Darfur joint UN African envoy meets with local authorities on security

The Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada expressed appreciation for the good relationship between the hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID, and the State Governments and reiterated the mission’s commitment to fulfil its mandate of protecting civilians, in meetings with the Deputy Governor of South Darfur, as well as the Deputy Governor of West Darfur.He expressed appreciation for the good relationship between UNAMID and the State Governments and reiterated the peacekeeping operation’s commitment to fulfil its mandate of protecting civilians, said a UN spokesperson. In a related development UNAMID reported today that the remainder of the Egyptian infantry battalion, consisting of 93 peacekeepers, started arriving at its base in El Fasher, North Darfur. A second group, also consisting of 93 peacekeepers, is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, bringing the battalion’s strength to 850, with the Egyptian contribution to the Mission at 1,588, and a total UNAMID military force of 12,937. The force was set up by the Security Council to protect civilians in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen. One year from the transfer of responsibility to UNAMID from the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), over 60 per cent of the 19,555 military personnel authorized by the Security Council are now in place.In other news, UNAMID today received information that armed militiamen opened fire in a market in El Fasher. The cause of the shooting is still unknown and UNAMID security is investigating the incident. 2 March 2009The joint Darfur envoy of the United Nations and the African Union (AU) today travelled to Nyala, South Darfur, and El Geneina, West Darfur, to discuss security problems with local authorities of the strife-torn region of Sudan.