AU Commissioner: ‘Berlin meeting last chance for hold-out Darfur rebels’
The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Shargi, has confirmed the AU’s determination to take what he called necessary measures to deal with the armed movements in Darfur in the event they refuse to join the peace process.
On Monday he told a news conference in El Fasher with the under-secretary-general for Peacekeeping Operations that the upcoming meeting in the German capital is the last chance for the movements.
On February 27 the African Peace and Security Council called on the African High-level Committee and Unamid peacekeeping mission in the Sudanese region of Darfur to communicate with the warring parties in the region within three months.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Croix and Peace and Security Commissioner of the African Union, Smail Chergui, visited camp Zamzam for displaced people south of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, on Monday.
The under-secretary met with displaced camp leaders and asked them questions about voluntary repatriation and the reasons for doing so.
One of the camp sheikhs told Radio Dabanga that the displaced told the UN and African officials that security is not yet available in the region, the new settlers are still in their territory and peace is not on the ground which makes it impossible to return to their villages.
He said that the displaced demanded at the meeting the need to disarm the militias, provide food for the displaced who are suffering from the verge of famine and said that the displaced people called on the delegation to work for a comprehensive peace, only then will they return to their villages.
In Zalingei, the governor of Central Darfur, Jaafar Abdelhakam, called on the United Nations and the African Union to reassess and withdraw Unamid office from Mukjar.
Yesterday speaking at a joint meeting between the state security committee and the strategic review committee of the United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) visiting Zalingei, he said: “If the criterion of withdrawing the mission’s sites from Darfur is provision of security and stability to the areas concerned, there is no need for the presence of the mission.
He appealed to the United Nations, the African Union, the philanthropists and humanitarian organisations to support the voluntary return programme with development projects and services and contribute to the establishment of the headquarters of the institutions and service organisations in Jebel Marra and other areas of return in Central Darfur.
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