Russia supports Sudan’s position on the departure of the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The Darfur displaced and the rebel movements voiced their strong rejection to Unamid’s eviction.
Foreign Minister Ali Karti announced at a joint a press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Wednesday that Sudan reached understandings with Russia about Unamid’s exit.
Lavrow arrived to Sudan early on Wednesday to attend the 2nd Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum convened in Khartoum. After a meeting with President Al Bashir and Karti, he stated during the press conference that Sudan and Russia agreed to support each other politically, militarily, and economically.
On Sunday, Al Basher stressed in a press conference in Khartoum that he wants Unamid to leave the country.
Omda Ahmed Ateem, coordinator of the North Darfur camps for the displaced considers President Al Bashir’s decision to expel Unamid as “an insult of the UN, the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the International Criminal Court (ICC)”.
He warned for renewed “genocide operations in Darfur, in case Unamid have to leave Darfur”, and called via Radio Dabanga upon the UN and the UNSC to implement all the decisions taken on Darfur, and assist the ICC in arresting President Al Bashir.
Ateem urged the UNSC to enhance its mandate under Chapter VII, change the peacekeeping troops into peacemaking forces, “as there is still no peace in Darfur to keep”. “Strengthening Unamid and its mandate is urgently required, in order to enable the Mission to effectively perform its tasks in protecting civilians and themselves”.
The Unamid peacekeepers are in need of rehabilitation and more support, Dr El Rayeh Mohamed Juma, senior member of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance, and vice-president of Minni Minawi’s Sudan Liberation Movement faction, said in an interview with Radio Dabanga, broadcasted in Milafat Sudaniya (Sudanese Files, a daily debating programme on Dabanga Sudan TV*) on Tuesday.
The regime’s current position on Unamid represents a stark contrast to its previous stance, Juma commented. “When we accused Unamid of being unable to protect the civilans in Darfur, Khartoum defended them and insisted on their presence. However, after Unamid officials urged an investigation into the mass rape in Tabit of 31 October, the regime suddenly changed its opinion.”
* Dabanga Sudan TV can be accessed at ArabSat Badr-4
File photo: Women collect water from a tank installed by Unamid near its team site in Khor Abeche, South Darfur (Albert González FarranUnamid)
Sudan’s Al Bashir rejects merging of peace talks, tells Unamid to leave (30 November 2014)
Sudan denies North Darfur mass rape reports, UN demands access (9 November 2014)