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Sudanese authorities obstruct UNAMID access to East Jebel Marra: Mamabolo

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)
August 28, 2018 (EL-FASHER) - UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR), Jeremiah Mamabolo, Tuesday called to ensure unfettered access for peacekeepers to the eastern part of Jebel Marra disclosing that the state authorities have prevented them 14 times from reaching the troubled area since July.

In line with the reconfiguration process of the hybrid peacekeeping mission before its eventual withdrawal in 2020, the UNAMID is tasked with the protection of civilian only in the greater Jebel Marra area.

Accordingly, the mission moved almost all its 4000 troops to its new Temporary Operating Base in Golo, Central Darfur and launched regular patrols to inspect the security situation and protect civilians due to the sporadic clashes between the army and a holdout rebel group in the mountainous area.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the UNMAID chief, however, said he had to travel to Nyala to discuss "access challenges affecting the Mission’s operations in parts of East Jebel Marra" with the South Darfur Deputy Governor Taha Abdallah Hamid and the State Security Committee.

Mamabolo reminded "Sudanese officials that UN Security Council Resolution 2429 (2018) obligates the Government of Sudan to facilitate access, thus enabling UNAMID to carry out its mandate of protecting civilians," said a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

Out of 14 access denials have been reported by UNAMID patrol teams across Darfur since July 2018, seven were recorded in Menawashei, Mershing locality of South Darfur state, the statement revealed.

International officials who spoke to Sudan Tribune under the cover of anonymity, recently disclosed that the Sudanese army is waging an undeclared war against the fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) who refuse to join the peace process or declare a unilateral ceasefire.

The government accuses the rebel groups of attacks on commercial convoys and intimidating displaced civilians who return to their areas of origin. The group denies the claims and accuses the government forces of attacks on civilians.

“I will continue to engage the state and local authorities on this issue and, in parallel, raise my concern with the authorities in Khartoum,” Mamabolo said.

(ST)