October 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) would withdraw from three sites in the region during the next period, reported the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Tuesday
A tripartite working group including the Sudanese government, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) has been set up in February 2015 to develop an exit strategy for the UNAMID from Darfur.
Diplomatic sources have told the SMC that the tripartite team has held its 26th meeting in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings.
According to the sources, the parties underlined the need for continued cooperation and coordination in order to enable the Mission to carry out its mandate and leave the region according to the agreed exit strategy.
The same sources pointed out that the meeting agreed to the withdrawal of the Mission from three sites in Darfur during the next period.
In June 2017, the AU and the UN decided to draw down the UNAMID by withdrawing the military personnel by 44% and that of the police component by 30%, the closure of 11 team sites in the first phase and the withdrawal of the military component from another 7 team sites in the second phase.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) admitted that the security situation in Darfur has improved but it decided to reinforce its presence in the mountainous area of Jebel Marra because there is no cessation of hostilities as a Sudan Liberation Movement faction led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) refuses to declare a unilateral truce or to engage in peace negotiations.
Last July, the UNSC unanimously decided to extend for one year the mandate of the UNAMID and also to reduce the number of its troops in line with an exit strategy aiming to close the hybrid operation in two years.
The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in western Sudan’s region.
It is the world’s second-largest international peacekeeping force with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.