October 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The UN Panel of Experts on Darfur has acknowledged that the disarmament campaign has led to significant improvement in security situation in the region, said Sudan’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDRC)
The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted the head of the DDRC Salah al-Tayeb as saying the higher committee for the collection of illicit weapons would continue its work in all states.
He pointed out that a visiting team from the Panel of Experts, which supports the action of the UN Sanctions Committee on Darfur weapon embargo, has acknowledged the significant improvement in security situation in the region following the implementation of the disarmament campaign.
For his part, the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts Thomas Adu said their visit to Sudan was intended to check on the latest developments of the peace process particularly after implementing the disarmament campaign.
The primary mandate of the UN Panel of Experts on Darfur (established in March 2005, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1591) is to monitor the arms embargo on Darfur imposed by the UN.
In August 2017, the Sudanese authorities launched a six-month disarmament campaign to eliminate illegal weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur region.
The Sudanese authorities say the spread of weapons among the rival tribes in the region is one of the main causes of Darfur’s instability.
The official statements say 30,000 arms have been collected in the five states of Darfur region during the voluntary process which started in August, while official figures estimate at 700,000 the number of illegal weapons in Darfur.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) admitted that the security situation in Darfur has improved and decided to reduce the number of hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) troops in line with an exit strategy aiming to close the operation in two years.
The hybrid mission has been deployed in Darfur since December 2007 with a mandate to stem violence against civilians in western Sudan’s region.
It is the world’s second-largest international peacekeeping force with an annual budget of $1.35 billion and almost 20,000 troops. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million are displaced.