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U.S. calls on Sudan to adopt new approach to achieve peace in Darfur

U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Steven Koutsis, USAID and UNAMID officials in Central Darfur Golo town on 19 June 2017 (Photo US Embassy)
May 30, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The United States Chargé d’Affaires in Khartoum, Steven Koutsis has called on the Sudanese government to adopt new mechanisms to achieve sustainable peace in Darfur.

Following his meeting with North Darfur State governor Al-Sharief Mohamed Abad on Wednesday, Koutsis demanded the government to continue the disarmament campaign and meet the holdout groups in order to join the peace process.

He pointed out that the U.S. is exerting serious efforts in coordination with the United Nations to meet humanitarian needs and achieve peace in Darfur.

The U.S. envoy acknowledged the significant improvement in the security situation in North Darfur, saying it would contribute to improving the humanitarian situation.

For his part, Abad briefed Koutsis on the security situation in North Darfur, pointing to the presence of police and prosecution offices across the state.

He stressed the continuation of the disarmament campaign to impose the state’s authority, pointing to his government’s efforts to promote stability and peaceful coexistence in the state.

Abad added his government is facing a number of challenges including the provision of basic needs, livelihood and services for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who voluntarily returned to their original villages.

He pointed to a government plan to dismantle the IDPs camps, stressing the freedom of movement and access to all camps.

The governor praised the U.S. role in the provision of humanitarian assistance, demanding further support for the development and reconstruction programmes.

It is noteworthy that Koutsis and his accompanying delegation would visit Zam Zam camp for IDPs and meet with the native administrators and the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

CENTRAL DARFUR

In a related development, the Political Counsellor at the US embassy in Khartoum Wales Ryan paid a visit to Golo in Central Darfur state to inspect the security and humanitarian situation in the area which hosts IDPs camp and UNAMID new site.

In a press statement released after a meeting with the Governor Mohamed Ahmed Gad Elsid, the Central Darfur state said Ryan pledged to provide humanitarian assistance to the war affected civilians and to support the IDPs voluntary return programme.

Gad Elsid urged the United States to put pressure on the holdout armed groups to join the negotiating table in order to achieve stability and development.

The governor further stressed the keenness of his government to ensure the success of the agricultural season and encourage the IDPs to return to their areas of origin by opening tracks, securing villages and areas of production and take measures to avoid friction between the pastoralists and farmers.

The statement said the U.S. Chargé d’affaires would visit soon the Central Darfur state.

The recent fighting between the government forces and the SLM-AW rebels in Central Darfur pushed thousands of villagers to flee to IDPs caps in the state.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)