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Darfur Residents Protest End of Peacekeeping Mission

Darfur Residents Protest End of Peacekeeping Mission

Tuesday, 8 December, 2020 - 11:00
Members of the UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) drive inside the Zam Zam camp in North Darfur (File photo: AFP)

The United Nations Security Council announced in October that the peacekeeping mission will exit the troubled region, where ethnic minorities in Darfur rebelled against the regime of the ousted president, Omar al-Bashir, and the rebels took control of Golo in North Darfur state.

At the end of 2007, a joint peace force from the United Nations and the African Union was deployed in the region to replace an African force formed in 2004.

Witnesses said that protesters including women and children gathered outside the mission's headquarters.

"They raised banners in English and Arabic reading: 'No to the departure of UNAMID'," Haroun Othman, a resident who saw the demonstration, told AFP.

He added that residents of the camp are calling on international forces to protect them.

No clashes had occurred between the government and the rebels since 2016, apart from occasional incidents between farmers and displaced people settled in camps.

AFP also reported another protester, Yacoub Mohammed, as saying: "We demand that UNAMID remains to protect those displaced until the peace process is complete.”

In October, Sudan's transitional government signed a peace deal with a coalition of four rebel and political groups in Juba, sponsored by South Sudan. However, Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) led by Abdul Wahid al-Nur refused to sign the accord.

The agreement includes eight protocols covering pressing issues on security, land ownership, transitional justice, power-sharing, and the return of displaced people who fled their homes because of fighting.

It also provides for security protocol dismantling of rebel forces and the integration of their fighters into the national army representing all Sudanese people.

Bashir, who has been ousted by popular protests in April 2019, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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