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UN: Violence on rise after ousting of Sudanese president

China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-19 09:02

A Sudanese man offers juice to demonstrators as they protest in front of the Defense Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, on Wednesday. UMIT BEKTAS/REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS - The chief of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that violence is on the rise in the region after the Sudanese army ousted former president Omar al-Bashir.

"Security across the volatile Darfur region of Sudan has deteriorated since last week's military takeover in Khartoum," said Jeremiah Mamabolo, joint special representative for the UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur, or UNAMID.

The peacekeeping mission in Darfur has "remained vigilant" in the face of rising violence, he stressed.

Mamabolo said that with one army general already forced out of office in the face of continuing protests, the daily curfew has now been lifted, and political detainees are due to be released, with a nationwide cease-fire now in place.

"Yesterday, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General were replaced," he said, adding that the new military leader, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, had announced a "military transitional phase", which would last two years at most, before a handover to civilian control.

But protests are continuing, he said, noting that some internally-displaced people in Darfur, where military action by the former president against civilians led to war crimes charges against him by the International Criminal Court a decade ago, had "engaged in violent acts" targeting government locations, and those seen as collaborators with the former regime.

"Let me assure the Council that in the midst of all these developments, UNAMID has remained vigilant, maintaining a robust posture, particularly in the Jebel Marra area of responsibility, which is where we have peacekeeping troops," he added.

Mamabolo told Security Council members that the international community now "has an opportunity for initiate and sustain dialogue with the new authorities in Sudan. This would help create a conducive environment for UNAMID's departure, and the international community's follow-on engagement in Darfur".

Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, said on Wednesday that it is imperative to continue to advance the political and peace processes in Darfur.

"At present, Darfur is at a key juncture, transitioning from peacekeeping to peace-building. The international community should continue to advance relevant political and peace processes in a bid to achieve steady and smooth transition," he said.

He also called for international efforts to pull the people out of predicament.

"The foundation for economic and social development is still weak," he said. "These factors will affect the long-term peace and stability of Darfur. The international community should continue to honor its commitment by actively providing humanitarian assistance and economic support."

"China commends UNAMID's contribution to the maintenance of peace and stability in Darfur and supports its continued activities according to the mandate, to ensure the implementation of the mandated priorities," the Chinese envoy said.

On April 11, Sudan's Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf appeared on state television and announced the military's detention of Bashir, the suspension of the constitution, and the start of a two-year transitional period to be overseen by the military and followed by elections. A three-month state of emergency was also declared in the country.


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