Conflicts & War

UN mission leaves Darfur amid security concerns

By al-Nur al-Zaki

 Khartoum, Dec 30 (efe-epa).- The United Nations peace mission to Darfur’s (UNAMID) mandate ends on Thursday, 13 years after its launch, despite several persistant challenges.

A rebel group is still active in the Sudanese region, 1.8 million people are displaced and tribal violence is not rare although the civil war that hit Darfur ended in 2008.

The UN Security Council decided to put an end to the mission on 23 December as per a request from the Sudanese government, which signed a peace deal with the main rebel groups in the country, including most in Darfur, in October.

However, armed groups and displaced people living in camps oppose the decision as they feel the Sudanese government is not yet ready to protect the camps.

The peace deal stipulates the formation of a joint forces unit comprised the Sudanese army and the signatory rebel groups to protect Darfur’s civilians.

The UN has also approved the creation of a new mission, UNITAMS, involving the entire African country, with its mandate beginning 1 January to accompany the democratic transition following the ousting of Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

 The joint forces are, however, yet to be formed and a new head of the UNITAMS is to be named, which raised fears over a security vacuum until they become fully operative.

 MISSION BALANCE

UNAMID was deployed in Darfur in 2007 amid the 2003-2008 civil war that left over 300,000 dead, according to the UN, after armed groups took up arms against the government to protest poverty and discrimination.

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