UPDATED: 01/12/2023 21:40
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2715 (2023) this evening, to end the mandate of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) set out in Security Council Resolution 2579 (2021), effective December 3, when the current mandate was due to expire.
Tonight’s vote follows months of friction between the junta and the mission, during which former UNITAMS head Volker Perthes, had a tenuous relationship with the Sudanese military government, especially since the start of the hostilities between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in April.
Perthes, who was interviewed by Radio Dabanga in May, resigned in September, citing ongoing pressure on his person from the Sudan junta, including being declared persona non grata, that had made is position untenable. The UN said at the time that the junta declaration was contrary to the obligations of States under the Charter of the United Nations.
A subsequent unilateral decision by Sudan’s Sovereignty Council was issued in November “to terminate UNITAMS with immediate effect”. Assistant Secretary-General, Martha Pobee, appointed Ian Martin to lead a strategic review of the UN mission in Sudan “to provide the Security Council with options on how to adapt the Mission’s mandate”.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, UN Secretary-General António Guterres voiced his candid frustration regarding Sudan at a press conference in New York on Wednesday. Guterres lays the blame for the ongoing war and humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan and Darfur squarely at the feet of “two generals that completely disregard the interests of their population”.
Resolution 2715 (2023)
The previously draft resolution, (now Resolution 2715 (2023)) tabled by the UK, and seen by Radio Dabanga prior to tonight’s vote, affirms the council’s commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of Sudan and expresses concern at the continuing violence, the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, in particular international humanitarian law, and human rights violations and their profound impact on civilians. The resolution calls on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid by adhering to the Jeddah Agreement and resolving the conflict through negotiation.
The resolution welcomes the diplomatic efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the leadership of the African Union, as well as the commitment of neighbouring countries to provide support to civilians fleeing Sudan. The resolution calls on UN Member States to respond urgently to the growing needs in Sudan and neighbouring countries, including the humanitarian needs identified in the Revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan and the Regional Refugee Response Plan, and encourages increased contributions to response plans by donors to ensure full implementation of commitments. And in time.
The resolution calls on the various parties to continue working to achieve a lasting and comprehensive political solution that achieves the hopes of the Sudanese for a peaceful, stable and democratic future and with full commitment to the principle of patriotism of the solution, while affirming the binding of the Juba Peace Agreement signed on October 3, 2020 for all signatory parties, in particular the commitments related to the sustainability of the ceasefire in Darfur.
The resolution calls on UNITAMS to cease all its tasks as of 4 December and to transfer these tasks to the United Nations specialised agencies, to be completed on 29 February 2024, and set 1 March 2024 as the date for the start of the full liquidation of UNITAMS.
The resolution welcomes the appointment of United Nations Secretary-General Ramtane Lamamra as his Personal Envoy for the Sudan and invites him to use his good offices with the parties and neighbouring States to complement regional peace efforts. The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the resolution within 90 days and to brief the Security Council every 120 days on the efforts of the United Nations to support peace and stability in Sudan.
International voices have appealed to the UN to increase rather than decrease its presence in Sudan.
This artitle, published prior to the vote, was updated at 21:40 to reflect the adoption of the resolution by the UNSC.