UNAMID takes over from AMIS in Darfur

Alfashir- Sudan (PANA) -- The United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Monday, 31 December, 2007, formally took over from the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) in a brief but colourful ceremony held here.
The ceremony, attended by African Union, United Nations and Sudanese government officials, included the signing of documents transferring responsibility from AMIS to UNAMID.
To mark the ceremony, the AU flag was lowered and both the AU and UN flags raised.
The occasion was graced by a military parade, after the peace-keepers had symbolically changed their head gear from the AU's green to the UN's blue head wear.
Speaking on behalf of the Sudanese government, the Governor of North Darfur, Mr.
Osman Youssef Kibir, welcomed the new mission and promised that the Sudanese government would co-operate with it to facilitate the deployment and success of UNAMID.
Also speaking, the AU-UN Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of UNAMID, Mr.
Rodolphe Adada, described the event as "an historic occasion.
" He paid tribute to the men and women of AMIS "whose dedication, bravery and sacrifice over the last four and a half years had laid the foundation for this new enlarged joint UN and AU Mission.
" Mr.
Adada said UNAMID, with a new and robust mandate and the prospect of a larger and more technically capable force, will now build on what AMIS had achieved.
He described UNAMID as a mission dedicated to the service of all Darfurians, "based on the simple philosophy that it is here to help the people of Darfur.
" He added that the new mission would work tirelessly and impartially to help bring peace and security to everyone in that troubled region of the Sudan.
Adada called on the people of Darfur to energetically co-operate with UNAMID.
"We must all work together to create a pact of partnership for a secure and stable future.
By working together we will succeed together.
" He stressed the need for UNAMID to be able to operate throughout Darfur without hindrances.
"There must be freedom of movement for all.
The fighting must stop and the ceasefire must be respected by all parties.
"Now is the time for peace.
" he concluded.
The Joint Special Representative then read a message from AU Commission Chairperson, Alpha Oumar Konare, and UN Secretary-General, Mr.
Ban Ki-Moon, at the ceremony.

31 december 2007 17:48:00

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