Sudan's Decision on UNAMID Departure Long Studied: FM Official

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) The Under-Secretary of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, Abdullah Hamad al-Azraq, said the government decision for UNAMID to leave the country was studied and was discussed over a number of years between the Foreign Ministry and the United Nations.
Azraq was on Tuesday quoted by SUNA as saying that the decision for UNAMID exit was not connected with the recent allegation of mass rape in Tabit village in North Darfur. He said it was considered long before the allegation and has been a topic of discussion by the Sudanese Foreign Minister with the UN Secretary-General over the past three years and was last discussed by the two men during the latest visit by the Foreign Minister to UN General assembly meetings.
The Under-Secretary said the exit decision was due to restoration of stability in Darfur region and there was no need for UNAMID presence there.
He accused UNAMID personnel of misconduct in their camps, including rape and sexual harassment, with UNAMID leadership not bothering to bring their personnel to account for such practices.
Meanwhile the Under-Secretary of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, al-Azraq, has stated that the Prosecutor for Darfur crimes has completed his investigation in allegations of a mass rape of 200 women and girls in Tabit village in North Darfur.
Azraq told SUNA that the Prosecutor made a "highly professional and transparent" investigation with 85 people representing different tribes and different age groups and concluded that not a single rape incident had occurred in that village.
The Under-Secretary said the concerned government authorities are monitoring activities by some organizations, of recruiting some women to register false testimonies. He pointed to arrangements in a neighboring country for recording a video conference with women allegedly from Tabit village in a bid to prove those unfounded allegations.


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