Ambassador Richard Mills
U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
September 14, 2021
Thank you, SRSG Perthes for your comprehensive briefing. And let me give a special thank you to Ms. Alkarib for her powerful statement. I think at a time when we’re hearing often competing statements about the situation in Sudan, it’s good to have a voice give us some ground truth about the realities facing the female half of the Sudanese population, so thank you very much.
Madam President, let me reiterate, the United States fully supports UNITAMS’ mandate to assist Sudan’s democratic transition, protection of civilians, and implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement. But we share the Secretary-General’s concern – concern about the heightened risk to civilians amid continued intercommunal clashes and a resumption of violence. The root causes of violence in Darfur persist, with many areas continuing to suffer intercommunal conflict, abuse of human rights, and large-scale population displacements.
Sudanese authorities have the primary responsibility to protect civilians. The United States therefore welcomes, as others have, the National Plan to Protect Civilians and we continue to urge its full implementation, particularly in developing community policing initiatives for displaced persons in Darfur. Sudanese leaders must enable full vetting of Darfur’s new Joint Security Force so that all stakeholders may have confidence in its troops. UNITAMS is there to assist in building trust between the Darfuris and the Joint Force.
In addition to protecting civilians, the government must hold accountable those responsible for perpetrating human rights abuses and violations. So, the United States welcomes the government’s initiative to enhance implementation of the Juba Agreement and advance reforms that address the root causes of violence in Darfur, including the provisions on transitional justice and land reform. However, we note, Sudanese authorities have yet to stand up the Transitional Legislative Council or make progress in meeting other key benchmarks, such as the constitutional drafting process, on which we welcome UNITAMS’ technical assistance.
If I could, Madam President, moving to the liquidation of UNAMID, the United States remains concerned about the potential security risks to UN personnel and the disposition of assets at UNAMID’s former logistics base at El Fasher. We strongly encourage the UN to continue to use its good offices with leaders in Darfur to ensure the liquidation of UNAMID concludes without threat or interruption. And again, we note, Sudanese authorities have the responsibility to protect the former UNAMID team sites to prevent further violence and looting. These UNAMID assets were donated to the people of Sudan, who continue to face severe economic hardship, daily interruptions in water and electricity, and acute shortages of fuel and medical supplies.
Madam President, let me end by saying the United States remains strongly committed to the people of Sudan and to working closely with the transition government, our fellow members of the Security Council and all stakeholders to support Sudan’s path forward.
Thank you very much.