Sudan has begun to replace UNAMID by national troops: official

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October 25, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has begun implementing a national plan to protect civilians in the Darfur region, ahead of the withdrawal of the hybrid operation UNAMID by the end of the year, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

The tripartite mechanism on the UNAMID held a meeting at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the participation Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Smail Chergui, AU Peace and Security Commissioner.

The meeting intervenes at the end of the meetings of the tripartite technical committee in Khartoum. Also, The two AU and UN officials have to brief a meeting of the UN Security Council on the UNMAID withdrawal by the end of October.

The Sudanese government has repeated its refusal to maintain UNAMID while a new mission prepares to be deployed to support the political transition in Sudan including the implementation of peace agreements.

Also, the transitional government prepared a national plan to protect civilians in the Darfur region when the hybrid peacekeeping forces leave the region.

In a statement released after the end of the meeting, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the government had begun implementing the national plan to protect civilians, practically on the ground, by forming and deploying joint forces to establish security.

"The national plan has been prepared in a comprehensive manner covering all the security aspects," stressed the ministry.

According to the statement, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Sharif Abdallah, told the meeting that Sudan is capable of filling the void left by the UNAMID exit.

He further reiterated the position of his country’s to end the mandate of UNAMID to make room for the new United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and indicated Sudan’s willingness to provide needed facilities for the departure of the hybrid mission.

Last June, the UN Security Council extended the UNAMID mandate until the end of 2020 and requested to create coordination with the UNITMAS to determine the modalities and timelines for the handover of responsibilities in Darfur.

In line with the peace agreement of 3 October, a 12,000-strong force including the Sudanese army and the signatory Darfur armed groups will be deployed in the western Sudan region to protect the civilians for 39 months.