November 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has handed over four sites to the Sudanese government as part of the Mission’s exit strategy from the region.
The Mission on November 1st has withdrawn from the team site at Labado area in East Darfur State. Also, the Mission on 4 November handed over its site at Mukjar area in Central Darfur State to the Sudanese government.
Moreover, the Mission on 8 November handed over the team site at Ambro, North Darfur State to the government in the presence of officials from both sides.
Also, UNAMID on 30 October has officially withdrawn from its site at Sharia, East Darfur.
A tripartite working group including the Sudanese government, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have been set up in February 2015 to develop an exit strategy for the UNAMID from Darfur.
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.