Adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 968th meeting held on 30 November 2020, on the situation in Darfur and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) transition,

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling all its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Darfur and the activities of UNAMID, in particular, Communiqués [PSC/PR/COMM. (CMXIII)]; [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCCLXXXIV)], [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCCXXIX)]; [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCCLXXXIX)]; and [PSC/PR/COMM.(LXXIX)] adopted at its 913th , 829th, 884th, 889th and 79th meetings held on 3 March 2020; 26 February 2019; 10 October 2019; 24 October 2019, and on 22 June 2007, respectively, as well as UN Security Council resolutions 2363 (2017), 2296 (2016); 2033 (2012) and 1769 (2007) adopted on 31 July 2007;

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of the Republic of Sudan, and the importance of the principles of non-interference, good-neighbourliness and regional cooperation; and

Also reaffirming the solidarity of the African Union (AU) with the people and the Government of Sudan in their aspirations to restore peace, stability and development in their country, particularly in Darfur.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Takes note of the Special Report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and a follow-on presence as requested by the UN Security Council, in its resolution 2525 (2020) of 3 June 2020, which provides an overview of the political and security situation in Darfur, efforts made by the transitional Government to advance the peace process and protection of civilians, with the support of UNAMID, and options with respect to UNAMID beyond the end of its current mandate on 31 December 2020;

2. Expresses deep appreciation to the Government and the people of Sudan for their cooperation and support to UNAMID and its personnel since its inception; also expresses appreciation to the UNAMID men and women for their dedication and courage in their contribution to the protection of civilians and promotion of human rights, as well as to the people of Darfur, in particular, for their resilience in spite of threats brought about by the conflict; pays tribute to all the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in Darfur;

3. Once again, commends UNAMID for successfully and diligently discharging its mandate since its inception in 2007 and particularly commends the Mission for being a pioneer hybrid AU-UN deployment to support the effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement and to protect civilians, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Government of Sudan;

4. Also commends, all the men and women who have diligently served as AU-UN Joint Special Representatives and Deputy Special Representatives, as well as all the men and women who have also diligently served in the Mission over the years, for their unwavering commitment to the search for lasting peace and stability in Darfur; expresses deep appreciation to the Troop and Police Contributing Countries that have deployed men and women to serve in this Mission; expresses appreciation also to all stakeholders, including the civil society organizations and the international partners that have supported and worked with UNAMID;

5. Underscores the importance of a UNAMID withdrawal process that is carefully sequenced, conditions based, and aligned to the priorities and timelines of the Government of Sudan, in order to safeguard the gains registered to date and maintain the current momentum in the Darfur peace process;

6. Commends, once again, the continued engagement of the AU Commission, through the efforts of the Chairperson of the Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat and Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, as well as the AU Head of Mission in Khartoum, Ambassador Mohamad Belaich and the Joint Special Representative head of UNAMID H.E. Jeremiah Mamabolo in the search for lasting peace in Sudan; calls upon the AU Commission to intensify its support to the peace process in Sudan and ensure that adequate support is availed to the overall Sudanese political process, including amongst others, playing a pivotal role in the Friends of Sudan Forum;

7. Strongly calls on all parties to the conflict in Darfur to unconditionally join the peace process in Juba , to immediately desist from ongoing intercommunal violence that threatens ongoing efforts to secure lasting peace in the region; once again, requests for stern measures to be taken against all those who continue to obstruct the peace process and appeals to the AU, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), neighboring countries, regional and international partners and the United Nations (UN) to support all efforts aimed at the stabilization of the Darfur ;

8. Reiterates its appeal to the international community to sustain its financial and political support to the transitional process in Sudan and, in this regard, encourages, once again, all those concerned to lift all sanctions imposed against Sudan and to de-list the country from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST), in order to boost the current momentum of the transitional process and to create conducive conditions for economic recovery, growth and stability in the country; also encourages the Government of Sudan and the international financial institutions, including the Friends of Sudan Forum, to engage in transparent and constructive discussions on how this matter should be addressed, without undermining the current fragile economic situation in Sudan;

9. Reiterates the urgency for the AU Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AU PCRD) and working in close collaboration with the Transitional Government of Sudan, to identify the needs and priorities, initiate and promote post-conflict stabilization, development and reconstruction projects geared towards tackling the root causes of the conflict, consolidate peace and avoid relapse to violence; calls on the Transitional Government to submit its priority areas to the AU Commission in order to speed up engagement towards addressing the post conflict reconstruction needs of the country;

10. Requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission to strengthen the AU Liaison Office in Khartoum, through the deployment of the necessary additional human and financial resources, with a view to enable to carry out its mandate, including cooperation with UNITAMS, in order to effectively assist the transitional process of Sudan;

11. Endorses the Special Report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations which recommends the termination of the UNAMID mandate by 31 December 2020, in light of the concrete practical steps and progress achieved in the implementation of the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians by the Sudanese Government in both tracks, physical protection and protective environment, as well as the consultations between the AU and the UN, with the Sudan Transitional Authorities on 25 October 2020. In this connection the PSC;

a. Calls on the Government of Sudan and all parties to the conflict to faithfully honor their commitments as outlined the Constitutional Declaration, the Juba Peace Agreement of October 2020 and the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians;
b. Reaffirms the Government of Sudan’s primary responsibility to protect civilians, once UNAMID exits;
c. Urges the UNAMID and the Government of Sudan to promptly agree on modalities for managing the personnel and assets of the UNAMID, post 31 December 2020, to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal of the mission from Darfur, taking into consideration the UN rules and regulations concerning the disposal of assets;
d. Calls on the UN to fully operationalize the UNITAMS assist the Transitional Government in the areas outlined in Security Council resolution 2524 (2020) in collaboration with the AU as outlined in UN Security Council resolution 2524 (2020);
e. Requests the AU Commission, together with the UN, to carry out a lessons learnt exercise to fully document the experiences of UNAMID as a legacy for the AU and the UN and to be shared with the Sudanese counterparts and other relevant partners including the civil society organizations;

12. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this Communiqué to the African Members of the UN Security Council (A3), and to the UN Secretary General for circulation to the members of the UN Security Council as a working document and appeals to the UN Security Council to support this decision;

13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by SitroomCom

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