Message from the Head of UNAMID on Eid al-Fitr
Khartoum, 23 May 2020 – On behalf of the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), I would like to extend greetings and best wishes to the people of Sudan on Eid al-Fitr.
Eid al-Fitr is a time for forgiveness, kindness, and compassion. These qualities are the essence of Islam. Eid is a time of joy and celebration; a time to make peace with all neighbors, relatives and friends, and resolve differences.
This year, Eid will be observed amidst extraordinary circumstances due to the global outbreak of the New Coronavirus Pandemic known as COVID-19. This shall affect the way Muslims observe this occasion not just in Sudan, but across the globe. The inevitable restrictions on movement and travel will certainly limit visits wedding parties and other social interactions which are customary during Eid. Despite these restrictions, It is noted that adopting them is to the benefit of all. I therefore call on everyone to adhere fully to all the guidelines and prevention procedures outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Sudanese National Health authorities until this pandemic is over.
UNAMID has also been doing its part to safeguard and protect life and has put in place a set of stringent measures to screen, detect and quarantine its personnel travelling into Sudan to ensure no infections occur. The Mission also stopped troop rotation, restricted nonessential movement amongst its locations and restricted its activity only to critical life-saving operations. We even adopted alternate working modalities including telecommuting and virtual meetings to minimize physical proximity and staff numbers in offices and camps.
UNAMID is supportive of and complies with measures stet by the Government to combat this pandemic. We will continue working with the Sudanese health authorities within our capability and mandate as well as with the UN System in Sudan to fight the spread of the COVID-19. This cooperation and support shall continue till the very last day of the Mission’s presence in Darfur and until its exit by end of October 2020.
The UN Secretary-General and the AU Chairperson indicated that COVID-19 is a real challenge to mankind. I therefore emphasise their appeal for stopping conflicts across the world and the needy for silencing guns and uniting to combat this menace and achieve peace for humanity.
We sincerely hope that the goodwill of the season will add a new impetus to peace, reconciliation, development and prosperity. The people of Darfur deserve nothing less.
I would like to reiterate UNAMID’s deep commitment to exert all possible efforts, within its mandate, capability and available resources, to support peace and reconciliation efforts across Darfur until its exit.
UNAMID Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator