I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3+1, namely, Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
At the outset, the A3+1 would like to thank SRSG Volker Perthes, USG Atul Khare, and Ms. Kholood Khair for their comprehensive briefings and efforts to support the ongoing peace process in Sudan.
We congratulate Mr. Volker Perthes and Mrs. Khardiata Lo N’Diaye on their appointment respectively as SRSG for Sudan, head of UNITAMS and Deputy SRSG. We wish them success and we express our support to their mission.
The A3+1 welcomes the recent progress made by the Government of Sudan in sustaining its political transition process, despite acute economic and humanitarian challenges. The formation of the new transitional Government and expanded Sovereign Council are important steps in the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement.
As we commend the commitment of Sudanese in implementing the Juba Peace Agreement, we stress the paramount importance of key provisions on promotion of gender equality, protection of human rights and upholding the rule of law and we reiterate our call to all signatories to fully engage in prioritizing them.
The inter-communal violence, as well as clashes between the Government Forces and certain non-signatory armed groups, attest to the need for continued efforts to address the root causes of the conflicts. The A3+1 urges those who have not yet joined the peace process to do so without delay to give a chance to a sustainable and inclusive peace in Sudan.
The A3+1 welcomes the Sudanese Transitional Government engagement in assuming its responsibilities in silencing the guns in the conflict zones and providing full protection of civilians, through the implementation of the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians in accordance with international standards in this regard.
We take this opportunity to welcome Sudan’s ratification, on February 23rd, of the 2006 U.N. Conventions for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the 1984 Convention Against Torture and Inhuman Punishment.
However, serious challenges lay ahead for this process, particularly the necessary financial and technical resources needed for the implementation of the JPA. In this regard, the A3+1 calls the Sudan’s partners to provide the necessary assistance to ensure its timely, effective, and efficient implementation.
Likewise, the support of the Security Council and the regional organizations, namely the AU for the transitional process remain crucial at this stage.
As highlighted by the SG in the report regarding the women’s rights agenda, we encourage all parties to ensure gender equality in decision making structures and to fulfill its national WPS agenda.
On the economic front, we welcome the recent economic and financial reforms undertaken by the Sudanese Transitional Government despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic. The A3+1 encourage the Transitional Government to continue its crucial economic reforms and reiterate the SG’s call to Sudan’s partners, as highlighted in his report, to inject fresh international funding to address structural distortions, promote growth for a prosperous future for all Sudanese.
Additionally, we maintain that sanctions do not align with the existing political situation in the Sudan and repeat the call made by the African Union Peace and Security Council for the lifting of all forms of sanctions on Sudan in order to strengthen the existing momentum of the transitional process and to create the necessary environment for economic recovery, growth and stability in the country. In this context, we appreciate the Council’s decision to initiate the process of evaluating the sanctions imposed on the Sudan and look forward to the sanctions review process later this year, with the hope that these measures will be finally relaxed.
We are also pleased to note, that the U.S. decision to remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism will as we have always emphasized, promote Sudan’s economic and social development through access to international development finance institutions.
The already dire humanitarian situation in Sudan has been further aggravated by the economic crisis, food insecurity, the adverse effects of climate change, epidemics, intercommunal violence, and prolonged displacement of populations, in addition to the arrival of 70.000 refugees from Ethiopia. In this regard, we commend the Sudanese for hosting these refugees and sharing resources with them. This difficult situation, which affects a little over 13 million people, calls on us to show responsibility and solidarity with Sudan, with a view to mitigating the impact of the humanitarian situation on the current peace-building dynamics in the country.
Regarding the transition from UNAMID to UNITAMS, the A3+1 reiterate their support to UNITAMS and welcomes the ongoing process to establish its operational capacities and tasks, as requested by the SC resolution 2524 (2020). The A3+1 commends the Transitional Government of Sudan for its collaboration and support to the UNITAMS team.
At the same time, we are aware of the challenges ahead the ongoing drawdown and liquation process of UNAMID and we encourage the Transitional Government to reinforce the arrangements on the ground, particularly at the local level, to ensure protection and safety of UNAMID personnel and assets, as well as handed over sites.
The A3+1 calls on the Sudanese authorities to investigate the recent looting of the former UNAMID site in Saraf Omrah, North Darfur. We urge the Sudanese authorities to ensure sufficient security presence for subsequent handovers so that facilities are preserved for civilian use.
In conclusion, it should be noted that despite challenges and fragile regional context, Sudan is making progress towards consolidating sustainable peace in Darfur. These efforts need to be sustained by the international community to help Sudan succeed its transition and build a prosperous future for all the Sudanese.