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Sudan insisted on having UNAMID leaving Darfur during UN meetings: FM

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October 5, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour said that his country is committed to ensuring that the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) leaves the restive region and said that he stressed to UN officials in New York that Khartoum is sticking to the results of the meetings of the Tripartite Commission between with the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU).

A general view of participants during the 29th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 July 2015 - (UN Photo)

Ghandour speaking to reporters after his return from UN general assembly meetings on Monday said that his government had reached previous understandings on an exit strategy for UNAMID saying it’s a matter of sovereignty.

The minister emphasized that Sudan is not in confrontation with the UN and pointed to the three meetings he held at the UN headquarters with the Secretary-General and his assistant as well as the political committee formed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) to work on UNAMID exit strategy.

Last June the Sudanese government said the UN has retracted from an agreement reached by the tripartite team on the exit strategy.

Khartoum at the time said that the UN leadership in New York wanted to impose a specific agreement that has previously been rejected by the team, noting that it does not have the legal or procedural right to interfere in the work of the team during the current phase.

Ghandour said that he told officials at the UN that they insist on not re-starting the process from scratch and that they should pick up from where the tripartite committee ended.

On his meeting with his US counterpart John Kerry, the Sudanese foreign minister said the roadmap they agreed on was a "mere proposal" but he nonetheless expressed optimism about the outcome of the meeting.

"The optimism leads to positive acts and statements," adding that they are awaiting for proposals from the US side to start reviewing them .

Ghandour praised the work of the diplomatic mission in New York and the work they achieved during the sessions of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

"Despite the targeting, they have succeeded in keeping the under item 10 with an improvement from the previous decision," he said.

"We don’t rejoice and celebrate this decision because the human rights situation in Sudan is better than many countries," he added.

In a related issue, the head of Sudanese parliamentary delegation to the UNHRC session al-Fadil Suleiman said that Khartoum struck a deal with Washington to keep the former under item 10 rather than move it to item 4 as US and human rights groups wanted.

He gave no further details but stressed that were adamant not to accept placing Sudan under item 4.

(ST)

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