UN / SUDAN

14-Sep-2021 00:03:50
Volker Perthes, Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) said the country’s transition continued to see progress as well as setbacks and challenges. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SUDAN
TRT: 3:50
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

14 SEPTEMBER 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS):
“Humanitarian organizations in Sudan are advocating for timely and flexible funding as humanitarian needs, largely driven by the economic crisis and increased intercommoned conflict, continue to rise. Between January and August this year, 2021, about 418,00 people were newly displaced as a result of conflicts and armed attacks across Sudan – mainly in Darfur, parts of Kordofan and Blue Nile. This is about six times as many newly displaced persons as in the same period last year.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS):
“This committee, the ceasefire mechanism, is about monitoring; it’s about reporting and trying to mediate and reconcile, but it is not about physical protection. The recent resurgence of inter-communal violence in Darfur therefore demonstrates the urgency on supporting the Sudanese police, and the urgency of deploying the joint peacekeeping forces. The ceasefire committee is not and cannot be a substitute for those forces and their protection mandate.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS):
“By filling critical gaps in what remains a modestly sized mission, I hope we can effectively respond to the evolving needs of the transition in Sudan. The challenges for Sudan are immense, and the United Nations remains fully committed to support state and society in addressing these challenges and realizing the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful, stable and democratic Sudan. We count on the robust backing of this Council as we navigate the path forward.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Hala Alkarib, Regional Director, Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa:
“Despite women leading the revolution, we have been shut out from equally and meaningfully participating in every step of the transition. Our calls to end sexual violence, ensure a just family law and enable equal access to resources, education and employment continue to be ignored. Instead, disrespect for women rights has encouraged those who seek to violate them.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mahmoud Yousif Ahmed Alhassein, Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the United Nations:
“To achieve these goals, the Transitional Government is working during this important period of our political, constitutional, economic, and social advancement on mobilizing national efforts to develop and implement inclusive polies that correspond with the nature, demands and the aspiration of the period. This is to overcome previous decades and to set the foundation for a developing democratic state which puts people at the centre of its attention and establishes the pillars of democracy, the rule of law, and the guarantee of personal, economic and political freedoms.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mahmoud Yousif Ahmed Alhassein, Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the United Nations:
“Darfur today is going through an important transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. We look forward to the support of the international community for the effort of the Transitional Government through this transition to spread peace, security, and sustainable stability in the region.”
14. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
Volker Perthes, Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) said the country’s transition continued to see progress as well as setbacks and challenges.

Briefing the Security Council today (14 Sep), Perthes said violence in Darfur, the absence of justice and accountability and the difficult economic situation continued to inflict hardship on Sudanese population.

He said, “Humanitarian organizations in Sudan are advocating for timely and flexible funding as humanitarian needs, largely driven by the economic crisis and increased intercommoned conflict, continue to rise. Between January and August this year, 2021, about 418,00 people were newly displaced as a result of conflicts and armed attacks across Sudan – mainly in Darfur, parts of Kordofan and Blue Nile. This is about six times as many newly displaced persons as in the same period last year.”

The UNITAMS chief said the Transitional Government has taken measures in an effort to address the challenges Sudan is facing and to renew trust in the political transition. He said the Forces for Freedom and Change – which is the ruling coalition in the transitional government - agreed on a reformed and more inclusive structure for the transition. The Senior UN official welcomed this development and hoped it would lead to a swift formation of a transitional legislative council with at least 40 percent female participation.

Turning to Darfur, Perthes said UNITAMS had refocused its efforts on peace talks, ceasefire monitoring, and support to the national plan for the protection of civilians as mandated by the Security Council. He added that, working closely with South Sudan as the mediator of the Juba Agreement, UNITAMS facilitated negotiations between the SPLM-North Al Hilou faction and the Sudanese Government. He said significant progress was made on key elements but noted that the sides were unable to reach a framework agreement.

Perthes said parties to the Juba agreement clearly conveyed to UNITAMS their expectation of logistical and financial support from the international community for the implementation of the security arrangements.

The UNITAMS chief said expectation from permanent ceasefire committee for Darfur, which is chaired by UNITAMS, are high and partially misplaced particularly with regards to the protection of civilians. He noted that while the committee could contribute positively to stability in Darfur, it’s role and mandate remain distinct.

He added, “This committee, the ceasefire mechanism, is about monitoring; it’s about reporting and trying to mediate and reconcile, but it is not about physical protection. The recent resurgence of inter-communal violence in Darfur therefore demonstrates the urgency on supporting the Sudanese police, and the urgency of deploying the joint peacekeeping forces. The ceasefire committee is not and cannot be a substitute for those forces and their protection mandate.”

Perthes said UNITAMS continued efforts to maximize its impact in priority areas through refocused mission capacities, but it identified several critical gaps where it will require additional capacities to provide scalable support as expected by the Council, particularly to ceasefire monitoring in Darfur.

He said, “By filling critical gaps in what remains a modestly sized mission, I hope we can effectively respond to the evolving needs of the transition in Sudan. The challenges for Sudan are immense, and the United Nations remains fully committed to support state and society in addressing these challenges and realizing the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful, stable and democratic Sudan. We count on the robust backing of this Council as we navigate the path forward.”

Hala Alkarib, Regional Director for the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, said Sudan stands on the verge of mounting crises. She noted that, while there are frameworks for reform, slow implementation is contributing to ongoing violence and impacting Sudan’s already fragile economy, governance system, and institutions.

Alkarib said, “Despite women leading the revolution, we have been shut out from equally and meaningfully participating in every step of the transition. Our calls to end sexual violence, ensure a just family law and enable equal access to resources, education and employment continue to be ignored. Instead, disrespect for women rights has encouraged those who seek to violate them.”

The Regional Director highlighted three areas for the Security Council that must be urgently addressed. These include: The need to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership throughout the transitional government bodies and in the ongoing peace process; the need to urgently reform the legal system to ensure the protection of women’s rights, including the prevention of gender-based violence; and the need for the Transitional Government to ensure inclusive and gender sensitive security reforms.

Sudanese ambassador Mahmoud Alhassein said the Transitional Government was making steady progress on its tasks during the transitional phase, as stated in the constitutional document, and continued to work towards democratic change, the rule of law and the promotion of human rights.

He said the Government’s programmes and polices aim to build a secure and stable Sudan in which its citizen enjoy freedom and justice, as demanded by the December Revolution.


The Sudanese ambassador said, “To achieve these goals, the Transitional Government is working during this important period of our political, constitutional, economic and social advancement on mobilizing national efforts to develop and implement inclusive polies that correspond with the nature, demands and the aspiration of the period. This is to overcome previous decades and to set the foundation for a developing democratic state which puts people at the centre of its attention and establishes the pillars of democracy, the rule of law, and the guarantee of personal, economic and political freedoms.”

Alhassein said the Sudanese Government facilitated the work of the permanent ceasefire committee and is committed to a ceasefire even with the parties who have not signed the Juba peace agreement, in an effort to build trust with these parties and encourage them join the peace process.

He said, “Darfur today is going through an important transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. We look forward to the support of the international community for the effort of the Transitional Government through this transition to spread peace, security, and sustainable stability in the region.”
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