"Majzoub Al Khalifa was one of the key interlocutors of UNMIS since the inception of the Mission," spokesperson Radhia Achouri told the press in Khartoum.
"He will be remembered as a tenacious negotiator and a high caliber statesman, and for his contribution to the peaceful resolution of the Darfur conflict through the Abuja peace process and subsequent negotiations in the context of the Addis Ababa conclusions of November last year," she said.
Just last weekend, the Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Darfur, Pekka Haavisto, met with Presidential Adviser Al Khalifa, she noted.
In other developments concerning Darfur, the spokesperson reported that an UNMIS Human Rights team this week visited Kutum, Kabkabiya, and Al Kuma in the troubled western region of Sudan.
"In Kutum, the team documented increased attacks on civilians by Arab militia and continued gender-based violence incidents at Fataborno IDP camp," said Ms. Achouri, adding that UNMIS also documented an attack by Janjaweed on Mutu village on 8 June resulting in two deaths.
Incidents of car-jacking, particularly in West Darfur and South Darfur, and temporary detention of international non-governmental organization (NGO) staff, as well as forced entry into their compounds, continue to be reported, according to UNMIS.
In South Darfur, insecurity continues to cause the displacement of thousands of people, causing the population at camps housing them to swell. Ms. Achouri cited the example of Al Salam camp, which had a population of 13,300 in March and now houses 28,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), "with reports of 5,000 IDPs still on their way."
Continuous efforts are being made to maintain the minimum humanitarian standards and to access conflict-affected people who were previously inaccessible, Ms. Achouri said. But she cautioned that "overall, insecurity, including attacks on humanitarian workers, continues to seriously affect humanitarian access, and has a significant impact on the quality of humanitarian interventions by reducing the number of visits, affecting continuity of programmes and presence of humanitarian personnel in outlying areas."