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New UN mechanism for Sudan should not include blue helmets, says minister

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UNAMID officially handed over the Mission's team site in Tine, North Darfur, to the Government of Sudan, on 19 October 2017 (UNAMID Photo
May 23, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan reviewed a UN draft resolution on the new hybrid operation to ensure that peace and transition support mission does not include a military component, said Omer Gamar Eldin State Minister for Foreign Affairs on Saturday.

The foreign ministry in Khartoum said it had received the draft resolution on the post-UNAMID mechanism through the Sudanese ambassador at the United Nations on 17 May.

Following what, Foreign Minister Asma Abdallah convened a meeting to discuss the draft resolution and make sure that the mandate of the new special political mission is aligned with the strategic objectives outlined in a letter sent by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on 27 February.

"The necessary amendments were made to the draft UN Resolution to comply with the Government of Sudan’s letter requesting technical assistance sent to the United Nations on February 27, 2020," said Gamer Eldin.

The government’s request to the UN "takes into account the sovereignty and independence of Sudan and that the new support mechanism does not include any military or police component," he further stressed.

Hamdok in his letter of 27 February, stressed that the political mechanism is needed to Support peace implementation, help to mobilize support for the economic conference, support the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced people, assist to carrying out population and housing censuses and the holding of general elections at the end of the transitional period.

In a joint report to the Security Council, the African Union and the United Nations last March said the protection of civilians is the responsibility of the Sudanese government adding that the new mission can provide capacity building support to the Sudanese security forces.

However, the report stressed that the mandate of the new mission should be flexible The mandate should be flexible enough to allow the deployment of individual police and/or military advisers to provide advisory support on the security aspects of peacebuilding and assist in monitoring the peace agreement if requested.

"There may also be a need for a uniformed component for the purpose of providing security for the mission and its staff, or other tasks in the interest of the mandate of a new mission, as agreed with the Sudanese authorities," reads the report.

In a meeting in April to discuss this report; the United States expressed concern about the recurrent attacks on civilians and the increasing inter-communal clashes.

While British ambassador said that the new mission can and should be a partner to the Government of Sudan in responding to the ongoing protection of civilians’ challenges in Darfur, particularly in the IDP camps," he said.

The new mission will associate the African Union besides the United Nations and will terminate at the end of the transitional period.

The UNAMID should leave Darfur region by the end of October 2020.

(ST)

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