Opening remarks by UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah Mamabolo, at a press conference held in Khartoum

Report
from UN-AU Mission in Darfur
Published on 20 Nov 2019 View Original

(Wednesday, 20 November 2019; 11:30 hours; Marawi Hall, UNDP, Khartoum)

Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

  1. A warm welcome to you all, to this press conference that indeed marks quite an eventful period for UNAMID and Sudan. Let me start by expressing my appreciation to the media for consistently highlighting events in Darfur and keeping the region on the global agenda, while ensuring the community is kept abreast of developments on UNAMID’s work.

  2. This is the first press conference I hold after the revolution that sparked off less than a year ago and for which some brave young men and women paid the ultimate price in order for the Sudanese people to achieve their aspirations for Freedom, Peace and Justice.

  3. I humbly request you to join me and observe a minute of silence in respect for their great sacrifice.

(PAUSE FOR MOMENT OF SILENCE)

  1. Thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. In response to a request from Prime Minister Hamdok to the UN Secretary General António Guterres, The UN Security Council has recently adopted resolution 2495 on 31 October 2019, which extends UNAMID’s mandate until 31 October 2020. It maintains the current troop ceilings of 4,050 military and 2,500 police personnel until 31 March 2020 when the council would review our mandate.

  2. This resolution maintains the same concept of operations for UNAMID set out in UNSCs 2363 and 2429 based on the two-pronged approach of: peacekeeping in the Jebel Marra area and peace building in the rest of Darfur through a whole-of-system approach where we work closely with the UN Country team in order to avoid gaps resulting from UNAMID’s eventual exit from Darfur.

  3. This is achieved through what we call State Liaison Functions (SLFs) which we now have in four out of the five Darfur states. Since January this year, UNAMID personnel have been co-located with colleagues from other UN Agencies Funds and Programmes and are conducting peacebuilding projects jointly.

  4. The Resolution determined three operational priorities for UNAMID,

    1. To support the ongoing peace process; including mediation between the Government of Sudan and the Darfuri armed movements, the national peace commission as well as supporting the implementation of any peace agreement resulting from the Juba peace process as reflected in the transitional government’s strategic priority to achieve a fair and comprehensive peace.

    2. Support to peace building activities by strengthening the SLFs and expanding them into the Jebel Marra Area of Operations, thus covering all five Darfur states.

    3. Protection of Civilians, monitoring and reporting on Human Rights (including the rights of women and children) and facilitation of Humanitarian access as well as protecting humanitarian workers operating in Darfur.

  5. The Resolution also instructs UNAMID to keep all its remaining team sites and not hand them over until a further decision is made by the Council; with the exception of Nyala which is the Mission’s Sector South Headquarters.

  6. Only yesterday UNAMID handed over its largest camp in Darfur located in Nyala to Officials from the Government of Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The total value of assets handed over in Nyala is 99.4 Million US Dollars. In this context UNSC resolution 2495 acknowledged the commitment of the Government of Sudan to use this team site and other team sites previously handed over to the Government for exclusively civilian end-user purposes which are in line with UN rules and regulations.

  7. I’m glad to inform that yesterday’s handover went without a glitch. We hope that the unfortunate incidents of wanton looting of the UNAMID Super Camp in El Geneina, on 14 and 15 May, by the local population and government security apparatus and more recently on 20 June, the vandalisation of the offices of the International NGO World Vision International and WFP in Darfur by protesters have become incidents of the past for us in the UN and our partners operating in Darfur. It is our sincere hope that such incidents will not recur.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Before I conclude, I would call upon the Government and Armed groups alike to work with the UN and other international actors to support humanitarian access to all remote areas, in Darfur in particular, to ensure the timely and effective delivery of humanitarian aid. It is extremely important that as the peace process moves forward, we continue providing basic humanitarian support to the people.

  2. I would also like to assure the people of Darfur that during the rest of its tenure, the Mission shall continue its “stay-and-deliver policy” and shall continue to serve the people of Darfur until the last day. Our approach of delivering our mandate shall be reflecting the UN’s Action for Peace Campaign (A4P) which was launched by the Secretary General earlier this year. I therefore seize this opportunity to call upon you to support this campaign through your traditional and digital media in the areas of politics; women, peace and security; protection; safety and security; peacebuilding and sustaining peace; partnerships; conduct of peacekeepers and peacekeeping operations.

  3. Finally, I would like to, once again, emphasize the real opportunity that the December revolution has created for achieving a fair and comprehensive peace in Darfur and the whole of Sudan. I call on all the Sudanese political forces, particularly the armed movements who have not yet joined the peace process, to seize this historic moment and come to the negotiating table.

  4. We hope that negotiations at this juncture will provide a more level-playing field for all views to be heard and for compromises to be made for the sake of the People of Sudan and their aspiration for Freedom, Peace and Justice.

  5. Thank you for your attention and time. I look forward to meeting you again soon.

Shukran Jazeelan!