Progress Realizing Juba Peace Agreement in Sudan Being Made, Chair of 1591 Committee Reports, Urging Security Council to Review Sanctions Regime
Country Representative Stresses Measures No Longer Reflect Situation on Ground, Negatively Impact Stabilization Process
The training of 2,000 members of signatory armed movements in El Fasher was a significant development in the implementation of the Juba Agreement for Peace in Sudan, the head of the 1591 sanctions committee told the Security Council today, recalling the intention of the 15-nation organ to consider adjusting relevant measures against the country in response to evolving conditions on the ground.
Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, said its work covered 29 March to the present day, during which time it met once in informal consultations.
On 8 April, the Committee heard a briefing by the Sudan Panel of Experts on its work programme for 2022-2023, covering its intended areas of investigation and monitoring, per its mandate, as extended by resolution 2620 (2022). On 14 April, the Committee issued a press release regarding this briefing.
He went on to note that the Panel on 3 June submitted its first quarterly update to the Committee, covering implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement, regional dynamics, status of armed groups in the region, intercommunal violence and reported violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The Panel also reported on the security situation in Darfur, including on intercommunal violence and the situation in West Darfur, where some elements of the Juba Agreement clashed in March and April, he continued. It informed that the regional context remains largely favourable to the peace process in Darfur and that all neighbouring States continue support implementation of the Juba Agreement.
Reiterating that the sanctions regime was established for the sole purpose of helping to bring peace to Darfur, not punish Sudan, he noted that in resolution 2520 (2022), the Council expressed its intention to consider by 31 August 2022 establishing clear, well-identified and realistic benchmarks and a readiness to consider adjusting relevant measures in light of evolving conditions on the ground. Against that backdrop, he reiterated the 1591 Committee’s commitment to work with Sudan and all stakeholders to make this a reality.
Anna M. Evstigneeva of the Russian Federation, recalling the impetus for the imposition of sanctions through resolution 1591 (2005), said the situation in the country and in Darfur have changed significantly in the past 17 years. Priorities in Darfur are now State-building and development. Therefore, sanctions no longer contribute to the political purpose and are obstructing attempts by Sudanese authorities to establish and equip necessary security forces. The Government’s appeals to lift the arms embargo have not resulted in Council action. Attempts to sabotage previous Security Council decisions regarding the benchmarks for the revision of the Sudanese arms embargo have been done in order to exert political pressure, regardless of the consequences for ordinary Sudanese. Noting that resolution 2620 (2022) established a deadline of 31 August 2022 for developing clear, realistic benchmarks for reviewing measures against Sudan, she expressed hope that the Council will be able to resolve this issue through constructive dialogue.
Xing Jisheng (China), observing that Darfur is at a critical stage in transitioning from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, applauded the Sudan Sovereign Council for maintaining stability. Following the withdrawal of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), the Government assumed responsibility for protecting civilians. The Council must adjust the sanctions in light of the evolving situation and help create the conditions needed for the Government to strengthen its capacity to protect civilians. As resolution 2620 (2022) calls for the establishment of clear and well-defined benchmarks for doing so by 31 August, he expressed hope that this requirement can be implemented in a timely manner.
Trina Saha (United States), reiterating support for the Sudanese-led political process, said that, as progress in Darfur is linked to the re-establishment of a civilian-led transitional Government, violence only exacerbates the dire humanitarian conditions and endangers the prospects of the Juba Agreement. Steps must be taken to ensure justice and accountability; a transparent and inclusive transitional justice processes is essential. She condemned the impact of violence on civilians, notably in West Darfur, which displaced 125,000 people, stressing that Sudanese authorities are responsible for security and must address the root causes of violence. While modest progress has been made in operationalizing the Permanent Ceasefire Committee, she pointed to the delayed implementation of the peace accord and called on Sudanese authorities and armed movement signatories alike to redouble their efforts. She also called for engagement in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, and expressed support for the Panel’s recommendation to establish a related commission.
Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon) said implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement is being slowed by endogenous and exogenous causes, including the lack of financial contributions by international partners. Citing intercommunal violence in Darfur and other parts of the country, he urged the international community to provide support to Sudan’s Government in accelerating implementation of the Peace Agreement and the national plan for protecting civilians. Organizational, logistical and financial resources must be made available, he stressed, calling on the international community to help in those efforts. Despite community clashes, in large parts of the country, the Government is working toward peace. The sanctions regime cannot become “medicine that is worse than the disease”, he cautioned, urging the Council to adjust measures depending on developments on the ground.
Al-Harith Idriss Al-Harith Mohamed of Sudan, reiterating his country’s long-standing position against the sanctions imposed by resolution 1591 (2005), said that such measures no longer reflect the situation on the ground in Darfur. Another regime was in power with different orientations and policies when sanctions were imposed in 2005 and, today, the few intercommunal clashes in Darfur do not detract from an improved situation overall. The Government is determined to resolve social and security challenges and is working in close coordination with its partners in the peace process to implement the Juba Peace Agreement despite limited national resources. On that point, he said that the Government seeks to uphold the ceasefire even with parties that did not sign the Agreement to encourage them to join the peace process.
He stressed that the transitional Government is demonstrating strong political will to implement the Agreement’s provisions pertaining to security arrangements; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes; and the deployment of a joint force for the protection of civilians. “The goal is to strengthen security in Darfur,” he emphasized, but the Government cannot do this by itself. The international community must provide financial and technical assistance towards this end. Further, the lifting of sanctions would make it possible for the Government to strengthen the capacities of its peacekeeping and law-and-order forces. This would facilitate the maintenance of peace, not only in Darfur but in the entire region, in which transborder organized crime is trafficking in persons and weapons. The sanctions have a direct, negative effect on the stabilization process, he said, calling for them to be lifted immediately.
The meeting began at 3:03 p.m. and ended at 3:29 p.m.