By Jeremiah Mamabolo, UNAMID Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator
On behalf of the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), I would like to extend greetings and best wishes to the people of Sudan on Eid al-Adha. Eid Mubarak.
Eid is a time for forgiveness, kindness, and compassion. These qualities are the essence of Islam. It is a time of joy and celebration; a time to make peace with all neighbors, relatives and friends, and resolve differences.
This year, Eid al-Adha will be observed amidst extraordinary circumstances due to the global outbreak of the New Coronavirus Pandemic known as COVID-19. This has affected the way Muslims observe this occasion not just in Sudan, but across the globe. The inevitable restrictions on movement and travel have limited the number of those performing Hajj, visits wedding parties and other social interactions which are customary during this Eid. Despite these restrictions, it is noted that adopting them is to the benefit of all. I therefore call on everyone to adhere fully to all the guidelines and prevention procedures outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Sudanese National Health authorities until this pandemic is over.
UNAMID has also been doing its part to safeguard and protect life and has put in place a set of stringent measures to screen, detect and quarantine its personnel travelling into Sudan to and from Sudan. Troop rotation remains on hold, restrictions on nonessential movement amongst locations and activities only to critical life-saving operations remain in place. We continue with alternate working modalities such as telecommuting and virtual meetings to minimize physical proximity and staff numbers in offices and camps.
UNAMID is supportive of and complies with measures stet by the Government to combat this pandemic. We will continue working with the Sudanese health authorities within our capability and mandate as well as with the UN System in Sudan to fight the spread of COVID-19. This cooperation and support shall continue till the very last day of the Mission’s presence in Darfur.
The UN Secretary-General and the AU Chairperson indicated that COVID-19 is a real challenge to mankind. I therefore emphasise their appeal for stopping conflicts across the world and the need for silencing guns and uniting to combat this menace and achieve peace for humanity.
We sincerely hope that the goodwill of the season will add a new impetus to the ongoing peace process.
I would like to reiterate UNAMID’s deep commitment to exert all possible efforts, within its mandate, capability and available resources, to support peace and reconciliation efforts across Darfur until its exit.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).