8155th Security Council Meeting: Situation in Sudan and South Sudan

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SIX OFFICIAL 10-Jan-2018 00:53:14
Briefing Security Council on Darfur, Under-Secretary-General outlines reconfiguration steps taken by African Union-United Nations Mission at 8155th meeting.
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Meeting today to discuss the updated situation in Darfur, Security Council members focused on the first of two phases for the reconfiguration of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), while noting developments with regard to the political process and the humanitarian situation on the ground.

Presenting the joint assessment of the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the mission’s phase one reconfiguration (document S/2018/12), Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, also outlined recent developments in Darfur in the context of the Secretary-General’s latest 60-day report on UNAMID, issued on 27 December 2017 (document S/2017/1113).

Mr. Lacroix highlighted the Council’s authorization of a reduction of the mission’s uniformed and civilian personnel, and the handing over of 11 UNAMID team sites to the Government of Sudan, as well as a request for a written assessment by 1 January of the first six months of the reconfiguration. That assessment was carried out by a joint African Union‑United Nations team, with representation from the Organization and humanitarian country teams. Phase one of that reconfiguration had been completed before the deadline of 31 December, and 11 team sites had been closed and handed over by 31 October. During that phase, the Government had been cooperative in facilitating the repatriation of contingents and the timely closure and hand-over of the sites, he said.

In addition, while the reporting period did not see any armed clashes between the Government forces and the Darfur armed movements, a key feature of that time was the initiation of the “forceful” stage of the weapons collection campaign, he said. As UNAMID moved towards the implementation of phase two, he recommended for the Council’s consideration that a review should take place to consider a new mission concept, in the context of the renewal of the Hybrid Operation’s mandate.

Sudan’s representative said that the changes in Darfur should be adapted to, given that the only remaining crises were ones of development and of internally displaced persons, which were issues directly linked to the peacekeeping agenda. While the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur had not been implemented in its entirety, it remained the constitutional basis for the peacekeeping operation.

He went on to note that, so far, 11 sites had been closed during the first phase of the reconfiguration, and the second phase would lead to the withdrawal of the mission. His Government was also in the process of implementing development projects and weapons collection, and had approved the establishment of a temporary operating base in the area of Golo.

The representative of Ethiopia also referred to the weapons collection campaign, noting that he hoped it would continue to reduce the level of armed violence in Darfur and create the necessary conditions for the return of internally displaced persons. That was among the biggest challenges to achieving sustainable peace, he said.

It was urgent that the international community supported projects for internally displaced persons, Bolivia’s representative noted, so that those persons could have access to basic services to improve their quality of life. On a positive note, the fact that there had been no clashes between the Government and armed movements represented significant progress, as that environment would help both the State and the Hybrid Operation focus on development and the political process.

The representative of Equatorial Guinea also underscored that, as clashes between the Government and the armed movements had dropped significantly, the focus could now be on the political process. The conflict should be resolved through that process, dealing with land disputes, as well as the disarming of the civilian population and militias, he said.

The representative of Kazakhstan, Council President for January, speaking in his national capacity, expressed encouragement for continued progress and welcomed the Government of Sudan’s decision to extend the ceasefire. With the hope that other parties would suspend hostilities to invigorate efforts that supported an inclusive political process, he said that action must move towards fulfilling the Doha agreement.

The representatives of Peru, Côte d’Ivoire and Kuwait also spoke.

The meeting began at 3:07 p.m. and ended at 4 p.m.
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