Khartoum, 17 March 2015 – A joint working group composed of 16 Sudanese Government officials, 13 United Nations/UNAMID officials and 8 African Union officials met today to start preparations for drawing out a common strategy for UNAMID's eventual exit from Darfur. The meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum, was inaugurated by Acting Undersecretary for Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sana Hamad, AU Ambassador in Sudan Mahmoud Kane and General Adrian Foster, Deputy Military Adviser at UN Headquarters, who heads the UN team in the Joint Working Group.
This group is established in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2173 of 27 August 2014 that requested “the Secretary-General, in close coordination with the African Union, and seeking perspective from all relevant parties, to prepare recommendations for the future mandate, composition, configuration and exit strategy of UNAMID, as well as for its relationship with other UN actors in the Sudan.”
The joint working group is expected to develop an exit strategy which would facilitate a gradual and phased hand-over of some mandated tasks from UNAMID to the Government of Sudan and the UN Country Team, as well as provide analysis of the protection impact of prospective discontinued activities. To this end, the joint working group is devising a programme of visits to various locations in Darfur with a view to preparing a roadmap for a smooth exit of UNAMID without creating vacuum in the humanitarian or security situation as a result.
Once the exit strategy is drawn out, the working group will submit it in due course to the Government of Sudan, the African Union and the United Nations for consideration.
Meanwhile, UNAMID continues to implement its Chapter VII mandate as it focuses on its three strategic priorities, including protection of civilians, mediation between Government and non-signatory armed movements and support to local conflict mediation.