Darfur: Amnesty Enables Sheikhs Sheltering At UN-African Mission Site to Go Home
New York, Aug 28 2011 - The head of the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur today voiced his
appreciation to the Sudanese authorities for granting amnesty to five local sheikhs who were sheltering in the mission's
premises for over a year fearing arrest for alleged crimes.
The Governor of South Darfur state granted the amnesty yesterday on the occasion of the feast of Eid al-Fitr which marks
the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. The five were escorted back to their homes by members of the
peacekeeping mission (UNAMID).
The sheikhs had sought protection at the mission's community policing centre (CPC) outside the Kalma camp for displaced
persons following the violence that erupted in July 2010. South Darfur officials had demanded that the mission hand them
Since the sheikhs said they feared for their lives, UNAMID declined to turn them over when requested to do so by the
authorities, citing its obligations under its mandate to ensure that due process and the rights of individuals are
upheld at all times.
"Our approach of patience and persistence in handling this matter has produced a win-win and peaceful resolution," based
on the good cooperation and working relations established between UNAMID and the Sudanese authorities notably, in this
case, in South Darfur, said Ibrahim Gambari.
Mr. Gambari, the Joint Special Representative and head of UNAMID, appealed to the sheikhs to "be of good behaviour while
encouraging them to play a constructive role in the peace process and national reconciliation," according to a news release
issued by the mission.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news