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Head of Sudan panel calls to review UN sanctions in support of Darfur stability

Joanna Wronecka, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the UN and Chair of Sudan ans S. Sudan Sanctions Committees, briefs the Council on 14 March 2018 (UN Photo)
December 13, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - The head of UN Security Council sanctions committee called to explore ways allowing to use the sanctions as a means to support the largely normalized situation in Darfur.

Joanna Wronecka briefed the Security Council on Thursday about the finding of her recent visit to Khartoum and Darfur from 11 to 14 November, where she met with the government officials and IDPs representatives.

The transitional government and armed groups in the country have agreed on a cessation of hostilities and engaging talks in Juba to reach a political agreement to address the root causes of the conflicts across the country.

In her briefing, Wronecka said that the security situation in Darfur "with no doubt" has "largely normalized", except in limited areas of Jebel Marra held by a holdout group.

"Many challenges remain in the area of humanitarian and human rights situation and the root causes of conflict have yet to be addressed, including through creating conditions for the return of IDPs to their homes," she said.

Referring to the Juba process, the Polish diplomat said the stakeholders from the civil society groups and IDPs have clear expectations to be included in the Juba process and called on the sanction Committee to "help foster this hope".

"It is therefore that I encourage the Committee and the Council to explore different options to how the tool of sanctions might support and acknowledge the achievements made so far by the Sudanese authorities and its people," she concluded.

On 7 February 2019, the UN Security Council extended for 13 months the mandate of the expert panel charged with overseeing the arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze imposed on those obstructing peace in Darfur.

At the time, the Council requested the expert body to provide the sanctions committee with a final report by 13 January 2020. Also, it expressed its intention to regularly review the measures on Darfur considering the evolving situation on the ground.

In his speech before the 15-member body, Sudanese Ambassador to the UN Omer Mohamed Ahmed Siddig called on the Council to start reviewing and ending the sanctions regime during the coming period to enable the government of Sudan to normalize the security situation in Darfur ahead of rehabilitation and development projects, as he said.

"As you know, there is an urgent need to enable the security services in Sudan to face the challenges that surround Sudan, especially the issues of illegal immigration, human trafficking, arms smuggling and cross-border crime that spread in the region," he said.