UNAMID says little progress is made in Sudan’s Darfur region, asks for peacekeeping mission extension

UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous. Photo: The Hindu/Getty Images
UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous. Photo: The Hindu/Getty Images

New York, June 14, 2016 (SSNA) — The United Nations’ African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) continues to face many obstacles in Sudan as the conflict in Darfur remains unchanged, the United Nations peacekeeping chief briefed the UN Security Council in New York today. Therefore, the mission’s mandate should be extended before July.

Presenting a special report by the UN Secretary-General and the African Union Commission on the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Security Council in its 7716th meeting about the situation in Sudan and the progress of UNAMID.

Ladsous said that the nature of the conflict in Darfur remains unchanged and little progress is made in finding viable political solutions. While direct clashes between government and armed forces have subsided, fighting with the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) has continued in Darfur. 2.6 million people remain displaced across Darfur. The current security conditions in Darfur are not conducive to a large-scale return of displaced people to their places of origin, Ladsous said.

As for the progress of UNAMID, a joint assessment of the mission concluded that the strategic priorities of UNAMID remain valid, Ladsous informed the Council. However, the mission “continues to face many obstacles”: access denials to areas including Jebel Marra, where heavy fighting has taken place since the beginning of 2016; visa delays; and no customs clearance by Sudanese authorities for shipments to  UNAMID.

According to the joint UN-AU report on 8 June, these delays have “severely impeded the ability of the Mission to protect civilians and themselves, communicate and conduct robust patrols,” with UNAMID peacekeepers experiencing shortages in ammunition and other equipment.

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