UN Extends Sudan Mission: Six-Month Renewal For Peace

The UN Security Council meets on North Korea at UN headquarters in New York, on June 2, 2023. - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister said Thursday that Pyongyang would "correctly" place a spy satellite into orbit soon, a day after their first attempt crashed. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)

The UN Security Council on Friday extended for only six months the United Nations political mission in Sudan, whose leader Volker Perthes is no longer welcome in the country in the midst of deadly conflict.

In a short resolution adopted unanimously, the Council extended until 3 December 2023 the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (Minuats, Unitams in English), a technical extension of only six months , without any modification of the mandate on the merits, which highlights a delicate situation.

The head of the Sudanese army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, thus demanded last week, in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the dismissal of the head of the mission, the German Volker Perthes , making him bear the responsibility for the war that broke out in mid-April with the paramilitaries of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo.

At the end of a closed meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday, at the unusual request of Antonio Guterres, the latter had repeated his “absolute confidence” in Volker Perthes. So did several members of the Council, notably the United Kingdom, which drafted the resolution.

These six months “will give the Security Council the necessary time to assess the impact of current developments on the ability of UNAMITs to fulfill its vital mandate”, commented Deputy British Ambassador James Kariuki.

Disappointment of the United States

Deputy US Ambassador Robert Wood “regretted that the Council was unable to reach consensus on an updated mandate”.

He hoped that the Council could in the coming months “agree on a resolution which more fairly reflects the situation on the ground and gives the mission the means to better support an end to the conflict, the protection of human rights, unimpeded humanitarian access and the resumption of a process to reach a democratic political settlement”.

Mr. Perthes should return to him “in the region” in the coming days, first with a stop in Addis Ababa to meet officials of the African Union, said Friday Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Antonio Guterres.

Volker Perthes was in New York when General Burhane sent his letter and authorities have not issued visas to foreign nationals since the start of the war.

Minuats, created in June 2020 to support the democratic transition in Sudan after the fall of Omar al-Bashir the previous year, had since been renewed each year for one year.

In a statement separate from the resolution also adopted on Friday, the Security Council reaffirms “its support” for the mission and calls for “the continuation of its engagement”.

The 15 members, on the other hand, “condemn the attacks against the civilian population”, UN personnel and humanitarian actors, as well as “the looting of humanitarian reserves”.

They also stress “the need for the parties to immediately cease hostilities, facilitate humanitarian access, establish a permanent ceasefire and resume the process towards a lasting, inclusive and democratic political settlement in Sudan”.

This article is originally published on arabnews.fr

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.