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Sudan and South Sudan - Security Council, 882…

27 July 2021


Sudan and South Sudan - Security Council, 8825th Meeting

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27 Jul 2021

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Withdrawal of hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur completed by 30 June deadline, Under-Secretary-General tells Security Council, outlining plans to liquidate assets.

The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) completed the withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian personnel by its deadline of 30 June 2021, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare told the Security Council today, achieving a milestone set by the 15-member organ for the Mission’s exit and empowering Sudan’s Government to take charge of maintaining peace in the region.

He said staff not involved in the Operation’s liquidation — except for those that constitute a uniformed Guard Unit — have also withdrawn. The task involved the repatriation of almost 6,000 troops and police, separation of nearly 1,200 staff and consultations with stakeholders to ensure that uniformed members who expressed a desire to not return for reasons related to international protection needs were processed by the refugee authorities of Sudan.

He said the drawdown also involved the parallel closure and handover of the former Operation headquarters and 13 team sites to local authorities for civilian use in Central, South and North Darfur States. All remaining personnel and assets are now consolidated within the El Fasher logistics facility, other than small components based in Khartoum and Port Sudan to support the interaction with authorities during UNAMID’s liquidation.

He outlined plans to support the team that remains through disposal of remaining assets across two liquidation phases: The first — from 1 July to 30 September 2021 — will involve the withdrawal of retained United Nations assets, sales to United Nations entities and non-government organizations at market value, and the destruction of equipment subject to end-user restrictions. The second phase — from 1 October 2021 and beyond — will involve donation and distribution of fixed and moveable assets to Government institutions and non-government organizations in Sudan.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates hailed UNAMID — formally established by resolution 1769 (2007) — as an example of the United Nations storied peacekeeping history and its cooperation with regional organizations. The representative of Tunisia, speaking also for Kenya, Niger and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, called it an “exemplary model” whose lessons should be shared as an important tool, including during future Missions’ exit strategies. He strongly recommended that Sudan work closely with neighbouring countries as well as with regional bodies to address its challenges.

The Russian Federation’s representative agreed that Sudan is facing numerous challenges, with ripple effects in neighbouring Libya. It is important to maintain fair-handed contacts with Sudanese authorities and to assist them in implementing the 2019 Constitutional Declaration to bring about internal stabilization.

China’s representative called UNAMID “a success story” in achieving agile and diverse ways to support countries in maintaining peace and security. He looked forward to the Secretary-General’s assessment report, expressing hope the United Nations will complete the Operation’s liquidation methodically and avoid both asset loss and improper disposal.

On that point India’s representative — who described UNAMID’s drawdown as the end of one of the United Nations most successful peacekeeping operations, in which more than 100,000 military and police personnel were contributed by dozens of countries, including his own — called the handover of team sites and donation of UNAMID medical facilities “commendable initiatives, marking a valuable transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, which is Sudan-led and Sudan-owned”.

Several delegates pointed to the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and its integrated country team, which the United Kingdom’s delegate stressed will continue to play a key role in supporting the Government’s efforts to promote peace and stability in Darfur. As intercommunal violence continues, France’s delegate called on Sudan to accelerate implementation of the Juba agreements, with the support of UNITAMS, and deploy as soon as possible the joint force provided for by these agreements.

Offering the national perspective, Sudan’s delegate said federal and local authorities have cooperated fully with UNAMID to ensure an orderly and safe withdrawal of troops, personnel, and equipment. Going forward, Khartoum will engage with the Secretariat during the liquidation period and guard the El Fashir base to ensure that Mission-owned assets and contingent-owned equipment can be safely repatriated, in line with the framework agreement signed in March.

“We are aware of some residual challenges in Sudan, generally, and Darfur, in particular,” he said, adding that the Government will work closely with UNITAMS and other bilateral, regional and international partners to effectively address the issues and to implement its Council mandated strategic objectives.

Also speaking were representatives of Norway, Estonia, Mexico, Ireland, Viet Nam and the United States.

The meeting began at 10 a.m. and ended at 11:12 a.m.

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