Ethiopia: AU urges Sudan to ensure security in Darfur on UNAMID troops withdrawal

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Urging the Government of Sudan to ensure it fills the security and humanitarian vacuum that may arise out of the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Darfur region, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has expressed "deep concern over the widespread proliferation of weapons in the areas of return for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

In a communiqué it issued Thursday following its 691st meeting, the PSC said that the Government of Sudan should urgently implement its Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme, in order to disarm all armed militia, movements and civilians in the restive region.

The Council adopted a decision on the current situation in Darfur, reiterating its appreciation to the leadership of the AU-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and to the Mission’s personnel, for their dedication and contribution to the promotion of peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Darfur.

In the same communiqué, the PSC has strongly condemned the recent incursion of armed groups into Darfur , with concern over alleged claims of use of neighbouring countries as launching grounds for such acts.

"Council further calls on the Government of National Unity and the rebel movements to pursue the path of direct political talks for a durable solution to the Darfur conflict," it said, noting the important steps taken by the Government of Sudan to advance the Darfur political process, including the incorporation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) into the Constitution.

The DDPD contains critical provisions that address the root causes of the conflict in Darfur region.

Also, the Council noted that the security situation remains fragile, mainly due to the continued activities of armed militias, the proliferation of weapons and the prevalence of acts of banditry and criminality, as well as the continued occurrence of inter-communal conflicts closely linked to the root causes of the conflict.

Currently, according to the AU, a total of 2.7 million people are displaced, of whom 2.1 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 300,000 Sudanese refugees are located in neighbouring Chad.

"In this regard, Council appeals to the AU Member States and the international community at large, to continue to extend their support to the population in need in Darfur," the communique said.

Meanwhile, the PSC has extended, for a further period of 12 months, the mandate of UNAMID and requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, working with international partners, to explore the possibility of convening a pledging conference to assist the Government of Sudan with critical post-conflict and reconstruction projects.
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15 june 2017 16:31:35

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