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Sudan condemns "negative moves" to impede UNAMID withdrawal from Darfur

A photo released on 1 March 2018 showing an UNAMID integrated team conducts a humanitarian and security assessment mission to Golo and Rokero, Central Darfur ( UNAMID Photo)July 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - On Thursday, Sudan condemned "negative moves to delay the implementation of UNAMID withdrawal plan from Darfur region and pointed to government efforts to protect civilians in the areas where UNAMID closed its sites.

Three armed opposition groups Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), SLM-Transitional Council (SLM-TC) and the Justice and Equality Movement Sudan (JEM), recently petitioned the UN Security Council to reconsider plans to withdraw peacekeepers from Darfur.

Also, Amnesty International released satellite images showing 13 villages burned and destroyed in Jebel Marra area and called on the Security Council to not downsizing the UNAMID, the "only source of security and safety" for Darfur civilians.

"The Government of Sudan notes (with concern) moves by some parties to impede UNAMID’s withdrawal as scheduled by creating confusion and attempting to cast doubt on the achieved stability through false pretexts and feeble arguments to circumvent the statement of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the recommendations of the Strategic Review Report," said the Sudanese foreign ministry in a statement issued Thursday.

"The Government of the Republic of Sudan deplores these negative moves and reaffirms its readiness to continue to cooperate and facilitate UNAMID’s mission and exit in the year 2020," further said the statement.

On 30 June, the Security Council extended the UNAMID mandate for two weeks before to vote a resolution renewing it for a year. The vote is planned to take place on Thursday 12 July.

Reports from New York say discussions on the closure modalities of the 14 remaining sites in whole Darfur except Jebel Mara and remaining UN personnel that will join the UN Mission in Sudan, in addition to possible sanctions on peace spoilers delayed the vote last June.

In line with the joint strategic review, the UNAMID will only keep 13 sites in Darfur mountainous area of Jebel Marra due to the presence of SLA-AW fighters who refuse to join the peace talks.

(ST)