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, we would like to thank USG Atul Khare for his comprehensive briefing on the ongoing drawdown and closure process of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur and extend a warm welcome to the Representative of Sudan.
UNAMID, which was established in July 2007 by Security Council resolution 1769, as the first hybrid operation between the UN and the AU, was an important experience in terms of cooperation with regional organizations as enshrined in the UN charter and its chapter eight.
Following the termination of its mandate by resolution 2559, today we are witnessing the closure of one of the largest peacekeeping operations in the history of the United Nations which during its 13-year mandate, involved more than 100,000 military and police peacekeepers coming from dozens of member states from around the world.
This exemplary cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, will leave a history of important achievements in Darfur, as UNAMID played a crucial role in supporting protection of civilians, particularly the internally displaced persons, community stabilization and rule of law support, the provision of humanitarian aid, as well as the implementation of the peace process and the mediation between the Government of Sudan and the armed groups. The Mission also worked to empower women, addressed sexual and gender-based violence, protected and promoted human rights and helped in the fight against COVID-19.
UNAMID was at the forefront of efforts to lay the critical foundation for peace in Darfur. The A3+1 expresses sincere gratitude and consideration to all UNAMID civilian and uniformed Personnel for their invaluable support for peace in Darfur. A strong thought to the peacekeepers that lost their lives in the service of peace and to their families.
We believe that the assessment of the UNAMID’s mission and achievements should be a strong basis to further consolidate cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Organizations. The lessons learned from the Mission’s experience should also guide the next steps and pave the way for future exit strategies.
Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines commend the efforts made by the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Darfur State capital and the role they are playing to ensure an orderly and safe withdrawal of troops, personnel, and equipment.
In this regard, we welcome the signature of the framework agreement on the handover of 14 sites and assets for civilian end use and the commitment announced by the Sudanese government to ensure that these facilities and assets will be used for social and community services. We believe these developments will anchor a positive UNAMID legacy in Sudan and will help preserve these sites from looting.
Regarding the next steps and the liquidation phase, the A3+1 group emphasizes the key role of the Sudanese authorities and commends their commitment for a swift cooperation to enable a full and effective deployment of the guard unit for the El Fasher logistics hub and to ensure the protection and safety of assets and contingent owned equipment to be repatriated.
We underline as well, the importance for the UNAMID Mission to carry out and complete the environmental clean-up and restoration, as well as the disposal of hazardous materials, including expired ammunition, in accordance with established standards.
The A3+1 emphasizes the progress made by the Government of Sudan in sustaining its political transition process and in implementing its National Plan for the Protection of Civilians.
We remain convinced that the support of UNITAMS, as a special political mission and in line with its mandate, is crucial to help Sudan take forward key elements of its transition process, which is critical for advancing an inclusive political transition and in addressing long-standing challenges leading to lasting peace in Darfur and across the region.
Among these challenges, intercommunal clashes continue to be a major source of insecurity, especially in the Darfur region. In this regard, we encourage the Sudanese authorities to accelerate the implementation of its National Plan for the Protection of Civilians, with the objective of creating a gender-responsive and a protective environment for all Sudanese.
In moving forward, sustainable development would be essential to building resilience. While commending the clearance of the country’s arrears held by the World Bank and other key partners, as well as the commitments made at the 17 May Paris investors conference, the A3+1 calls on all stakeholders to fulfill their commitments and enhance efforts towards unlocking the much-needed financial support that would enable Sudan to implement difficult economic and institutional reforms while providing support to the population and addressing its growing socio-economic needs.
We also encourage the international community to continue scaling-up support for Sudan’s 2021 National Humanitarian Response Plan, in order for the transitional government to appropriately address humanitarian challenges – compounded by the adverse effects of Climate Change, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as locust infestation and other disease outbreaks.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the A3+1 believes that peace in the Sudan will remain incomplete and security will remain volatile until all conflicts come to an end. This requires armed movements that remain outside the peace process to commit to negotiations that will lead to a fully inclusive and sustainable peace in the Sudan. It requires also the international community to continue its crucial support to the transition in Sudan.
We finally urge the government of Sudan to strengthen its regional collaboration and coordination to ensure continued peace and security. Sudan should both be a recipient of exported peace and an exporter of peace. We strongly recommend that the government work with neighboring countries and make use us mechanisms in IGAD and the African Union to do so.”