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Darfur Authority to wrap-up regional activities

May 3 - 2016 KHARTOUM
West Darfur polling centre for Darfur referendum on 11 April 2016 (SUNA)
West Darfur polling centre for Darfur referendum on 11 April 2016 (SUNA)

The Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) started ending its mandate by handing over its assets to the Presidency of the Republic following the referendum in April. The future of its staff is under discussion.

The DRA was established in line with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), which was signed in July 2011, by the Sudanese government and the former rebel LJM. The Authority was tasked with the implementation of the peace document and monitoring development projects was one of the main responsibilities.

A DRA Minister, Youssef El Talib, told the press in Khartoum that they have started handing over the assets to the Sudanese presidency. The Authority's specialised commissions will continue to directly report to the Presidency of the Republic and plan to continue their work until 2019, as stipulated in the peace document, El Talib said.

“The projects established by the DRA will continue in all Darfur states, up to their finalisation.” El Talib added that “there are several suggestions on the future of DRA staff”.

During a press conference at the end of April, the Darfur Peace Follow-Up Office announced that the DRA commissions for the return of refugees, border issues, and other commissions will be handed over to the care of the Presidency of the Republic.

The Authority's mandate was extended up to July 2016 by a presidential decree in 2015. Another responsibility of the DRA was the holding of the referendum on the administrative status of Darfur, which was held from 11 to 13 April and ended in favour of keeping the current five-state system.

More than 97 percent of the votes opposed the unification into one semi-autonomous Darfur state. The current result also means that the transitional Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) will be dissolved and that Khartoum presumably gains more power over Darfur.

The landslide win of the states option, that was announced on 23 April, has been rejected by a chorus of descent from the displaced, refugees, civil society organisations, armed movements, and political forces from across Darfur.

(Source: Sudan Tribune)

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