Photo by Mohamed Nouraldin.

3 Dec 2018



(Sunday, 2 December 2018; 10:30 hours; KLO, OMAC Street, Khartoum)



Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to this press conference that marks the end of an eventful year for UNAMID. Before I start the briefing, I would like to express my appreciation to the media for consistently highlighting events in Darfur and keeping the region on the global agenda, while ensuring the community is kept abreast of developments.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As you are aware, UNAMID continues its drawdown, which entails the reconfiguration of its operations on the ground as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2429. The Mission is implementing a two-pronged approach of peacekeeping in the Jebel Marra area and stabilisation throughout the rest of Darfur.

The current reconfiguration process means significant changes in the Mission’s operations, particularly substantial progress in the latter half of 2018. Effective yesterday, my office is now operational from Khartoum, in line with UNSCR 2429. Similarly, the New Mission Headquarters in Zalingei is also operational effective 1 December 2018. the official inauguration of the new headquarters in Zalingei will take place in the coming days.

Although I am now based in Khartoum – where my other role as Joint Chief Mediator (JCM), to act as a catalyst in the implementation of the DDPD – in real terms I will be spending more time in Darfur. For me it is essential for my efforts as mediator to succeed, to remain in very close touch with the parties to the conflict and the Darfuris in General.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to announce that in line with the Mission’s exit strategy, UNAMID has already handed over eight team sites to the GoS. These are El Sireaf, Um Baro and Korma in North Darfur; Labado and Shaeria in East Darfur; Mukhjar in Central Darfur; and Masteri and Mournei in West Darfur. Two others, Buram and Graida, in Sector South are due to be closed before the end of December.

Likewise, UNAMID has also handed over to the Government of Sudan, three Community Policing Centers (CPC), namely El Salam, Otash and Derige in Sector South in October.

As to the three sector-headquarters: El Daein, El Geneina and Nyala, preparations are underway to complete their closure by 30 June 2019.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  In the areas where UNAMID is withdrawing, we will adopt a-whole-of-system approach which ensures that the UN Country Team will work with the Mission in the interest of continuity of stabilisation efforts. It is envisaged that the SLFs will be operational from January 2019, led by the relevant UNCT partners with the support of civilian staff and police officers provided by UNAMID.

With regard to the peacekeeping operations in the Jebel Marra area, the Mission has significantly reconfigured its military component and is reducing the force by 3,265 uniformed personnel by 31 December and by another 1,420 by the end of June 2019, to remain with a strength of 4,050 military personnel by end of June 2019.

The police component will remain at the ceiling of 2,500 personnel, including members of formed police units and individual police officers. UNAMID Police continue to enhance the capacity of the Sudan Police Force (SPF) through various initiatives aimed at strengthening and expanding SPF presence across Darfur.

Commensurate reductions in civilian staffing are being effected concurrently.

Ladies and gentlemen,


Peace in Darfur is our ultimate goal. I therefore continue to support President Mbeki’s African Union High Implementation Panel’s (AUHIP) efforts to bring the parties to the conflict to the negotiation table. The latest attempt being a meeting convened on 22-23 November in Addis Ababa with two Darfur non-signatory movements, Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM-Gibril), which was to consider ways and means of expediting the pre-negotiation process and bringing the negotiations on the issues of Darfur back on track.


We will converge in Berlin soon where we would hopefully be able to sign a pre-negotiation agreement between the Government and the Darfur movements. If we are successful, the meeting in Berlin will be followed by a meeting in Doha to discuss substantive issues. All our partners have worked very hard to see this come true and as the Mediator I must use this opportunity to thank them for their efforts. I would also like to express my earnest appreciation to the GoS, JEM-Jibril and SLA- Minni Minawi for their patience and commitment throughout the negotiation process.


In the meantime, I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to the opening session of 14th meeting of the DDPD’s Implementation and Follow-up Committee (IFC) to be held in Khartoum next week.


Ladies and gentlemen,

The Mission has made substantial progress in terms of its support to rule of law institutional strengthening and capacity building both in the justice and corrections areas. In line with its strategic priority to support the Government of Sudan efforts to extend state authority, the Mission has supported the government in the construction and rehabilitation of rural courts in various localities in Darfur, including Masteri in West Darfur, a recent project funded through funds contributed by the Government of Canada.  

The construction of Nertiti rural court in Central Darfur has been completed. UNAMID is also currently constructing three rural courts in Abu Jabra, El Fardous and Muhajirea localities in East Darfur, and in Beleil in South Darfur, all of which are funded by UNAMID.

 The Mission has made concerted efforts to support capacity building training for prosecution staff and Government of Sudan prison staff deployed in Darfur as part of its stabilisation mandate

Within our very limited resources, we have recently improved the road between Nertiti and Golo as we earlier did the road between Kabkabiya and Golo. These roads are now open for trade traffic and have created real development opportunities for communities living alongside them.

During the rainy season,in September this year, Unamid has also contributed to relief efforts in the aftermath of the landslide in Wadi Tulba and Tagoli, Kass locality in Jebel Marra; where 70 peacekeepers including six doctors provided medical and emergency assistance to 67 affected families (approximately 380 people) That said, I would like to thank both the Government of Sudan authorities and SLA-Abdelwahid for their cooperation in facilitating access to the affected population.

Given the improved security in most parts of Darfur, civilians are reportedly returning gradually to their homes after years of displacement. However, Darfur still witnesses fresh waves of displacement, with a significant emphasis in Jebel Mara where intermittent hostilities between non-state armed groups and regular forces continue to directly affect civilians in the area. Approximately 16,000 people have been displaced into various camps and settlements in various localities in Jebel Marra in both South and Central Darfur, which represents an increase of 4,000 people since September 2018.


In conclusion, I would like to, once again, call on all the holdout movements, including SLA-Abdelwahid, to come to the negotiations table and join the immense efforts exerted by the international community and all the parties to achieve peace in Darfur and help the Darfuris have a better future.



Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention and time. I hope to have the opportunity to speak to you again in the near future.

Shukran Jazeelan!