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Iran Press TV

Sudan summons UNAMID's chief over mandate extension

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:9AM

Sudan has summoned the head of the UN peacekeeping force in Darfur to protest the extension of its mission in the country.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry summoned Martin Uhomoibh, the head of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), after the UN recommended a one-year extension of the mission despite Khartoum's opposition.

About 20,000 troops from more than 30 countries are currently deployed in the war-torn region.

A joint report by the African Union Commission and UN chief Ban Ki-moon has recommended extending UNAMID's mandate, which expires at the end of the month, for 12 months until June 30, 2017.

The report says some 2.6 million people remain displaced in Darfur amid "limited progress" in reaching a viable solution to end the conflict.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry said the report contained "incorrect information about the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur."

Sudan's state minister for foreign affairs, Kamal Ismail, said last month it was "time to say goodbye to the UNAMID mission."

"This mission came to protect civilians, but now there is no danger to civilians; there is no conflict in Darfur," he claimed.

Violence broke out in Darfur when ethnic minority rebels stood against President Omar al-Bashir, accusing his Arab-dominated government of marginalizing the region.

Darfur has been the scene of violence since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum. There has also been tribal fighting in the region.

According to the latest UN figures, more than 300,000 people have died since the violence began in the region.

The UNAMID was launched in 2007 in a bid to protect civilians and restore stability to the restive region.

Darfur was a united region from its incorporation into Sudan in 1916 until 1994, when President Bashir divided it into three states, adding two more in 2012.

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