Mohamed Ibn Chambas gives an speech during his visit to Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur, on April 22. Photo by Sharon Lukunka.
El Fasher, 1 May 2013 – During the period of 22 to 30 April 2013, the head of the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Joint Special Representative (JSR) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, conducted a series of field visits across the five Darfur states to focus on the security, humanitarian and political situation. Mr. Chambas met with representatives of internally displaced persons (IDPs), traditional leaders, State authorities and UNAMID staff.
In Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur, the first of his visits, the JSR met with leaders of the Shadad and Niyasha IDP camps to discuss matters related to their protection. “The best solution to the conflict in Darfur is to achieve a lasting peace, allowing conditions to normalize so that citizens can live without fear or intimidation,” he said.
In South Darfur, Mr. Chambas went to the Kalma IDP camp where he reassured the residents of the Mission’s commitment to protect civilians. “UNAMID and its humanitarian partners will continue to do their best in addressing the needs of the local community,” said Mr. Chambas. Prior to the meeting, the UNAMID chief met with South Darfur Governor (Wali) Adam Mahmoud Jaral-Nabi.
In East Darfur, the JSR met with Wali Abdulhamid Musa Kasha to express his gratitude for the cooperation shown to UNAMID and its UN Country Team partners in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Labado and Muhajeria. The JSR traveled to both villages, where recent clashes between the Government and Sudan Liberation Army - Mini Minawi had displaced several thousand inhabitants. While there, the JSR assessed the situation on the ground and met with UNAMID personnel to express appreciation for their professional conduct in the protection of civilians during the days of the crisis, particularly after the death of one peacekeeper and the injury of two others in an attack on the Mission’s Muhajeria Team Site.
Last week, in the first phase of the humanitarian assistance operation to the area, UNAMID delivered more than 80,000 kilograms of humanitarian aid to thousands of displaced civilians. The Mission conducted the second phase of the operation on 29 April. In his meeting with State authorities of East and South Darfur, the JSR stressed the importance of ensuring continued access by UNAMID and humanitarian organizations to enable the delivery aid to the IDPs concentrated around the UNAMID Team Sites in Muhajeria and Labado.
In Zalingei, Central Darfur, the JSR met with leaders of the Hassa Hissa and Nertiti IDP Camps to listen to their concerns and to highlight the benefits that both the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur and the Darfur Donor Conference’s financial pledges could bring in terms of achieving lasting peace and much-needed development in Darfur.
The JSR’s travel concluded in El Geneina, West Darfur, where he visited with community leaders at the Mornei IDP camp. With 85,000 residents, the camp is largest in the State. He commended the residents of the camp for the cordial relations that exist between them and UNAMID personnel. He pledged the continued commitment and dedication of UNAMID to work for the protection and welfare of the IDPs and the long-suffering Darfurian civilian population.
The visits to Darfur’s regions were Mr. Chambas’ first in his official capacity as UNAMID JSR, a post he assumed on 1 April 2013.