The UN Security Council has decided to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts tasked with assisting the committee overseeing sanctions concerning Sudan until March 12, 2022.
The decision was taken through the council’s special procedure amind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in a videoconference on Thursday.The mandate will be reviewed regarding its extension no later than February 12, 2022.
The council of 15 experts requested the Government of Sudan to “submit requests for the Committee’s consideration, and where appropriate, prior approval for the movement of military equipment and supplies into the Darfur region, particularly in the context of the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement.”
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in close consultation with the Government of Sudan, signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement, United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS) and the group of experts have been requested to conduct a review of the situation in Darfur and provide recommendations for “key benchmarks”. This includes “threats to stability, implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement and the National Plan for Civilian Protection, measures to tackle the proliferation of weapons, and compliance with those measures on Darfur,” the press release said.
This follows the deployment of a joint security force, consisting of Central Reserve Police, Sudanese army, and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in West Darfur in order to protect the people from violence, after 162 people were killed, about 215 people were injured, and roughly 90,000 were forced to flee from the El Geneina massacre in January.
At the start of this month, the RSF 'Peace Shield Forces' were deployed in certain localities in North and South Darfur to deal with the lack of security.
At the end of last year, the governor of Central Darfur warned of an increase in violence now that the UNAMID mission is withdrawing from the region. Protests against the insecurity and violence, and against the UNAMID exit, have taken place across Darfur in the past few months.
The government and most armed movements in Sudan signed the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, with a large regional, international and local presence. All armed movements in Sudan are involved in the peace agreement, except Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdulaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) in South Kordofan and parts of Blue Nile state and the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW).
El Nur, known as a “serial naysayer” adheres to his position that he will only join negotiations after security and stability have been realised in Sudan’s conflict-torn western region. Displaced still complain about insecurity in Darfur.