UN-African Union Peacekeeping Mission In Darfur In Final Shutdown Phase
Practically all peacekeepers and staff, including the Pakistani contingent, have now left the hybrid UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), in line with its drawdown plan, a senior UN official has told the Security Council
UNITED NATIONS, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Jul, 2021 ) :Practically all peacekeepers and staff, including the Pakistani contingent, have now left the hybrid UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), in line with its drawdown plan, a senior UN official has told the Security Council.
Atul Khare, UN Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, updated the 15-member Council on Tuesday about progress towards the mission's closure and final liquidation, following the end of its mandate last December after 13 years protecting civilians uprooted by conflict.
Nearly 6,000 troops and police were repatriated from the Sudanese province ahead of the drawdown deadline of 30 June, and nearly 1,200 civilian staff were separated from the mission. Pakistan had 1,075 personnel, the second largest after Rwanda.
"All leaders shared their satisfaction at the successful achievement of the expedited timelines and discussed ways to resolve outstanding issues related to the liquidation and wider transition implications," he said.
Remaining UN assets in Darfur are being disposed of in two phases, the first of which is already underway.
The mission has so far handed over some $41 million in facilities and equipment to local authorities, but 10 of the 14 sites reportedly have suffered "varying degrees of destruction and theft", which Khare called a major loss for local communities.
"I note that although authorities have made commitments to investigate these incidents, various Sudanese interlocutors have nevertheless suggested that these events resulted from underlying tensions among groups locally, along with concerns, whether real or perceived, surrounding equitable access to the facilities and equipment that was handed over," he said.
The UN official pointed to the potential of properties such as the UNAMID logistics base in El Fasher. Its numerous assets include more than 1,000 self-contained housing units, a hospital facility, a power generation and distribution network, a fuel storage depot, and water storage and purification equipment.
Hundreds of vehicles and other moveable property are also being stored there.
"It is critical that the Government of Sudan makes every effort to ensure that this enormous reserve of facilities and equipment is sustainably applied to national imperatives for civilian use," he said.
Although some $8 million in equipment has been transferred to other UN field operations, or to a peacekeeping reserve in Italy, Khare stressed that the bulk will be donated to the Sudanese authorities for civilian use.
"To this end, during my recent visit to Sudan, I implored all government interlocutors to emphasize the immediate development of a single, holistic donation plan, with input and agreement from Government interlocutors at the national and local levels," he said.
"For all this to occur in an orderly and speedy fashion, I must raise the issue of the armed movements that have stationed forces around the El?Fasher compound since the beginning of June," the UN official told the Council.
"After an initial period of confusion among these groups which led to the disruption of UNAMID movements, and, in some cases, harassment of United?Nations personnel and vendors, movements have for the most part proceeded as needed in the recent weeks." However, he said coordination and leadership among these groups is critical if the liquidation process is to proceed smoothly "for the long-term sustainable benefit of Sudan and its people."