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Peacekeeping Ops Will Continue Throughout Darfur

UNAMID stresses peacekeeping operations will continue throughout Darfur

El Fasher, 14 July 2008 - The joint African Union - UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) today vowed to maintain its operations in the region and continue implementing its mandate, as non-essential staff prepared to relocate due to the recent deteriorating security situation across Darfur.

General Martin Luther Agwai, UNAMID Force Commander, emphasized that force protection levels and patrolling would remain the same under the move to security level Phase IV.

'We are working on all those issues in our mandate and we will continue to work on them,' he said. 'We will continue to conduct patrols and security, as well as protect UN personnel and UN facilities on the ground. In addition, we will continue to assist the humanitarian organizations to do their job of rendering humanitarian services to the people in Darfur.'

Due to recent events in Darfur, UNAMID moved to security level Phase IV on 12 July. On 8 July, seven UNAMID peacekeepers were killed and 22 injured, seven critically, in a well-organised attack by heavily armed militia in Um Hakibah, North Darfur.

The implementation of security level Phase IV is a formal UN process which will involve the temporary relocation of non-essential UNAMID staff in coming days.

Critical personnel engaged in all security and humanitarian operations will remain working at UNAMID headquarters in El Fasher, the Sector offices in El Geneina and Nyala and in other mission locations across Darfur.

General Agwai said the mission had been assessing recent security incidents and attacks against peacekeepers, including a series of car-jackings and the attack at Um Hakibah, the worst in UNAMID's six-month history.

Source: United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

ENDS

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