Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on the United Nations and African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), 26 August 2019

Madame President,

My delegation would like to thank you for convening this meeting. We would also like to thank Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui for their comprehensive briefing.

I would like to focus my intervention on two key issues, the political developments in Khartoum and the situation in Darfur.

On the political situation,

We welcome the recent signing of the Constitutional Declaration in Sudan and congratulate the parties for reaching this historic milestone. We also welcome the efforts undertaken by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on behalf of The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union in bringing the parties together and ending months of unrest. We particularly commend the role played by the Special Envoy of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Prof Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt and the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Ambassador Mahmoud Dirir, for facilitating the mediation that resulted in the power-sharing agreement.

The establishment of the Sovereign Council, which includes two women, to be led in the first 21 months by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Abdel Rahman is a welcome development. We also applaud the appointment of Mr Abdallah Hamdock as Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers.

Indeed the real work begins now!!!! We urge all Sudanese stakeholders to implement the commitments made in the agreements, in order to meet the aspirations of the Sudanese people for sustainable peace, security, reconciliation and development.

The people of Sudan have yearned for peace for too long and sacrificed too dearly. Their aspirations of peace, stability, reconciliation, development and prosperity need to translate into tangible dividends on the ground.  In this regard, we urge all parties to redouble their efforts in working together to rebuild a united, inclusive and strong Sudan underpinned by democratic principles.

Madame President,

It is thus vital that the region and the African Union continue to provide assistance to the political process in Sudan. The support of the international community remains a critical part in enhancing the work of the region and in unlocking those international institutions and processes that will allow Sudan to rebuild its economy. Moving forward, it is imperative that an enabling environment be created and support be accorded to the parties – in ensuring the full implementation of the agreements. We should safeguard against external interference and give parties the space to chart their trajectory of peace and development.

We are encouraged by the improving relations between the countries in the region. This rapprochement is a positive step in the right direction for regional peace and stability and contributing to the ideals of silencing the guns on the Continent by 2020. We urge the leaders in the region to continue this positive momentum of political dialogue, to strengthen regional stability.

On Darfur,

Madame President,

The situation in Darfur continues to improve; however, there are still remnants of insecurity that find expressions in the form of human rights and humanitarian challenges. It is thus imperative for UNAMID to continue discharging its mandate provided by this Council.

South Africa looks forward to the joint report of the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in September 2019. This report is expected to provide an assessment of the situation on the ground and recommendations on the appropriate course of action regarding the drawdown of UNAMID as well as a joint African Union-United Nations political strategy detailing options for a follow-on mechanism to UNAMID.

In the meantime, it is worth underlining that the root-causes of the situation in Darfur must be addressed in a sustainable manner. As such, the rejuvenation of the Doha peace process is very important, particularly given its current unclear trajectory. We trust that the renewed hope ushered by the current agreement will create impetus to the peace process in Darfur, and encourage all armed groups to cooperate and join the political dialogue with a view to work towards achieving comprehensive peace and reconciliation throughout the Sudan.

Lastly Madame President,

The international community must support the Sudanese parties as they work towards consolidating peace and stability in their country. This support should be such that it addresses socio-economic challenges. The primary focus should be on economic development and mobilisation of necessary financial resources to support the country in its economic recovery. We commend the countries that have already contributed in this regard.

It is our view that the Sudanese people must seize this prevailing positive environment to identify, drive and direct priorities, strategies and activities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace during this transition and UNAMID drawdown process.

I thank you.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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