Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Sudan and South Sudan

Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
December 10, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, SRSG Perthes for your comprehensive briefing, and let me echo others in thanking you and your team for your committed work during a difficult period of time in Sudan. And let me also take a moment to thank Ambassador Jürgenson and the Estonian delegation for their work leading the sanctions committee these past two years. Thank you very much, Sven, and it’s always really good to see our good colleague the Chargé from the Sudanese Mission here today.

The United States fully supports UNITAMS and its mandate to assist in Sudan’s democratic transition, as laid out in the Constitutional Declaration, and to implement the Juba Peace Agreement. We too are encouraged by the November 21 agreement between Sudanese actors to reinstate Prime Minister Hamdok to office. But, as others have noted, this agreement is only a first step.

We urge all parties to live up to their commitments made in the November 21 agreement and to renew their focus on completing Sudan’s transition to democracy by implementing the transitional tasks that are outlined in the 2019 Constitutional Declaration and the Juba Peace Agreement. To provide political space for that to occur, the military must release all political detainees, lift the state of emergency, and refrain from any and all violence against peaceful demonstrators. We continue to encourage an inclusive Sudanese process to implement the important transitional tasks, including creating a transitional legislative council, judicial structures, electoral institutions, and a constitutional convention.

We also continue to press for sustained humanitarian access to all conflict-affected and displaced populations to facilitate life-saving assistance. We must ensure the progress made since 2019 in reaching those in need. The United States remains committed to the people of Sudan and to helping them achieve a successful democratic transition. We look forward to close collaboration with our fellow members of the Council, with UNITAMS, with the African Union, and with other key stakeholders to achieve this objective.

Regrettably, intercommunal violence in Darfur, as we’ve heard, still persists, and clashes between security forces and former armed opposition groups have increased in recent weeks, highlighting the urgent need to consolidate peace. With others, we condemn the recent killings and displacement in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, and we are concerned about the heightened risk of violence for civilians amid such clashes.

Let me just add: last February, this Council stated its intention to establish benchmarks to guide us in reviewing sanctions measures on Sudan. Although we were not able to reach agreement on the benchmarks by our self-imposed deadline, the United States has not given up on trying to establish such benchmarks, based on the recommendations of the Secretary-General and the continued evolution of the situation in Sudan. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and discuss further action in response to developments in the Sudan.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.