Tripartite Meeting on UNAMID focuses on Darfur security, access

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 16, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Concerns over an increase in the number of security incidents in Darfur and access by peacekeepers of the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to those areas most affected by conflict were the primary focus of discussion of the 15th meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID. The forum was held yesterday at the African – Union's (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Tripartite Mechanism, composed of representatives of the Government of Sudan, the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), is an instrument aimed at resolving issues and challenges related to UNAMID deployment and operations.

At the meeting, the AU and United Nations (UN) expressed concern over the increased reports of armed clashes and inter-communal violence in Darfur. While acknowledging the Government of Sudan's primary responsibility of protecting civilians, the Mission noted with concern that delays in granting peacekeepers access to these areas negatively impacts the quality and efficiency of the Mission in carrying out its mandate. The Government noted that many of the restrictions were due to security concerns and requested that there be increased coordination at the technical level.

Other topics of discussion included resolving challenges related to customs clearances and the issuance of visas, and the importance of development projects in Darfur.

Representatives of the AU and UN welcomed the cooperative spirit demonstrated by the Government in its support of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, which most recently led to the signing of a peace agreement with the Justice and Equality Movement – Sudan. Furthermore, the AU and UN called upon non-signatory movements to join the peace process by coming to the negotiation table.

The delegations were headed by Ambassador Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman, Sudan Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security; and, Mr. Anthony Banbury, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support.

The next meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism is scheduled to be held in Khartoum, Sudan in July 2013.