Sudan is urging the United Nations Security Council to lift its suspension of troop withdrawals and ensure all peacekeepers leave Darfur by June 2020, saying the UN’s mission needs to shift from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.
In late June, the Security Council voted unanimously against on withdrawing the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force from Darfur, as the country dealt with a political crisis.
But with a new civilian-military ruling body in Sudan, relevant parties might consider revisiting the timeline for resuming the drawdown of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the UN peacekeeping chief said Monday.
Briefing the Security Council on the region in western Sudan, Undersecretary-general for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said: “With the establishment of the Sovereign Council, the timeline for resuming the drawdown of UNAMID may be revisited after the end of its pause at the end of October.”
“We congratulated Sudanese parties for having navigated the unprecedented task of relinquishing a highly centralized rule that lasted for more than 30 years, and enduring protracted negotiations that led to a civilian-military coalition government,” Lacroix said.
The Sudanese cabinet is expected to be sworn in by September 1. Mr. Lacroix said that although sporadic violence continues in Darfur and risks to stability remain, the government was expected to hold talks with armed groups in the coming months.
Talks with the African Union about the UN’s future role are also continuing.
“The transitional arrangements entail a pledge to end all outstanding conflicts in Sudan, which could bring long-term stability to Darfur and other areas,” Mr. Lacroix said.