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Ban Welcomes Sudanese Decision to Grant Amnesty

New York, Aug 29 2011 12:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the decision by the Sudanese Government to grant amnesty to five community leaders who were under the protection of the United Nations-African Union mission since the outbreak of violence over a year ago.

The five local leaders, or sheikhs, were granted amnesty on Saturday by the Governor of South Darfur state ahead of this week’s Eid al-Fitr holiday to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

They had been sheltering at the community policing centre of the UN-AU peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in Kalma, South Darfur, since last July when violence erupted in the displaced persons camp there. They were escorted back to their homes by members of the mission yesterday.

“The Secretary-General is gratified that the sheikhs have, with the support of UNAMID, been reunited with their families in time to celebrate Eid al-Fitr,” a statement issued by his spokesperson said.

“He urges community leaders and members of the camp to refrain from all acts of violence,” it added.

South Darfur authorities had demanded UNAMID turn the five over in connection with alleged crimes but the mission had declined to do so, citing its obligations under its mandate to ensure that due process and the rights of individuals are upheld at all times.
Aug 29 2011 12:10PM
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