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Darfur / UNAMID Media Brief

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, June 14, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UNAMID Media Brief /14 June 2012

United Kingdom delegation assesses UNAMID mandate

An official delegation of the United Kingdom (UK) concluded yesterday a three-day visit to Darfur, during which its members engaged with various African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) components on the work of the Mission and its efforts to advance peace and prosperity in Darfur.

“As the Chair of the Security Council process on Darfur -- and UNAMID specifically – it is important to come to Darfur to ensure a thorough and correct review of the resolution and the mandate renewal, which is due at the end of July,” Gareth Bayley, Deputy Head of the Conflict Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, told UNAMID media.

Mr. Bayley pointed out that the delegation was especially interested in getting “ground truth” about the Mission and its mandate. When asked for his assessment of UNAMID's support to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, Mr. Bayley addressed UNAMID's evolving strategy. “The message that we have been hearing so far is that in order to support the Doha document, you need to have both protection tasks and also supportive tasks that support recovery in partnership with the UN Country Team,” he said.

The UK delegation's assessment comes amid repeated calls by the Mission's leadership for the international community to continue supporting development projects in Darfur. “This is not the time for the international community to forget Darfur and the needs of its communities,” said UNAMID Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari in a recent interview in Khartoum.

Deputy Joint Special Representative (Political), Ms. Aichatou Mindaoudou Souleymane, received the delegation and stressed the need for the international community to support peacekeeping activities and peacebuilding initiatives in Darfur. “Stability and peace in Darfur can be realized only through development activities that introduce tangible and durable solutions, which, on a fundamental level, create lasting economic opportunities for the people,” said Ms. Souleymane. “We should not spare any effort in attempting to help improve the lives of Darfur's people.”

The UK delegation visited El Fasher, El Geneina and Nyala, and met with government officials as well as representatives of the Darfur Regional Authority.

“We have had a comprehensive engagement not only on the challenges the Mission is facing in Darfur but also of the opportunities to advance our common global objectives,” said Mr. Bayley, noting that the UK delegation focused on the Mission's mandate and its capacity to serve peace and the people of Darfur.