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Peacekeepers In Darfur Train Sudanese Forces

African-UN Peacekeepers In Darfur Train Sudanese Forces On Protection

New York, Sep 24 2008 10:11AM

The joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) today conducted a training workshop for Sudanese police, national security and military intelligence officials in the war-torn region.

The workshop on security coordination for senior and mid-level managers focused on issues such as the UNAMID mission mandate, the Status of Forces Agreement, the host Government’s responsibility and the UN security management system.

UNAMID representative Henry Anyidoho stressed that the responsibility for protecting UN staff and property rests with the host Government.

“This was our plan for [so] long to share more information with our partners in the government,” Mr. Anyidoho said in his opening remarks at the workshop.

“We strongly believe that sharing and understanding of UN security mechanisms and guidelines by our friends would help them secure the UN staff and property,” he added at the meeting, conducted in the North Darfur state capital of El-Fasher.

General Ahmad Atta Al Mannan Othman, Chief of the Sudanese Police Force in North Darfur, said that since both UNAMID and the Government aim to achieve peace in the western Sudanese region, both sides should work hand-in-hand to accomplish that goal. He called for the hybrid AU-UN force to build police capacity in the region by conducting more training and laying the ground for training facilities.

He also tackled the issue of traffic accidents committed by UNAMID staff and called upon the mission to find a just way of compensating those affected.

The Sudanese Government and the allied Janjaweed militiamen have been fighting rebels in the arid and impoverished region of Darfur since 2003. During that period, some 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed as a result of direct combat, disease or malnutrition, while another 2.7 million people have been displaced because of the violence.

The UNAMID operation, tasked with protecting civilians and improving security in the area, is slated to have about 26,000 troops and police officers when it reaches its peak, but currently has around only 10,000 uniformed personnel in the field.

ENDS

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