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The Theft of UNAMID headquarters in El Fasher: Negative messages!

Al-Sammani Awadallah

The former headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Advanced Mission in Darfur “UNAMID” in El Fasher, North Darfur, was subject to looting and sabotage carried out by groups of armed men and civilians.

The headquarters is located in the western direction of the city and is considered one of the largest headquarters of the mixed mission in Darfur. “UNAMID” handed it over to the local authorities a few days ago.

A statement issued by the State Security Committee affirmed that the northern part was handed over by the state government and joint forces were formed from the armed forces, rapid support forces, and police.   The statement added that on Friday, December 24, 2021, at half-past five in the evening, a group attacked the part that was handed over to the state government and broke the containers and they were able to loot the special equipment by the state government.

The statement went on to affirm that there are joint forces operating in the preventing the citizens from looting but other groups fired shots at the headquarters, as a result of which the citizen Othman Abdullah Saleh was killed. An emergency meeting was held and a number of decisions were issued as follows:

  • Dispatching the Special Task Force back to the UNAMID headquarters to surround it to prevent attacks and looting and to work on.
  • Securing the housing and headquarters of the mission’s personnel present in UNAMID.
  • Summoning the field commanders of the parties to the peace process who are in El Fasher to resolve the evasion of their personnel and withdraw them from the UNAMID headquarters.
  • Contact the senior leaders of the parties to the peace process in Khartoum to withdraw their forces that are not involved in guarding and are in the UNAMID headquarters.

This action against the UNAMID base in El Fasher made the Head of the UNITAMS in Sudan, Volker Perthes, express deep disappointment by the looting of the former UNAMID base in El Fasher last night.

“I am very disappointed by the looting of the former UNAMID base in El Fasher last night,” he said. The equipment stolen was to protect civilians by the Darfur authorities. The protection of civilians should be a priority for the state, as well as for armed organizations – even those that have been involved in looting.

Meanwhile, the governor of the Darfur region, Minni Arko Minawi, directed; urgent appeal; He wrote on Twitter, “Urgent Appeal; All regular forces, movements, and citizens in North Darfur, please abide by morals and stop looting the UNAMID site. I call on everyone to return all the property that was looted during the last period and to stop these violations immediately.”

The governor of the Darfur region demanded; Arko Minawi urge the regular forces, movements, and citizens in North Darfur to stop the looting of the UNAMID site.

Minawi said in a tweet on Twitter Friday, an urgent appeal to all regular forces, movements, and citizens in North Darfur, please abide by morals and stop looting the UNAMID website.

He added I call on everyone to return all the property that was looted during the last period and to stop these violations immediately.

This action sends negative messages to the international community about the fragility of security in the region, especially after the withdrawal of the joint mission from Darfur, hence putting the government of the Darfur region headed by Minni Arko Minawi in front of great responsibility, as it should work to provide adequate security and protection for all headquarters, including the government headquarters itself, and expedites the need to form and deploy the joint force in the region  In addition to the need to speed up the implementation of the security arrangements clause to prevent a recurrence of what happened.

A number of experts criticized the slow process in implementing the security arrangements in Darfur, stressing that the delay in implementing this item and not deploying the joint force will increase the complexity of the situation in Darfur, and looting operations will increase and threaten the security and safety of defenseless citizens, especially in light of the failure to remove injustice and achieve reconciliation between the various populations in this region.

The experts pointed to the frictions and attacks that occurred on some residents in the region during the last period, which led to the killing of many citizens by movements that still carry weapons and pose a threat to peace and security in the Darfur region.

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