July 2018 (KHARTOUM) – UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare is visiting Sudan to assess the needs of the UN missions in Darfur, Abyei as well as the UN country team which will see its duties expanded in Darfur to second the reduced blue helmet in western Sudan to achieve their mandate.
Khare is expected to meet senior officials of the Government of the Republic of Sudan, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defence. Also, he will visit three states in Darfur on Monday before to Kadugli in South Kordofan and Abyei.
Khare met on Sunday with the with the Sudanese Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Abdel-Ghani Al-Naeem, to discuss Sudan’s commitment to facilitate personnel transportation and equipment re-exportation.
According to a statement released in Khartoum, the foreign ministry said al-Naeem pointed to the need for international support to post-conflict development and infrastructure projects in Darfur region with the gradual conclusion of the UNAMID mandate.
Also, the meeting raised the need to provide the United Nations country team to implement reconstruction programs and support the efforts of the Government of Sudan in peacebuilding and development in Darfur.
The Indian diplomat will pay a three- day visit to Central Darfur state – where the new headquarters is set in Golo area – North Darfur and South Darfur states. He will meet with the governors and competent authorities to discuss issues related to the UNAMID downsizing and reconfiguration.
The Security Council, on Friday 13 July, decided to cut the troop strength of the hybrid mission from the current 8,735 to 4,050 personnel and to maintain its police strength at the current level of 2,500 personnel.
According to the terms of the resolution 2429 (2018), the mission will shut down its 14 sites in Darfur, except for 13 sites in the Greater Jebel Marra area and transfer its headquarters to Golo.
On 26 and 27 July, Khare will conclude his travel with a visit to Kadugli, Abyei where he will meet the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) officials and local leaders.