The United Nations says there is a problem with the closure of the Darfur peacekeeping operation

UN (Associated Press)-The head of UN logistics said on Tuesday that the closure of the UN-African Union joint peacekeeping operation in the Darfur region of western Sudan is proceeding as planned, despite some minor problems.

Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, told the Council that issues included troops seeking asylum in Sudan, 10 locations stolen and handed over to local authorities, and armed groups stationed around the main remaining logistics base.

Khare said that the initial milestone it set was to withdraw all military and police personnel and staff who were not involved in the shutdown by June 30. He said that nearly 6,000 soldiers and policemen returned to the motherland, nearly 1,200 staff members left, and only 360 policemen remained to protect the Al Fasher logistics base and personnel who completed the mission.

Harley said the United Nations also ensures that uniformed peacekeepers who want to seek asylum are dealt with by the Sudanese refugee authorities. He said he was grateful that “the status of these people seeking asylum is a humanitarian act, not based on political considerations.”

There was bloodshed in the vast Darfur region in 2003, when insurgents from the central and sub-Saharan African communities launched a rebellion, accusing Khartoum’s Arab-led government of discrimination and neglect.

The first United Nations-African Union joint force was established in 2007 and was terminated by the Security Council on December 31 last year. It was replaced by a much smaller purely political mission with a deadline of June 30, 2022.

In early December, Halley warned the Security Council that shutting down one of the largest peacekeeping operations involving the United Nations would be a major task. He said that the mission personnel are distributed in Al Fasher, the headquarters of the Zalingei Mission, 13 team sites, the capital Khartoum and Port Sudan. In addition to the equipment deployed with 22 military and police contingents, Halley said the mission has more than 10,000 “assets plus inventory”.

Halle told the Security Council on Tuesday that the evacuation took place at the same time that the former mission headquarters and 13 team sites were closed and handed over to local authorities in Darfur for civilian use.

“To date, the residual value of the facilities and equipment handed over to local authorities outside of Fasher has exceeded 41 million U.S. dollars,” he said.

Khare said that the confirmed and unconfirmed reports “show that 10 of the 14 locations handed over to local authorities were damaged and stolen to varying degrees.” He said that although these assets no longer belong to the United Nations, they It is a “significant loss to the relevant community”.

Investigations of sabotage and theft are underway. Some Sudanese said that these incidents were “caused by potential tensions between local groups and concerns about fair access to handed over facilities and equipment, whether real or imagined,” Harley said. Tell the committee.

On the positive side, he said that a large number of Zalingei’s headquarters have gradually been successfully handed over to local authorities for use by local universities.

Harley said he told Sudanese officials during his visit earlier this month that the United Nations intends to conduct a similar phased handover of the Al Fasher base starting in November.

Khare said that El Fasher “has the ability to form a huge community” with extensive office infrastructure, more than 1,000 independent living units, important work and study spaces, a hospital, a major fuel storage depot, recreational facilities, Maintenance and auto repair shops, large warehouses, water purification and distribution pipelines, communication towers and other facilities.

In addition, he said, Fasher has also integrated many movable equipment and supplies, including hundreds of cars, generators, furniture, and information and communication technology equipment.

“It is vital that the Sudanese government makes every effort to ensure that this huge reserve of facilities and equipment can be used sustainably for the country’s civilian needs,” Halle said.

He said that in order for this to happen “orderly and quickly”, the government and local officials must resolve the issue of the “armed movement” stationed around the El Fasher compound.

“Fasser’s colleagues have confirmed troops from at least five different groups and the Sudanese Armed Forces,” Harley said.

He said that the initial chaos of these groups disrupted UNAMID operations and led to some harassment of UN personnel and suppliers. Khare said that in recent weeks, most of the exercise has proceeded normally.

Harley said that the equipment valued at 8.1 million U.S. dollars has been transferred to other UN operations.

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