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UNAMID raise awareness on the imminent closure of its headquarters in south Darfur

Photo by Hamid Abdulsalam, UNAMID.

UNAMID’s Communications and Public Information Section (CPIS) launched on 26 September 2019 a two-week awareness raising campaign on the Mission’s transition process and the imminent closure of its Headquarters in Nyala, South Darfur.

From 26 September to 2 October, CPIS Team held focus group discussions with leaders from four internally displaced persons (IDPs) Camps namely Otash, Dereig, Al Salaam and Kalma and shared aspects of the drawdown and transition the Mission is currently undergoing, including the imminent closure of the Super Camp in Nyala. CPIS also had a meeting in Nyala town on the same topics with local government representatives, journalists, religious leaders, community leaders, women and youth groups and native administration leaders.

More than 500 people participated in the focus group discussions in the five locations where CPIS Team  highlighted the Mission’s transitional plans to mitigate against possible relapse into conflict after UNAMID’s departure through partnership with UNCT in the State Liaison Functions (SLFs) and the Mission’s insistence that premises and assets handed over to local entities are to be utilized for civilian purposes such as expanding universities, faculties health centers, police stations, women and youth centers.

Participants underlined the need for UNAMID presence as an impartial body to mediate conflicts and to support in the collection of weapons in Darfur to ensure durable peace, beneficial to all, is attained in the region.

 “It is important for UNAMID to further engage the new (Sudanese) Government on any decision on future UN presence in Darfur, following UNAMID exit from the region,” said Ms. Ahlam Hamid, the Secretary of all the Darfurian IDPs and Refugees camps.

Mr. Mudathir Adam Ishag, Representative of Youth at Otash IDPs camp, added: “Darfur is lacking in basic services such as water, health, education to motivate IDPs to return to their places of origin as we fear the relapse into conflict after withdrawal of UNAMID from Darfur.”

Local participants also called on the Mission to build the capacity of the local police to take over the responsibility of protecting the IDPs camps before its withdrawal from Darfur.

The Director of Culture and Information at the State Ministry of Education, Mr. Sidig Mohammed, urged the participants to disseminate the information to the local community that premises and assets handed over by UNAMID are for the benefit of the local communities in South Darfur.

The second week of the awareness raising campaign which entails radio broadcasts involving UNAMID personalities is currently underway on local radio stations.

Similar awareness raising campaigns on UNAMID transition will be held in Menawashei, South Darfur, and Golo in Central Darfur before the end of 2019.