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Darfur’s stability threatened by changes in Khartoum, UN told



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Violence has resurged in Sudan’s conflict-wracked Darfur region as the country undergoes drastic political transformation, the UN has been told.

Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative of the AU and the Secretary-General for Darfur told the UN Security Council Wednesday that last week’s killings of 14 people at the Kalma camp in Darfur was as a result of a clash between supporters of a Darfur rebel faction and opponents.

He said that some displaced persons and protesters have been vandalising properties associated with former president Omar al-Bashir’s regime, including torching the premises of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the former ruling party offices.

He added that the planned withdrawal of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid) by June 2020 is on track, but cautioned that the political crisis in the country could affect the mission’s mandate going forward.

“Darfur is not and cannot be immune from what is happening at the national level,” Mr Mamabolo told the Security Council via video link from Khartoum.

The UN estimates that about 300,000 people have died in the Darfur conflict and about 1.6 million others remain displaced.

Strongman Bashir, toppled by the army last week, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged genocide in Darfur, a charge he denies.

However, Sudan’s deputy UN ambassador, Yasir Abdalla Abdelsalam Ahmed, assured the Security Council that Khartoum is committed to respecting its international agreements.

Underlining the recent political developments in the country, he cautioned the Security Council that it had no authority to discuss it as it constitutes an internal matter.

Unamid’s current force—scheduled to number 4050 troops and 2238 police as of June—is maintaining a robust posture in Darfur, Mr Mamabolo told the council.

He described the overall situation in Darfur as “relatively calm,” with the exception of clashes in the territory’s Jebel Marra area between Sudan’s national military and the rebel faction Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW).

SLA-AW has refused to join a peace initiative supported by other rebel groups.

It accuses the Military Transitional Council, now holding power in Khartoum, of attempting to reproduce the Bashir regime.

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