Sudan backs plan to downsize UN-AU mission forces in Darfur

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-20 05:08:48|Editor: yan
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KHARTOUM, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Sudan said Wednesday it is ready to provide all support and facilitation to help reduce the personnel of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), in collaboration with the joint committees founded for the same purpose.

Sudanese Defence Minister Awad ibn Auf made the announcement after meeting the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who visited the country to review means of implementing the UN decision on reducing the UNAMID forces as scheduled.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, ibn Auf welcomed UN's decision to reduce forces in the region, adding that the change is an indication of improved stability and humanitarian situations in Darfur.

The defense minister also expressed hope that UNAMID continues its efforts to meet requirements for peace in the area, where UNAMID would redeploy its forces and work to persuade the rebels to return to the negotiation track.

Lacroix, arrived in Khartoum Tuesday, will later visit El Fasher, the capital city of North Darfur State and where UNAMID's headquarter is based.

The mission said earlier that it began implementation of a reconfiguration process according to the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2363 on 29 June on reduction of the mission component.

It noted that the reconfiguration process would be conducted in two phases, and would reduce military personnel to 8,735 from the current 13,627 and police personnel to 2,500 from 2,994 by 30 June, 2018.

The UNAMID also includes 748 international civilian personnel, 2,151 local civilian personnel and 120 volunteers.

The UNAMID was deployed early 2008 in Darfur region, which has been witnessing military clashes between the Sudanese army and the rebels since 2003, which left 300,000 people dead and displaced around 2.5 million others according to UN statistics.