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UNAMID hands over Kalma site to Sudanese authorities

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March 18, 2021 (NYALA) - The former hybrid peacekeeping mission handed over its team site in the Kalma area of South Darfur State to the Sudanese authorities on Thursday, after a week of delay.

Kalma IDP Camp, near South Darfur capital Nyala patrolled by Unamid on 11 August 2010 (UNAMID photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran)In a statement issued on Thursday, UNAMID said the handover ceremony of the Kalma site took place in the presence of representatives from the Government’s Joint Taskforce, local officials, and representatives of the community.

"The handover documents were signed by Mr Houston Fergusson, the Director of the Mission Support Division, on behalf of UNAMID and Mr Hamid Eltigani, Deputy Governor of South Darfur signed on behalf of the government of South Darfur State".

The handover is part of the UNAMID’s drawdown plan in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2559 (2020) which terminated the Mission’s mandate as of 31 December 2020.

Initially, the UNAMID had planned to hand over Kalama on 11 March but the Sudanese government requested to delay the closure of this site and another one in Sortony of North Darfur which had been planned on 28 March.

"The handover was delayed by one week from the originally planned date of 11 March to give the Government the opportunity for engagement with local communities and to create conducive conditions for the handover," further said UNAMID.

The residents of Kalma who are known for their support to a holdout group led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur had organized several demonstrations and sittings to protest the UNAMID withdrawal.

Atul Khare, head of the UN field Support Department (UNDOS), told the Security Council on 9 March they plan to complete the departure of all uniformed personnel by the end of May to avoid any delay that may result during the rainy season.

The South Darfur state reconfirmed its commitment to ensuring civilian end-use of the UNAMID’s former Kalma site, added the statement.

(ST)

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