Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
July 27, 2021
Thank you, Madam President. And thank you, Mr. Under-Secretary-General, for your comprehensive briefing. More importantly thank you for your leadership; your leadership in ensuring UNAMID drew down in an exceptionally short period of time, given the extreme logistical constraints that the drawdown presented.
The United States joins others in thanking all UNAMID personnel for their strong commitment to advancing peace and security from 2007 until 2020. We recognize the leadership of the United Nations and the African Union, as well as the service of the troop- and the police-contributing countries that protected civilians and advanced peace in Darfur.
While UNAMID experienced many challenges, the mission played a critical role in protecting civilians and stabilizing the region. Nonetheless, as many have noted, the root causes of violence in Darfur remain, and many areas continue to experience intercommunal violence, human rights violations, large-scale displacements.
So, we welcome the Government of Sudan’s National Plan to Protect Civilians and we urge Sudanese authorities to fully implement this plan, particularly in developing community policing initiatives for displaced persons in Darfur. Sudanese leaders must also enable full vetting of Darfur’s new Joint Security Force so that all stakeholders can have confidence in it.
We emphasize that the primary responsibility to protect civilians remains with the Government of Sudan. We support UNITAMS fully utilizing its mandated authority to assist Sudan in protecting civilians and building trust between Darfuris and new Joint Force. We urge the Government of Sudan to take full advantage of this assistance and actively cooperate with the mission. Now that UNAMID has entered its liquidation phase, the United States is especially concerned about the potential security risks to UN personnel and assets at UNAMID’s former logistics base at El-Fasher.
The United States strongly encourages the UN to use its good offices with leaders in Darfur to ensure that UN staff can continue the liquidation, and that Sudanese authorities protect those team sites, now handed, over so that, as we heard, they can be used as health clinics, training centers, and other community facilities. Our shared goal is to avoid any further violence or insecurity over these sites and to ensure civilian-use of former UNAMID assets.
Madam President, let me close by saying the United States remains committed to the people of Sudan and to working closely with the transitional government, with our fellow members of the Security Council, with UNITAMS, and will all stakeholders to support Sudan’s political transition to democratic rule.
Thank you, Madam President.