UNAMID to respect sovereignty of Sudan

Gambari meets Sudanese officials in Khartoum to provide assurance

Gambari meets Sudanese officials in Khartoum to provide assuranceIbrahim Gambari, Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), said on Thursday that the peacekeeping mission would fully respect the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Sudan.

Gambari said, upon his return to El Fasher, that he had affirmed during a staff briefing with government of Sudan officials in Khartoum on August 9 and 10 that the Sudanese government’s sovereignty would be respected until the 2012 end of the mission.

Last month, the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted for a one-year extension of the UNAMID mandate (resolution 2003), which is now planned to run until 31 July 2012.

This decision was, however, made without the consultation of Khartoum, who expressed a clear rejection of the operation as a consequence. The Sudanese government furthermore threatened to cancel the mandate altogether should UNAMID try to implement any measure not included in the original agreement it signed.

On August 9, Gambari met with Ali Ahmed Karti, Sudanese Foreign Minister, to brief him on recent UNAMID activities. They exchanged views on the Sudanese government’s concerns regarding Security Council Resolution 2003.

As a result, Gambari stressed UNAMID’s commitment to work with all involved parties to implement UNAMID’s mandate, while respecting both the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Sudan and the imperatives of the UNSC resolutions.

Gambari also noted with concern the increased number of peacekeepers being attacked and killed during their duties, and called on the Sudanese government to bring the perpetrators to justice. Three peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur in separate incidents over the past four months.

In Thursday’s town hall meeting with staff, Gambari reiterated UNAMID’s mission as an organ of protection of civilians, facilitation of humanitarian assistance and proactive implementation of the peace agreement document signed in Doha, along with the engagement of non-signatories to join the process.