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Unamid, South Darfur state discuss new mandate

September 8 - 2017 NYALA
A Unamid peacekeeper from Rwanda escorts a delegation of EU ambassadors to the SAFE centre in Sharga village, North Darfur (Albert González Farran)
A Unamid peacekeeper from Rwanda escorts a delegation of EU ambassadors to the SAFE centre in Sharga village, North Darfur (Albert González Farran)

The African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission held a meeting with the South Darfur government this week, to discuss the new mandate of the mission.

On Monday, the joint meeting between state government authorities and the head of the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid) in Nyala discussed the new mandate in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2363 to promote the joint cooperation between the two parties in the next phase.

The UNSC renewed the mandate of Unamid until 30 June 2018, while withdrawing more than a third of the nearly 19,000 troops and police officers of the joint mission, in resolution 2363 on 30 June. UN officials and ambassadors found that the situation in Darfur had changed given the lower level of armed hostilities in the region, compared to the situation the AU-UN peacekeepers were deployed in in 2007.

By the text of the resolution in June 2017, the UN Security Council underlined that Unamid must continue to give priority in decisions regarding the use of available capacity and resources to the protection of civilians across Darfur, including women and children; and ensuring safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access, as well as the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and activities.

Demanding that all parties to the conflict in Darfur immediately cease all acts of violence, the Council also expressed deep concern over the proliferation of arms, in particular small arms and light weapons and the use of such arms against civilians, as well as over the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

'Joint committees'

The Sudanese government news agency SUNA quoted the Unamid head of mission in Nyala this week as saying that the meeting discussed the various joint committees that have been established by the state government to work with the mission to support stability and peace in the region.

The meeting also discussed the restructuring of the peacekeeping mission’s new mandate to preserve and build peace and stability in the calm and stable areas of Darfur states.

During the meeting, the head of Unamid appreciated the efforts of these committees and their ability to deal with the various problems, as well as dealing with important files such as the file of displaced people.

Exit strategy

The Sudanese government began calling for Unamid to leave the country in December 2014. Six months later, the AU Peace and Security Council stated that it was satisfied with the developments concerning the mission's exit, though it stressed the “critical importance” of a continued Unamid presence for peace and stability in war-torn Darfur.

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