UN mission in Darfur affirms priority of peace

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 01, 2013 19:55 hrs

The new head of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Monday affirmed that bringing to fruition the negotiated peace process for the troubled region is crucial for the well-being of its people, as he arrived in Sudan to take up his post.

"Only an all-inclusive peace on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur can bring a lasting solution to the suffering of millions of men, women and children in this region," said Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who will also serve as Joint Chief Mediator for the AU and UN.

The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), negotiated with the support of the Government of Qatar, forms the basis for a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting that began in Darfur ten years ago, pitting government forces and allied militiamen against rebel groups.

The Sudanese Government and two major rebel groups have committed to the DDPD. The Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed on last year; the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a framework agreement in January 2013.

Chambas, a national of Ghana who replaces Ibrahim Gambari in his post, was Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, prior to his appointment after serving as President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from 2006 to 2009.

Over the next weeks, Chambas will be meeting with a range of top Sudanese government officials, Darfur authorities, ambassadors, UN representatives, as well as UNAMID leadership and staff, according to a press release from the peacekeeping mission.

Established in July 2007, UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate, but is also tasked with contributing to security for humanitarian assistance, monitoring and verifying implementation of agreements and assisting with an inclusive political process, amongst other responsibilities.

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