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Security Council Responds to Sudanese Authorities' Call for Immediate Withdrawal

Security Council members vote on the resolution to close the UN political mission in Sudan.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

By: ATN News

UNHQ: In a significant decision reflecting the evolving dynamics in Sudan, the United Nations Security Council voted on Friday to terminate the mandate of the UN political mission in Sudan, known as the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), starting from next Monday. The move comes in response to the Sudanese military government's call for the immediate withdrawal of the mission, citing its perceived failure to meet expectations.*

*Sudan has been grappling with internal strife, with its military forces engaged in a protracted battle against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia for control of the nation since April. The conflict has resulted in the loss of over 6,000 lives, displaced millions, and triggered a severe humanitarian crisis, marked by sexual and gender-based violence.*

*Resolution 2715 (2023) was adopted by the Security Council with 14 votes in favor and one abstention (Russia). It outlines the termination of UNITAMS operations starting on 4 December 2023 and calls for the transfer of its tasks, where feasible, to other UN agencies, funds, and programs, with the objective of completing this transition by 29 February 2024.*

*Additionally, the Council specified that the liquidation of the mission would commence on 1 March 2024, emphasizing the need for an orderly transition to ensure the safety of UN personnel and the effective functioning of all UN operations.*

*UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, reassured the international community that despite the mission's closure, the UN is not abandoning the Sudanese people. Ms. DiCarlo urged full support for the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Ramtane Lamamra, to bolster efforts to bring an end to the devastating conflict.*

*Amidst concerns about the volatile security and humanitarian situation in Sudan, the Security Council authorized the retention of necessary security personnel to protect UNITAMS’ staff, facilities, and assets during the transition. Council members stressed that the responsibility for the safety and security of UNITAMS staff and assets during the transition lies with the Sudanese authorities.*

*Deputy Permanent Representative James Kariuki of the United Kingdom expressed reservations about the decision, emphasizing that the UK would not have chosen to close UNITAMS at this moment. He acknowledged the mission's commendable work since the outbreak of the conflict but noted that the decision was made in response to the unequivocal demand of the Sudanese authorities for immediate termination.*

*The representative of Russia defended Sudan's sovereign right to request the closure of UNITAMS, stating that the mission did not manage to carry out its mandated tasks effectively. She argued that UNITAMS ceased to align with the changed reality of the country and started working in the interest of one political group without broad societal support.*

*The Security Council welcomed the appointment of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy on Sudan, Ramtane Lamamra, to use his good offices with the parties in Sudan and neighboring states. Mr. Lamamra's role will complement regional peace efforts, including those of the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).*

*Established in June 2020, UNITAMS was initially tasked with supporting Sudan during its political transition to democratic rule. Headquartered in Khartoum, the mission played a crucial role in political, peacebuilding, and development initiatives, working towards the goals outlined in the Constitutional Declaration of August 2019 and implementing the National Plan for Civilian Protection.*


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