UNAMID Command explains mission to Sudan Armed forces
23 January 2007 -- An important confidence-building meeting between the military leadership of the Sudan and that of the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was held at the Staff College in Khartoum on 20 January 2008. During the meeting, UNAMID Force Commander, General Martin Luther Agwai and the Mission’s Police Commissioner, Major General Mike Fryer, explained UNAMID’s Military and Police Components to the Sudanese Armed Forces, Police and State Security Services.
The Sudanese audience was headed by the Chief of Staff of Sudan’s Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Ismat Abdurahman Zainelabdeen.
In his presentation, General Agwai narrated the history of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) and highlighted its challenges. He revealed that as of 31 December 2007, 47 AMIS peacekeepers had been killed. AMIS, he explained, had a peacekeeping force of about 7000, which was not self-sustaining, but depended on the goodwill of donors for support, equipment, communications and air assets. On the other hand, UNAMID is projected to have a force of about 20,000 troops and 6,000 Civilian Police, which would be self-sustaining and would benefit from the United Nations Integrated Support Service (ISS), communications and aviation support.
General Agwai gave a detailed explanation on UNAMID’s equipment, force structure, personnel, concept of operations and deployment. He emphasized that UNAMID’s equipment is for defensive and not offensive use, and outlined the four stages of the Darfur joint peacekeeping operation: transition, stabilization, consolidation and drawdown.
On his part, the Police Commissioner explained the structure, strength, mandate and core duties of UNAMID Civilian Police (CIVPOL), as well as the structure and duties of Formed Police Units (FPUs). Major General Fryer announced that new police stations are being constructed while old ones are being rehabilitated. He emphasized the need to intensify community policing, fight against gender-based violence and improve co-operation between UNAMID Police, Government Police and Movements’ Police in Darfur.
The Sudanese Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Ismat Abdurahman Zainelabdeen, in his closing remarks, thanked General Agwai and Major General Fryer for their detailed presentations and clarifications. He called for regular meetings at all levels and closer co-operation between UNAMID and the Government of the Sudan.
(UNAMID Press Release)