Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (via VTC)

Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet
Acting Deputy Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
April 24, 2020


Thank you, Mr. President, and Under-Secretary-Generals Lacroix and DiCarlo thank you for your respective, but joint briefing.

The United States stands in solidarity with the Sudanese Government as it continues to engage in the Juba Peace Process, especially in the face of economic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. We condemn, as other have today, the assassination attempt last month against Prime Minister Hamdok, and we remain concerned about continued insecurity, including ongoing and widespread sexual- and gender-based violence in addition to the recent violence in Darfur, including the late December attack in El Geneina, which displaced over 30,000 civilians, as well as the looting of the former UNAMID Team Site in Nyala which occurred soon after.

Colleagues, next month the Security Council is expected to create a new mission in Sudan – one that supports Prime Minister Hamdok and the transitional government, and that fosters political stability and peace for all Sudanese – especially those in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas.

I would like to take this time to thank Prime Minister Hamdok for his outreach to the UN regarding the establishment of a follow-on presence to UNAMID. Additionally, we wish to welcome the joint African Union-UN report on UNAMID’s activities and recommendations therein for the follow-on mission. However, it would be helpful for the Security Council to have a more informed understanding of the risks related to the protection of civilians, especially in Darfur, and how the UN could assist the Sudanese with this challenge. Specifically, what is the Secretariat’s risk assessment of the security situation in Darfur? Looking to the future, the United States has several priorities for the follow-on mission to UNAMID that we’d like to share with the Council.

First, a seamless transition must occur between UNAMID and the follow-on mission. Given COVID-19 developments and constraints on troop rotations we recognize, however, the October 31 deadline to end UNAMID may not be met. The draw down should happen as quickly as responsibly possible to allow the new mission to establish itself. The drawdown should also include assurances that returned Team Sites will be protected from looting.

Second, the follow-on mission must support the civilian-led transitional government to undertake national-level tasks, including support for the peace process, constitutional reform, elections, and conducting a census.

Lastly, we are greatly concerned about the continued insecurity in Darfur. We assess the need for a robust police mission in Darfur with a mandate that supports Sudan’s efforts to address the remaining security challenges in this volatile region.

Fellow Council members, we all have an opportunity to help move Sudan forward, towards stability. The United States is ready to seize this opportunity, and we look forward to working with the Council to design a follow-on mission to UNAMID that addresses Sudan’s security and political needs.

Thank you.