Officials from joint African UnionUN mission bid farewell to Darfur

Over the last two days, AU-UN Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada visited Nyala town in South Darfur, and El Geneina and Zalingei in West Darfur, where he met with staff from the mission, known as UNAMID, and members of the UN country team. Mr. Adada, whose leaves his post on 31 August, also paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Wali, or Governor, of South Darfur, Dr. Farah Mustapha. Also yesterday, the mission held a farewell ceremony in El Fasher stadium to honour its outgoing Force Commander, General Martin Luther Agwai, who will be succeeded by Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba. In his remarks to the gathering, Mr. Adada recalled that General Agwai arrived in the mission at a time when UNAMID did not exist and when doubts about its deployment were a common belief. “The success of this mission is nothing but a great testimony to the persistent, strategic and charismatic leadership you have shown throughout the service in Darfur…you have been the voice of truth, credibility and reason within this mission,” said the UNAMID chief. General Agwai highlighted the achievements made so far, including progress in the deployment of UNAMID forces in Darfur, as well as the challenges facing the operation, including the lack of critical equipment. The outgoing Force Commander also acknowledged efforts made by the AU, UN, UNAMID and the humanitarian community in protecting civilians in Darfur, which has been beset by conflict and displacement for the past six years. “I believe we have made remarkable progress, but still need to do more,” he said. Meanwhile, UNAMID reported today that the main group of the first Jordanian Formed Police Unit (FPU) consisting of 100 officers arrived in El Fasher today to begin work with the mission, while a second group consisting of 180 officers will arrive tomorrow. These officers were preceded, on 19 August, by an advance party of 20 Jordanian police advisors tasked with assisting in the preparations of the facilities earmarked for the Unit at UNAMID and the coordination of the logistics of the contingent’s owned equipment (COE). FPUs are comprised of police officers who have received specialized training in high-risk operations. Their main task is the protection of civilians, including through conducting community policing, especially in camps housing internally displaced persons (IDPs). They also assist UN agencies in the delivery of humanitarian aid in Darfur. The Jordanian FPU is the fifth such unit to be deployed, after the Bangladeshi, Indonesian, Nepalese and Nigerian, out of the 19 such units mandated by the Security Council when it established UNAMID in 2007. On the security front, UNAMID said that incidents of carjacking were reported in North and South Darfur and banditry activities in North Darfur. A UNAMID vehicle was carjacked on 24 August by two armed men in El Fasher, where the mission is headquartered. On the same day, a vehicle belonging to a UN agency was carjacked near Al Salaam IDP camp in Nyala by three armed men in civilian clothing. In addition, a house occupied by UNAMID police in El Fasher was broken into yesterday by unknown persons who stole two personal computers, a digital cameral and a music system. 25 August 2009The head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur and its military chief are meeting with colleagues and local government officials as they wrap up their tours of duty in the strife-torn Sudanese region.

Leave a Comment