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West Darfur bans Unamid vehicles from capital

November 6 - 2016 EL GENEINA / EL FASHER
A UN helicopter takes off at El Fasher airport, North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A UN helicopter takes off at El Fasher airport, North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The West Darfur authorities have banned vehicles of the UN-AU peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (Unamid) from entering El Geneina.

According to a local source who requested this station not to disclose his identity, the West Darfur authorities decided on this measure after Unamid cancelled a flight to Kulbus in Jebel Moon locality.

Governor Fadlelmoula El Huja would make use of a Unamid helicopter to fly from El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, to Kulbus on Wednesday to monitor the situation after deadly clashes between Darfur gunmen and a Chadian pursuit posse the day before.

Others told Radio Dabanga from El Geneina that Sudanese personnel of the peacekeeping mission did not go to do their work and vehicles have not left the Unamid site east of the capital since Thursday.

Unamid informed Radio Dabanga on Saturday that the Wali ( Governor) of West Darfur and Unamid personnel were scheduled to visit Kulbus to ease reported tensions among the local population by a special Unamid flight on Wednesday.

However, the flight was cancelled by Unamid because of “security and time concerns”, Unamid stated.

“Following this, on 3 November, the Mission’s air and ground operations in El Geneina were suspended owing to restrictions imposed by the Wali. Operations at the Sector Team Sites remain unaffected.”

Unamid is currently “engaging with the state authorities to resolve the situation”.

Ceasefire

Last week, Unamid welcomed the announcement by the Sudanese rebel movements to extend the cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur for another six months.

In a statement from Unamid headquarters in the North Darfur capital of El Fasher, the Mission lauded “the unilateral six-month cessation of hostilities jointly declared by, among others, the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement-Gibril (JEM-Gibril), which entered into effect on 31 October 2016.

“Unamid has noted and welcomes the earlier announcement by President Omar Al Bashir on 10 October of a unilateral cessation of hostilities till the end of this year.”


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