Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the UN-AU Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Acting Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
August 26, 2019


Thank you, Madame President, and thank you Under-Secretary-General Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui for your briefings.

The United States congratulates the people of Sudan on the August 17th signing of the Constitutional Declaration and political agreement between the Forces for Freedom and Change and the Transitional Military Council. We are encouraged by this first step in the establishment of a civilian-led transitional government.

The United States commends the mediators from the African Union and the Government of Ethiopia for their efforts to broker this landmark agreement. Our own Special Envoy for Sudan witnessed the signing, and the United States will continue to support its implementation. We are optimistic that these positive developments will bring peace and security to the Sudanese people.

The international community now needs to see the speedy implementation of the August 17th agreement, including the formation of the Council of Ministers and Legislative Assembly. In this regard, the inauguration of Prime Minister Hamdok and the Sovereign Council on August 21st shows progress towards the formation of a stable transitional government.

Madame President, we look forward to seeing UNAMID’s progress on its benchmarks in the Secretary General’s September report. We expect all Sudanese stakeholders to cooperate with UNAMID regarding the protection of civilians, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the return of internally displaced persons in line with international standards. UNAMID must have unhindered access to all team sites so that the Mission can carry out its mandate. The Rapid Support Forces’ delay in returning these sites to community-based institutions, and their lack of cooperation with UN personnel, is deeply concerning.

We look forward to hearing Under Secretary-General Lacroix’s response to the United Kingdom’s question about the status of those sites.

We welcome the public prosecutor’s establishment of the independent committee to investigate the June 3 crackdown by the Rapid Support Forces, and the news that those allegedly involved in the July 29 shooting deaths during the El Obeid protests were arrested and are awaiting trial. It is imperative that all those responsible for violence towards civilians are held accountable.

The United States calls on the Sudanese authorities to follow through on their commitments in a timely manner, so that UNAMID can continue to drawdown its forces, and so that a broader transition to peacebuilding can begin.

Madame President, the United States will continue to support the people of Sudan in their pursuit of a future that they deserve – with a civilian-led government that protects the rights of all Sudanese citizens and leads to free and fair elections.

I thank you.