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Looters ‘level’ former UNAMID team site in North Darfur

February 18 - 2021 SARAF OMRA
Saraf Omra UNAMID team site before destruction (Photo: Amin Ismail / UNAMID)
Saraf Omra UNAMID team site before destruction (Photo: Amin Ismail / UNAMID)

The former team site of the United Nations-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in the Simana district of Saraf Omra in North Darfur, earmarked for use as a vocational training centre, was reportedly ransacked by looters and leveled on Wednesday, just weeks after it was handed over to the Sudanese government.

Witnesses from Saraf Omra told Radio Dabanga that the looters specifically targeted the UNAMID installations and that the site was “levelled with the ground”. All buildings and offices used by the Jordanian battalion that was in charge of the site before it handed over to the Sudanese government on January 21 have reportedly been destroyed.

Hafiz Bakhit, who represented the Wali (governor) of North Darfur
and Houston Fergusson, Director of the Mission Support Division, on behalf of UNAMID
at the hand-over ceremony on January 21. (Photo: Amin Ismail / UNAMID)


The handover of Saraf Omra Team Site was part of the UNAMID drawdown process that is in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2559 (2020), which terminated the mission’s mandate as of 31 December 2020 and authorised a six-month period for the mission to complete the withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian personnel by 30 June 2021

According to a statement at the time by UNAMID, at the handover ceremony, the Executive Director of Saraf Omra Locality, Native Administration, and Civil Society Organisations representatives, all affirmed that the former Team Site was to be used as a vocational training centre to be freely utilised by the whole community for educational and empowerment purposes in the locality. Furthermore, at the time, the local representatives appealed to their community, including security agencies, to work together to protect the gifted team site and assets for the benefit of the local population.

On Monday, UNAMID handed over its team site in Khor Abeche locality, South Darfur, to the Government of Sudan. The handover documents were signed by the Wali (governor) of South Darfur Mousa Mahdi on behalf of the Government of Mousa Mahdi, Houston Fergusson, Director of Mission Support Division, on behalf of UNAMID.

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