Rwandan general chosen as next military chief of African-UN mission in Darfur

24 July 2009
UNAMID soldiers

The United Nations and the African Union have announced that a Rwandan lieutenant-general will be the next Force Commander of their joint peacekeeping mission in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, 42, will take effect as the military head of the Mission, known as UNAMID, from 1 September.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council of his joint agreement with AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping that Lt. Gen. Nyamvumba succeed Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, who has served with UNAMID since its inception at the start of last year.

Mr. Ban voiced gratitude to Gen. Agwai "for his exemplary service during his tenure," the Secretary-General's spokesperson told journalists today.

Lt. Gen. Nyamvumba, the current chief of logistics in the Rwandan defence forces, has had extensive leadership and operational experience with his country's military.

In a related development, the UN peacekeeping chief addressed the Security Council on the situation in Darfur and the work of UNAMID, saying the crisis in the region was evolving and the UN had to adapt accordingly to remain effective.

Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told Council members that large-scale violence and civilian displacement was now rare, although localized attacks still occur.

But relations between Sudan and Chad, which shares a border with Darfur, continued to deteriorate and threaten the stability of the region.

Mr. Le Roy noted that the evolution of the crisis does not diminish the tragedy of Darfur or lessen the suffering of the 2.7 million people estimated to be displaced. He also warned that the world is no closer to a lasting solution to the conflict than it was five years ago when the issue was first taken up by the Security Council.

He said the Sudanese Government must make serious concessions and illustrate its commitment to Darfur by actively investing in the region’s people and infrastructure, and he called on the rebels to compromise among themselves and agree on a serious platform for discussions.


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