NEW YORK, 23 DEC – The UN Security Council has agreed to put an end to Unamid, a peacekeeping mission of the international organization and the African Union (AU), in the Sudanese region of Darfur which ends its mandate on the next 31 December. The Council yesterday adopted Resolution 2559 which closes Unamid and leaves the task of maintaining peace and security in Darfur to the transitional government of Sudan. The termination of the UNAMID mission – which began in 2007 and which at its peak saw 16,000 units deployed – was requested by the Sudanese government and recommended by the AU and the UN. However, many Darfur residents protested against the decision earlier this month outside the mission headquarters in Kalma camp in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. Darfur was the scene of a long conflict that began in 2003 between a minority who denounced the marginalization suffered by the Omar al-Bashir regime, overthrown last year. According to UN estimates, 300,000 people died in combat, while those displaced amounted to two and a half million. (HANDLE).