Khartoum (AFP) - The UN Security Council's decision to cut peacekeepers in Darfur shows the conflict in Sudan's war-torn region is a "closed chapter", the foreign ministry said on Friday.
The council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution that will reduce the number of troops and police serving in the joint African Union-UN mission in Darfur known as UNAMID by at least 30 percent.
Deployed in 2007, UNAMID has about 16,000 blue helmets on the ground who are tasked with protecting civilians in the war between Sudanese government forces and ethnic minority rebel groups that erupted in 2003.
"The ministry of foreign affairs welcomes the cut in UNAMID mission," a statement said.
"The UN Security Council resolution confirms that Darfur is now a closed chapter and that the region has returned to peace."
The council agreed to a gradual reduction of UNAMID peacekeepers to be carried out in two phases of six months.
The smaller UNAMID will be redeployed to the thickly forested region of Jebel Marra, where most of the recent violence has been reported.
"The ministry will help in step by step withdrawal of the peacekeeping forces," the ministry said.
The United Nations says at least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in Darfur since the conflict erupted in 2003.
The fighting began when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against Khartoum's Arab-dominated government, accusing it of marginalising the region.
In recent months Sudanese officials have claimed that the conflict in Darfur has ended, but reports of fighting between government forces and rebels continue to emerge.