Khartoum — Sudan, the United Nations and the African Union have confirmed that the UN-AU mission in Darfur UNAMID will exit Sudan on December 31, as planned earlier.
The decision was taken during the visit of African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaїl Chergui and UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix to Khartoum. They met with Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, chairman of the Sovereign Council, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and Minister of Foreign Affairs Omar Gamareldin on Sunday.
Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok said that the Sudanese government will fully support the new UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), and facilitate the exit of UNAMID. According to the UN Security Council Resolution 2524 (2020) adopted on June 3, UNITAMS will be established for an initial period of 12 months.
Both Chergui and Lacroix praised the government's efforts in implementing its National Plan for the Protection of Civilians in Darfur. The government has deployed joint forces in Darfur. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Mohamed Shareef said that Sudan will be able to fill the void when UNAMID exits.
Chergui said that they also discussed how the African Union and the United Nations can support Sudan during the next stage, both in implementing the peace agreement and in helping the Sudanese economy.
The mission's strategic objectives will be to assist Sudan in its transition towards democratic governance, provide support for peace negotiations and bolster efforts to maintain accountable rule of law and security institutions. The new political UN mission will also provide assistance in drafting a new constitution, strengthening security institutions, and assist in peacebuilding and civilian protection, notably in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile state.
UNITAMS will collaborate with international financial institutions to mobilise economic and development assistance for Sudan.
Foreign Affairs Minister Omar Gamareldin expressed his appreciation for the role played by UNAMID in Darfur. He stressed that the government must to benefit from the mission's experience to maintain security in the region.
Delay in implementation
Dhieu Mathok, a member of the South Sudanese mediation team, warned that the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement is already delayed. He called this "a threat to the peace process".
A matrix of time schedules is part of the peace agreement. Mathok called for expediting the implementation. "The process of completing the peace agreement needs political will and seriousness."
Implementing the peace agreement is also important to give positive signs to the rebel movements that did not sign, he said.
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