Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) at its 913thmeeting held on 3 March 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. (DCCCLXXXIV)], [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCCXXIX)] and [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCCLXXXIX)] adopted at its 829th, 884thand 889th meetings held on 26 February 2019, 10 October 2019 and 24 October 2019, respectively, as well as UN Security Council resolutions 2363 (2017), 2296 (2016) and 2033 (2012);

Noting the statements made by the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Adeoye Bankole, in his capacity as the Acting Chairperson of the PSC for the month of March 2020, and the briefing made by the UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR), H.E. Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, on the activities of UNAMID and the situation in Darfur; also noting the statements made by the Representative of Sudan; and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa in his capacity as the current Coordinator of the African Members (A3) of the UN Security Council;

Inspired by the AU Theme of the year 2020 on Silencing the Guns – Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development and the Decisions of the 33rd African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government held on 9-10 February 2020 in Addis Ababa, relating to the State of Peace and Security in Africa;

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

1.  Takes note of the progress made by the Government of Sudan towards an inclusive peace process in the country and the participation of all stakeholders in the National Dialogue; acknowledges the peace and general tranquility in Darfur  and encourages all parties to the Darfur conflict, in particular, the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW), to fully embrace the current peace process, and unconditionally observe the current ceasefire; reiterates its request for stern measures to be taken against all those who continue to obstruct the peace process and appeals to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN to continue to support efforts to end the current conflict in Darfur;

2. Commends the Government of South Sudan for hosting the Sudanese peace talks in Juba and encourages Sudanese armed factions to display genuine commitment towards the search for lasting peace, particularly in Darfur, and in Sudan as a whole; requests the AU Commission to mobilize the necessary political and material support to the peace efforts, in order to ensure a speedy and successful conclusion of the negotiation process within the stipulated time frame;

3. Notes with concern  the looting of UNAMID sites that were handed over to the Government of Sudan and requests the Government of Sudan to expedite the investigation process with a view to ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice; also requests UNAMID to continue engaging the Government of Sudan on appropriate steps to be taken in handing over the remaining UNAMID sites and in ensuring their security and safety;

4. Welcomes the active engagement of the AU with the Government of Sudan on the UNAMID drawdown process and on the follow-on mechanism and,  in this context looks forward to the outcome of the official visit to be undertaken by the Chairperson of the AU Commission to Khartoum, on 4 March 2020; reiterates its calls for extreme caution on the withdrawal of UNAMID ,in order to sustain the gains made and to avoid relapse and security vacuum and, in this regard, encourages the Government of Sudan, working in collaboration with the AU and the UN, to agree on a comprehensive UNAMID withdrawal roadmap to ensure that the process is carefully managed and sequenced, conditions based, and aligned with the priorities and timelines of the Government of Sudan,  in order to safeguard the gains registered to date and to maintain the current momentum in the Darfur peace process;

5. Underlines the importance of ensuring a smooth transition of UNAMID from a peacekeeping to a peacebuilding operation; stresses that UNAMID remains a joint deployment of the AU and the UN and in this regard, underscores the essence of ensuring that the UNAMID drawdown and its follow-on mechanism also maintain this hybrid nature and shall be guided by the same principles that resulted in the establishment of the Mission; and emphasizes that, without prejudice to any other undertaking by either the UN or the AU in Sudan, UNAMID should remain a joint engagement until the end of the Mission’s mandate;

6. Urges the Government of Sudan to urgently identify areas in which the AU could provide assistance in the current peace process, as well as to ensure that the AU plays a lead role in the peace process in line with the AU’s principle of promoting African solutions for African problems, while ensuring full ownership and control of the peace process by the Government of Sudan; also encourages the Government of Sudan  to holistically address the legitimate grievances of the people of Darfur, including governance and security concerns, , proliferation of small arms and light weapons, land and water management dispute and human rights, as well as rule of law issues to consolidate the peacebuilding process, and further urges the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to support Sudan in this regard;

7. Requests  the AU Commission to dispatch an inter-departmental post-conflict reconstruction and development technical assessment mission to Sudan, as a follow up to the current efforts being deployed by the AU leadership to ascertain the areas of peacebuilding interventions and the modalities for assisting the Sudanese people to effectively address the multiple challenges they face and, in this context, underscores the importance of ensuring coherence, coordination and complementarity of efforts by the multiple stakeholders providing peacebuilding support to Sudan;

8. Re-emphasizing the imperative of closer AU-UN collaboration on the search for durable peace in Darfur and the rest of Sudan,

9. Notes with concern, the acute humanitarian situation in Darfur caused largely by inter-communal conflicts and drought that has led to internal displacements, and refugees in the neighbouring countries and, in this context, reiterates its appeal to the humanitarian agencies and the rest of the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the population in need;

10. Reiterates its call on the international community to continue to support the transition process in Sudan and, in the same context further calls, once again, all those concerned, to lift all forms of sanctions imposed against Sudan and to remove 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, and encourages the Government of Sudan and the international financial institutions to engage in transparent and constructive dialogue on how this matter should be addressed;

11. Commends UNAMID for the efforts being deployed in the context of its overall mandate; also commends in particular, the UN-AU Joint Special Representative, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, as well as all men and women serving in the Mission, for their sacrifices and unwavering commitment to the cause of peace in Darfur and Sudan as a whole, and encourages them to persevere until durable peace is fully restored in the Darfur region;

12. Pays tribute to the UNAMID troop and police contributing countries for their continued commitment to the cause of peace, security and stability in Sudan and the Continent;

13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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