We must support the transition in Sudan [fr]
Sudan / UNAMID
Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 17 October 2019
I, too, would like to thank most warmly the Under-Secretary- General for Peace Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, for his briefing on the significant developments in the Sudan over the past weeks. I also welcome the Ambassador of the Sudan and his delegation, which represents the new face of the Sudan, which we support.
1/ That leads me to the first point I wanted to make here: that it is clear that we must support the Sudanese transition.
We hope that the transition will be a success and make it possible to meet the legitimate aspirations of the people of the Sudan.
The transition will succeed if it can deliver on the two priorities set by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok — bringing about peace and relaunching the economy. We must do our utmost to assist the Government of the Sudan in succeeding in these two areas.
The President of France assured Mr. Hamdok, who visited France at the end of last month, that we stand determined to support the Sudan at this critical juncture of its history. France will therefore provide economic support of €60 million for the transition period. We also wish to accelerate the tackling of Sudan’s external debt and welcome the fact that the donors’ conference will be held in France. Finally, it is vital that the Sudan be removed from the list of State sponsors of terrorism.
We call upon all rebel groups to participate in the discussions that began in Juba some three days ago, on 14 October. It was in that spirit that we facilitated a meeting between the Sudanese Prime Minister and Abdul Wahid Al-Nur in Paris on 29 September.
Finally, we welcome the signing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the authorities of the Sudan of an agreement paving the way for the opening of several offices in the Sudan, including in Darfur. This is a crucial step for the strengthening of the rule of law in the Sudan, and we support the efforts of the Sudanese authorities in the promotion of human rights, access to justice and the fight against impunity. We call on them in that respect to start a new chapter in the relationship with the International Criminal Court and to cooperate with its Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda.
2/ Against that backdrop, the second point I wish to make today is that in order to better support the peace process in the Sudan, and, as my colleagues from the United Kingdom and Germany have just noted, we should not be hasty in withdrawing the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
France takes note of the call made by the Sudanese authorities to avoid creating a security vacuum in Darfur during the peace negotiations. They also called upon international partners to support the peace process and the implementation of the agreement.
In that context, we believe that the recommendation of the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to maintain the same ceiling of UNAMID personnel for a period of six months is entirely justified. The drawdown of UNAMID right in the middle of negotiations would risks derailing the peace process.
We also support the recommendation to reframe the UNAMID mandate in support of the peace process and State liaison functions. However, the protection of civilians and support for the delivery of humanitarian aid must also remain mission priorities for UNAMID right up to the end of its mandate.
3/ My third and final point concerns our support for the creation of an ambitious follow-on mechanism in the wake of UNAMID’s departure.
We must continue to support and consolidate peace in Darfur after the departure of the Blue Helmets, as we have done in other countries.
We understand that the Sudanese authorities need more time to determine their expectations concerning such a follow-on mechanism and hope that the tripartite structure will be able to make more specific recommendations to the Security Council in December, as has been announced.
We also welcome the recommendations of the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission concerning the United Nations- African Union political strategy in the Sudan. We, too, believe that the United Nations and the African Union should support the negotiation process and the implementation of the agreement, particularly the security arrangements and the quest for safe, dignified and sustainable solutions for displaced persons and refugees. Finally, the support of the United Nations and the African Union for the drafting of a new constitution and in the preparations for elections will be very important.