African Union and United Nations peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region are carrying out their final patrols as the 13-year mission officially comes to an end.
Following a peace deal with rebel groups in October the Sudanese government is to take over security in the region.
“As of 1 January 2021, UNAMID’s troops and police personnel will focus on providing security for the mission’s drawdown activities, personnel and assets,” UNAMID said in a statement on Wednesday.
“UNAMID will have a period of six months to undertake the drawdown, which will be conducted in a phased manner,” it said.
Last week, the 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to terminates the mission, outlining a six-month phased pull-out of troops with a complete withdrawal by June 30.
The mission was deployed in Darfur in 2007 to end a bitter conflict that erupted in the western region in 2003 between government forces and rebel groups.
Hundreds of thousands have died while about 500,000 people displaced since conflict broke out in 2003.
Attacks in the region are still common and many civilians are concerned about the imminent pull out of peacekeepers.
A spokesman for the mission said the UN would still be present in the country and would continue to support the Sudanese people.