing the state-specific stabilization plans in cooperation with the Darfur state governments and the United Nations country team.

The French diplomat further said the government forces control the situation in Darfur "except for pockets in the Jebel Marra area, controlled by a fragmented and weakened Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW)"

(ST)