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‘North Darfur govt. imposes no-fly ban on Unamid’

August 24 - 2015 EL FASHER
A UN helicopter takes off at El Fasher airport, North Darfur, April 2014 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A UN helicopter takes off at El Fasher airport, North Darfur, April 2014 (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The government of North Darfur has imposed a ban on aircraft operated by Unamid, according to Sudanese officials.

All Unamid flights to the state capital El Fasher, where the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission has its headquarters, were suspended over the weekend, Sudan Tribune reported on Sunday.

On Friday, North Darfur governor Abdelwahid Yousef cancelled a meeting with a delegation from the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), saying that they failed to meet the specified date and time of the meeting.

Sources told Sudan Tribune that some members of the AUPSC team hold Unamid responsible for the lack of coordination that led to the delay of the delegation’s visit to North Darfur.

The government of North Darfur reportedly took the decision to ban Unamid’s air transport after being convinced that the Unamid deliberately hampered the meeting of the AUPSC team with the governor.

The sources accused the mission of changing the team’s programme by organising a visit to the Khor Abeche camp for the displaced in South Darfur without informing the authorities. Unamid took the AUPSC delegation on board one of its aircraft to South Darfur without informing the governments of North and South Darfur.

The visit to Khor Abeche camp, rebuilt by Unamid after it was entirely destroyed by a government militia attack in March last year, was not listed in the official programme of the AU delegation’s visit.


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