The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid) concluded the closure and handover of its sector headquarters in Ed Daein to the state government of East Darfur yesterday.
In a statement today, Unamid points out that this is in line with Unamid’s insistence that the facilities be used for civilian purposes, the State Government of East Darfur has indicated that the former sector headquarters, together with associated assets, will become an extension of Ed Daein University, and that the level 1 hospital within the camp will be a health centre providing maternity services.
The handover documents, which include an understanding regarding the future use of the premises as well an inventory of related Unamid assets, were signed for Mission by the Head of Office for Sector East, Landing Badjie and Director General in the office of the Wali (governor) Ismail Adam, on behalf of the state.
Representatives of the intended beneficiary institutions, Ali Ibrahim, Director of Health Services and Social Development and Professor Mohamed El Haj, Vice Chancellor of Ed Daein University, as well as community representatives from key constituencies in the state signed the documents as witnesses.
Facilities for civilian purposes
In his remarks, Unamid Chief of Staff, Luke Mhlaba, who represented the Mission leadership, emphasised the importance of honouring the commitment to use the facilities for civilian purposes, as well as the need for community involvement and transparency in the transfer process.
“In preparation for the handover of Unamid facilities to the host country authorities, the Mission has conducted extensive consultations with the government of Sudan, state governments and representatives of civil society. All agree and indeed the government has committed to the principle that all such facilities will be used for civilian purposes,” Mhlaba said.
The governor expressed appreciation to Unamid for the facilities and pledged to use them for the benefit of the community as outlined in the memorandum of understanding signed by Unamid and the State Government of East Darfur. He called on the community to work together and expressed hope that the two institutions, namely the University of El Daein and the Ministry of Health, would fully utilize the facilities for the benefit of the people of East Darfur.
Apart from prefabricated buildings on the land, most of which are furnished and include air conditioners, items handed over include motor vehicles, a water treatment facility and power generators.
“The Mission looks forward to the early take over and use of these facilities by Ed Daein University and the Ministry of Health, so that East Darfur communities can derive the benefits of these assets,” Mhlaba concluded.
This is the first sector headquarters to be closed and handed over, in line with the second phase of the Mission’s ongoing drawdown, as mandated by United Nations Security Council resolution 2429 of July 2018.
The peacekeeping force Unamid, mandated by the UN Security Council by its resolution 2429 (2018) is scheduled to withdraw from South Darfur this June. The mission plans to exit Darfur entirely by June 2020.
After handing over team sites and headquarters to the Sudanese authorities in the past months, the mission’s new headquarters in Zalingei are now fully operational. The office of the Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo has relocated to Khartoum.