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Security Council extends UNAMID mandate for two weeks

A UNAMID car gets stuck into the mud in Abu Shouk IDPs camp (North Darfur) during a morning patrol on 5 August 2012 (UNAMID Photo)

June 29, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - UN Security Council Friday extended the mandate of the Darfur hybrid peacekeeping force, UNAMID for two weeks ahead of crucial decisions that will downsize the Mission’s troops and limit their presence to the restive Jebel Marra area.

In a statement issued on Friday evening the 15-member body "Unanimously adopting resolution 2425 (2018), the Security Council today extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 13 July 2018," said a press statement released by the UN spokesperson.

The statement didn’t provide the reasons for the delay in the one-year extension of the UNAMID mandate but reportedly that technical details are behind the decision.

In the merits of the resolution 2425, the Council recalled its previous resolutions including 2363 (2017) to draw down the mission’s troop and police strength.

Also, it took note "with appreciation" of the reports of the African Union Commission, and UN Secretary-General on the UNAMID Strategic Review.

The strategic review provides to close remaining 14 UNAMID sites across Darfur and to maintain only 13 sites in the Greater Jebel Marra area where the rebel and government forces continue to clash sporadically.

On Friday Amnesty International released exclusive satellite and photo images showing extensive damage caused by the government forces to 18 villages in the eastern parts of the Jebel Marra, according to the human rights group

The group further called to abandon any plan to further reduce peacekeepers deployed in Darfur.

“The UN Security Council must not and cannot abandon the people of Darfur by downsizing UNAMID, their only source of security and safety,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

(ST)