The joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Darfur region strongly rejected “unfounded allegations” levelled by the Sudanese military’s spokesperson that it is collaborating with the rebel group known as the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
The mission, known as UNAMID, emphasized in a press release that it “does not and shall not deviate from its responsibility and mandated obligation to serve as an impartial and honest broker in the peace process.”
It also stressed that it “has never and will never collaborate in the form described with any parties to the conflict in Darfur.”
However, the accusations which include not reporting acts of banditry in addition to collaborating with the rebels will not negatively affect the “very good cooperation” UNAMID has and will continue to foster with all levels of Sudan’s Government, the mission noted.
The press release said that UNAMID continues to be committed to implementing its mandate and priorities, as set out by its new Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari. These include bolstering the security of civilians and uprooted people in Darfur, supporting the ongoing peace process and helping to normalize relations between Chad and Sudan.
UNAMID has been in place since late 2007 to try to quell the violence in Darfur, where an estimated 300 000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.
Pic: JEM leader