The Darfur Bar Association has criticised a statement issued by the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Sudan, citing hopes that Washington will finally cancel the economic sanctions on Sudan.
The Bar Association maintains that “the statement was issued by a body that has not been authorised to make such statements by the Secretary-General or the United Nations Security Council”.
The UNCT statement asserts that there has been a marked improvement in humanitarian access over the past six months. It states: “The revision of the Government of Sudan’s Directives and Procedures for Humanitarian Action in December 2016 has allowed for improvements in the scope and quality of humanitarian access.”
In a press release issued in response to the UNCT statement, the Bar Association emphasises that “the humanitarian situation in Darfur remains volatile and there has been no improvement on the ground.”
The association says that the restrictions imposed on national organisations are still in force and have not yet been allowed to move freely or there have been renewal of licenses of many national organisations.
The Bar statement said the UNCT claim of participation by civil society and private sector in humanitarian affairs is “unfounded”, described the information provided by the UNCT as “inaccurate”.
The Bar Association argues that “the Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat, the official presiding officer of the United Nations, its actual leader and spokesman who implements everything entrusted on him by the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and all United Nations bodies.
“There is no body in the UN Charters in the name of the UNCT described above, as the UN internal work systems do not refer to any mandate issued by the Secretary-General authorising such a body to issue statements that fall within the tasks and powers of the Secretary-General Of the United Nations or the competent Security Council.”
The statement said: “Among these basic tasks of the Secretary-General of the United Nations or the Security Council is to maintain international peace and security”.
The Bar Association statement concludes out that the sanctions imposed by the USA on Sudan were in accordance with the merits of US interests without being within the framework of the United Nations or its institutions and were not among the reasons contained in the statement of the country team in Sudan.