UNITED NATIONS, Dec 23 (APP): The UN Security Council has decided to terminate the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on 31 December 2020, withdrawing all uniformed and civilian personnel other than those needed for liquidation by 30 June 2021.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2559 (2020), the Council, meeting on Tuesday via videoconferencing, urged the Government of Sudan to protect civilians in Darfur in accordance with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

UN officials told APP that all 6,000-plus troops and police in the 13-nation Darfur contingent will be repatriated before the end of June 2021.

Pakistan has 1,075 military and police personnel in Darfur, the second largest after Rwanda.

The 15-member Council commended the contribution of troop- and police contributing countries to UNAMid, and underlined the importance of UN-AU partnership in Sudan.

Also, under the terms of the resolution, it underscored the need to build local community confidence in the ability of rule-of-law institutions to deliver justice, ensure accountability and provide legal protection to vulnerable communities.

Further, the Council authorized a guard unit from within UNAMID’s existing footprint to protect the Mission’s personnel, facilities and assets for the duration of its drawdown and liquidation. It called upon Sudan’s Government to cooperate fully with the United Nations and the African Union in ensuring an orderly and safe withdrawal.

In addition, the Council requested that the Government respect the 9 February 2008 Status of Forces Agreement, particularly in relation to the mission’s safety and security.

It should grant the United Nations access to UNAMID premises until an agreed handover, ensuring full freedom of movement of mission personnel, vehicles and aircraft, by further terms.

The Council also urged the Government to ensure the unimpeded redeployment of UNAMID’s equipment, supplies and other assets as well as the export of United Nations equipment and supplies.