Sudan’s Foreign Minister and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG), Volker Perthes, signed the official Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) for the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS)* in Khartoum yesterday.
The two sides stressed the necessity for cooperation and coordination to address the challenges facing the transition and realisation of the joint goals to achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people.
Special Representative Perthes, together with the Special Envoys to Sudan and South Sudan of Norway, the United Kingdom, and the USA (the Troika) has just returned from an official mission to Kauda, South Kordofan on Friday and Saturday.
Perthes was also accompanied by country representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
The delegation met with representatives of the Liberation Council of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North Abdelaziz El Hilu faction (SPLM – N) and also with members of the civil administration, civil society, the Women’s Association, and Christian and Muslim religious leaders.
In a statement following his return from Kauda, Perthes commended the resilience of the people in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile having experienced tremendous suffering during the time of the former regime and the life they are building today.
Perthes emphasised that “now is the time for peace for all Sudanese” and recognised the courage of SPLM-N and the Transitional Authorities in signing the 28 March Declaration of Principles which encapsulates a shared vision of the new Sudan.
“Now is the time for joint efforts to realise peace. The basis for a peace agreement has already been laid with the Declaration of Principles signed in Juba on 28 March which both sides should remain committed to and live up to”. He also reiterated the commitment of the international community to support the parties in peace making and peacebuilding.
The delegation also visited a local school and a hospital where they listened to students and medical staff on their achievements but also local challenges and needs. A UN humanitarian- development technical mission will be travelling next week to Kauda.
Perthes’s statement concludes that “UNITAMS is committed to support ongoing and future peace negotiations in Sudan, in collaboration and coordination with other partners, in line with Security Council resolutions 2524 (2020) and 2579 (2021)**”.
On Suday, Foreign Minister El Mahdi reviewed the progress of peace process and the progress achieved in the implementation of Juba Peace Agreement, besides establishment of Assessment Mechanism to implement the agreement, during a meeting with representatives of the Troika countries.
The Troika officials affirmed the necessity for informing and participating the international community on the efforts being exerted by the government of transitional period.
The diplomats briefed the FM on their recent visit to Kauda, stressing the necessity for confidence building to go ahead with the negotiations with the non-signatories of the Peace Agreement.
The FM, on her part, welcomed the visit of the Troika representatives, lauding the member-states efforts and commitment for strengthening peace and security in Sudan, presenting detailed explanation of the efforts exerted by the in a number of issues, top of which, the cooperation with the International Criminal Court in trying the accused persons in Darfur war crimes, the declaration of the Prime Minister concerning reaching an agreement on the Two Areas, Sudan’s position on Ethiopian Dam and its request for holding a Security Council emergency session in this connection.
The current developments in Ethiopia, were also discussed.
* In terms of UNSC resolution 2524 (2020), the Council decided on 4 June 2020 that the new United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) will provide technical assistance to the Constitution drafting process, supporting implementation of all human rights, equality, accountability and rule-of-law provisions in the Constitutional Document.
** UNSC resolution 2579 (2021): the Council decided that UNITAMS, as part of an integrated and unified United Nations structure, shall — in full accordance with the principles of national ownership — continue a set of strategic objectives.
Those objectives include, among other things, assisting Sudan’s political transition, providing technical assistance to its constitution drafting process; supporting the implementation of the human rights and rule of law provisions of the Constitutional Document; and supporting the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement between Khartoum and Sudanese armed groups.