Review of the situation in Darfur and benchmarks to assess the measures on Darfur - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2021/696) [EN/AR]


I. Introduction

1. In paragraph 5 of its resolution 2562 (2021), the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to conduct a review of the situation in Darfur by 31 July 2021 and to provide recommendations for clear and well-identified key benchmarks that could serve in guiding the Council to review the measures on Darfur.

2. Pursuant to that request, an assessment team from the Secretariat visited the Sudan (Khartoum; Nyala, South Darfur; and El Fasher, North Darfur) from 12 to 26 June 2021. During the visit, the assessment team undertook consultations with the transitional Government of the Sudan and other signatories of the Juba Agreement for Peace in the Sudan, political parties, representatives of three camps for internally displaced persons,1 civil society, including women’s and youth groups, and members of the diplomatic community in the Sudan, as well as staff of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan and members of the United Nations country team. In addition, in order to better appreciate the regional dimensions of the situation in Darfur, the assessment team consulted the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic, the Panel of Experts on Libya, the Panel of Experts on South Sudan and the Panel of Experts on the Sudan. Upon its return to New York, the assessment team consulted members of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan and representatives of States in the region.

**II. Context **

3. The overall situation in Darfur has improved since July 2004, when the Security Council first adopted measures to address the deteriorating security situation in the region. The change was largely brought on by the democratic revolution of December 2018 and other positive developments, such as the political agreement on establishing the structures and institutions of the transitional period between the Transitional Military Council and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces signed on 17 July 2019; the Constitutional Declaration of 17 August 2019 signed by the Forces for Freedom and Change alliance and the Transitional Military Council; the national action plan for the protection of civilians of 21 May 2020; and the Juba Peace Agreement, signed on 3 October 2020.

4. The Juba Peace Agreement, which comprises a national framework and separate tracks to address specific issues of concern to each region in the Sudan, represents the best opportunity for the country to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable peace for all its citizens. The Darfur Agreement between the Transitional Government of the Sudan and Darfur Parties to Peace 3 includes protocols on power-sharing; wealthsharing; justice, accountability and reconciliation; internally displaced persons an d refugees; development of the nomads and herders sector in the Darfur region; land and hawakeer;a permanent ceasefire; and final security arrangements. Implementation of the protocols has the potential to comprehensively address the underlying causes of conflict in Darfur.

5. Since the onset of the democratic transition in the Sudan, the transitional Government has implemented some ambitious political reforms, which have also had a positive impact on Darfur. They include a Cabinet reshuffle, the expansion of the ruling Sovereign Council of the Sudan in February 2021 to include the armed group signatories of the Agreement, and the appointment of Minni Minawi as the Governor of the Darfur region on 29 April 2021 and of two of the five Darfur state governo rs (walis) on 14 June 2021. The recent adoption of legislation establishing the Peace Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Transitional Justice Commission is also an important step.