Peace process, security in Darfur still fragile, but favourable regional dynamics support stability at borders, chair of 1591 Committee tells Security Council.
Sanctions No Longer in Line with Reality, But Defame Sudan, Impede Rebuilding Efforts, Key Representative Stresses
Amid a fragile backdrop of peace and security in Darfur, regional dynamics are mainly favourable in maintaining stability, the outgoing head of Sudan’s sanctions committee told the Security Council today.
Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), briefing the 15-member organ for the final time in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning Sudan, said that during the reporting period — 15 September to 10 December — the Panel of Experts submitted its second quarterly report, with updates on the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, regional dynamics, status of armed groups, intercommunal violence and the humanitarian situation.
Highlighting the report, he said signatory movements took part in power-sharing in Darfur and Khartoum, but implementation of the other provisions of the Juba Peace Agreement have been delayed. Meanwhile, the non-signatory movements, mainly Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid, have not heeded calls to join the Agreement.
Sharing the Panel’s observations, he said that while the national context remained unfavourable to the peace process in Darfur, the regional dynamics remained mainly favourable. For instance, the Chad-Sudan joint force continued to operate along the border between these countries, contributing to stability in Darfur, and national and international actors generally agreed on the withdrawal of foreign forces from Libya, including Darfuri elements.
However, the security situation in Darfur is still fragile, he continued. The initiatives by the Government of Sudan regarding the protection of civilians are yet to show positive progress. As the Council considered the Secretary-General’s latest report on the country and the activities of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS) (document S/2021/1008), he encouraged his successor to visit Sudan soon and continue outreach work with a view to making peace in Darfur a reality.
Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Elbahi (Sudan), reiterating his country’s position expressed over the past few years, underscored that the sanctions imposed on his country are no longer in line with the reality on the ground in Darfur, as compared to 2005. Recalling the words of the Chair of the Sanctions Committee, who said the measures were not meant to punish, but to encourage peace and security, he pointed out that, in fact, the sanctions serve to defame his country and restrict the movements of its security forces. He called for the sanctions to be lifted immediately, enabling Sudan to rebuild the capacity of its security forces, maintain peace and secure its porous borders.
He also expressed regret that the Security Council has been unable to put benchmarks in place, which suggest that the sanctions will be in place indefinitely. “This is truly unacceptable,” he stressed. Sudan has demonstrated its willingness to engage in good faith. Noting that sanctions have been lifted without preconditions or benchmarks in other cases, he reiterated his call on the Council to lift the sanctions immediately.