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Acting UNAMID head: cooperation key in protecting civilians

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, December 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Protection of civilians including local mediation, access, security of UNAMID personnel, peace process, Yellow Fever, early recovery and quick impact projects (QIPs) were discussed during a two-day visit which concluded yesterday by the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Acting Joint Special Representative (AJSR) and Joint Chief Mediator a.i., Aïchatou Mindaoudou to East and South Darfur states.

The visit, which began on 10 December, provided the AJSR with the opportunity to engage with community leaders, native administration and government officials to explore new avenues for strengthening partnerships at the operational level between UNAMID and all stakeholders, promoting peace and protecting civilians, and supporting development as a key element to addressing some of the root causes of the conflict in the region.

In El Deain, the capital of the State of East Darfur, the UNAMID Acting Head held talks with Deputy Wali (Governor) Abdulmajeed El Zaier, where they discussed the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, UNAMID's framework for the protection of civilians (PoC) and the Mission's efforts to support local mediation initiatives.

“The Cooperation with Government authorities and the community is instrumental to the successful implementation of UNAMID's protection of civilian's strategy, particularly on access, preventive measures and rapid response,” said Ms. Mindaoudou in a meeting with the Deputy Wali of East Darfur.

The AJSR also attended a ceremony, held at El Daein Um- Durman University, marking the 16 Days of activism against gender-based violence. Addressing more than 90 women who took part in the event, Ms. Mindaoudou said “This campaign recalls our shared responsibility to discuss, identify community strategies and work together for the advancement of women's human rights, particularly their right to be heard and to shape decisions that affect their lives and the communities they live in.”

“UNAMID is firmly committed to continue to cooperate with national mechanisms to create safe spaces where women and girls are free from fear of violence,” added the Acting UNAMID Chief.

In Nyala, the AJSR met with South Darfur Wali Hamad Ismail Hamad where they discussed Yellow Fever, issues of access of UNAMID and UN to all parts of Darfur, particularly eastern Jebel Marra, safety and security of UNAMID personnel and cooperation between the State and UNAMID in implementing the Mission's PoC strategy.

As a result, it was agreed to continue strengthening cooperation and dialogue between the Mission and the State authorities in order to achieve lasting peace in the region.

The AJSR also used the occasion to visit some of the facilities supported by UNAMID through QIPs in Nyala Central Prison. The facilities include a water tank, women's dormitory and maternity rooms, and kindergarten. The projects represent some of the 47 QIPs that UNAMID is undertaking in support of the development efforts in the South State.

Last month, the AJSR made similar visits to West, Central and North Darfur, in her continued efforts to engage with all Darfuri stakeholders in protecting civilians and promoting the peace process.