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Darfur: Unamid concerned as former staff block Mission’s movement

December 15 - 2016 EL FASHER
Unamid head Martin Uhomoibhi (File photo: UN)
Unamid head Martin Uhomoibhi (File photo: UN)

In a statement from the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid) headquarters in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher today, the Mission expresses” serious concern over recent repeated attempts by a number of former staff members to disrupt its operations.”

The statement does not identify the staff members concerned, but asserts: They have on a number of occasions forcefully blocked movement in and out of Unamid camps and obstructed access of Sudanese nationals employed by the Mission to their workplaces.

“We, as a Mission, take our responsibilities towards the people we serve, including separated staff members, seriously. However, we cannot condone demonstrations that are not peaceful in nature and are based on unfounded accusations and demand for payments that are not in line with the rules and regulations of the United Nations,” stated the Head of Unamid, Joint Special Representative Martin Uhomoibhi.

In today’s statement the Mission confirms that “all national staff that separated from the Organisation on 31 December 2015 have received all benefits owed to them for the period of their service with Unamid, except for a relatively small group whose pension entitlements are being processed. Unamid is working closely with the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the body solely responsible for administering pension benefits, to finalize this category of payments.”

Salary adjustments

On August 4 2016, Unamid issued a similar statement in response to a strike by Sudanese staff members, which began on July 28, to demand retroactive salary adjustments, which other UN staff on the payroll of the UN Development Programme had benefited from for months.

At the time, however, Unamid claimed to have implemented the new salary scale of national staff salaries in US Dollars: “All retroactive payments due to staff have been paid in full.”

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