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Press Release on the visit of the UNSC delegation to El Fasher,
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Jun 6, 2008 - 6:51:25 AM

Press Release
UN Security Council Delegation Visits Darfur

El Fasher, North Darfur, 5 June 2008 - The UN Security Council (UNSC) delegation visited the United Nations-African Union Mission in Sudan (UNAMID) Headquarters in El Fasher, North Darfur, as part of a 4-day visit to Sudan within the framework of a tour that will take them to a number of African states.

The Joint Special Representative (JSR) for UNAMID, Rodolphe Adada briefed the UNSC delegation on the status of the mission, the work being accomplished and the challenges ahead. “UNAMID still lacks major capacities that will seriously compromise its ability to implement resolution 1769 if not obtained urgently,” he told the delegation during a meeting of the latter with the UNAMID senior leadership.  

He urged the Security Council to help in accelerating the deployment of forces for UNAMID and in “eliminating all the small and big impediments that are standing in the way of achieving our goals.”

The UNSC delegation, co-chaired by both the South African Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo and the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador John Sawers went on a field visit to the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp of Zam-Zam, just 13 km from El Fasher town. They were received by hundreds of IDPs many of whom were women and children carrying banners that read “No to War, Yes to Peace”.  

In a meeting with Sheikhs, Umdas and representatives of women and the youth of the camp, the Council members had an opportunity to hear directly the IDPs’ own assessment of their situation and plight. The main concern highlighted by the IDPs was the issue of security and protection. “Without security, nothing will be right in the camp,” stated one of the Umdas. They made a strong appeal to the Security Council to do all it can to ensure that UNAMID acquires the capacity to protect the people of Darfur.

Ambassador Kumalo pledged that his delegation would use its voice to do whatever it can to bring the issues raised by the IDPs to the highest attention of the Council.

The Council delegation was accompanied to Zam-Zam by JSR, Mr. Rodolphe Adada; the Principal Deputy JSR, Mr. Henry Anyidoho; Deputy JSR for Operations, Houcine Medili; the Force Commander, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai and Police Commissioner Michael Fryer.
The UNSC tour included a courtesy visit to the Wali of North Darfur who praised the relationship between his government and UNAMID and pledged his government’s full support in meeting the deployment needs of the mission.  He however urged the UNSC delegation to be fair in listening to all sides of the conflict and not to any one particular side.  

Speaking to the media at the end of the visit, Ambassador Sawers said “the importance of the work of the UN has come through very strongly and the scale of the challenge and the commitment of the people on the ground has also made a vivid impression on us, members of the Security Council.  We will take that back to New York when we reflect on the problem of Darfur.  The UK Ambassador also called on the Sudanese government to keep airports in Darfur open to the UN “24 hours a day 7 days a week in order to improve the flow of humanitarian goods and workers.”  He added, “We would like to see protected convoys of food and medicine for Darfurians from El Obeid to Darfur.”  

At the conclusion of the UNSC visit to El Fasher JSR Adada praised the visit describing it as timely. He said it was important for the Security Council to see for itself the situation on the ground.

For Contact Information:
Mr. Noureddine Mezni
UNAMID Spokesperson
Tel: +249 912174276
[email protected] , [email protected]

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