A-3 JOINT STATEMENT BY HAROLD A. AGYEMAN AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GHANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
BRIEFING BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SUDAN AND HEAD OF UN INTEGRATED TRANSITION ASSISTANCE MISSION IN SUDAN (UNITAMS) 28th March 2022 UN Security Council Chamber, New York
1. I have the honour to read this statement on behalf of members of the A-3, namely Gabon, Kenya, and my country Ghana. 2. At the outset, we wish to thank SRSG Volker Perthes for his 90-day report on the implementation of the mandate of UNITAMS, required pursuant to the Council’s resolution 2579 (2021). 3. The A-3 welcomes the additional briefing by the SRSG to the Council and would in this statement comment on the political situation, the security environment, the persisting socio-economic challenges and the humanitarian developments in the Sudan within the reporting period. 4. The A3 also takes note of the letter dated 22nd March 2022, from the Chargé d'affairs of the Permanent Mission of Sudan to the President of the Security Council giving clarification as well as expressing reservations on the content of the report of the Secretary General and the activities of UNITAMS.
5. In respect of the political situation in the Sudan, and the implementation of the August 2019 Constitutional Declaration, the A-3 continues to remain deeply concerned by developments since 25th October 2021 and by the political stalemate which could derail the commitment to sticking to the transition to a full civilian rule which would lead to a new constitution and elections in 2023. The lack of civilian political leadership, including the absence of a Prime Minister, in the transitional process and the continued absence of significant political constituents from the Sovereign Council represent major challenges that the Sudanese people must quickly resolve to avoid the country slipping further into chaos. 6. In this regard, we urge all political stakeholders in Sudan to place the overall interest of the people of the Sudan at the heart of their discussions and decisions in furtherance of a Sudanese-led and -owned process to place the country on a pathway for peace and stability. 7. We encourage UNITAMS to remain engaged with the Sudanese people and recall the SRSG’s 8th January 2022 announcement that he had launched a “UN- facilitated intra-Sudanese political process which is aimed at supporting Sudanese stakeholders in agreeing on a way out of the current political crisis”. In this context, we note the assessment of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), following their recent visits to Sudan, that “the current political impasse in Sudan is more complicated than widely appreciated” with “far- reaching implications” for Sudan and the region and “mistrust on both sides, of externally-led interventions”. 8. The A3 therefore avers that UNITAMS’ activities should not be in isolation but must be in coordinated closely with those of IGAD and the AU in the search for a peaceful settlement of the current political impasse in Sudan. The role of regional leaders as well as the support of international partners also remains indispensable to the transition process in Sudan. The partnership between UNITAMS and the relevant regional bodies should further develop into a systematic, operational, and strategic partnership rooted in shared values and a strong commitment to international cooperation adapted to the complex security challenges facing Sudan. 9. We also encourage UNITAMS to adequately utilize the necessary confidence building measures in the implementation of its mandate to build trust with the parties in Sudan. Equally, we urge the Sudanese authorities, the political parties and civil society groups in the country, including the Sudanese Professionals Association, the Forces for Freedom and Change to collaborate with UNITAMS.
10. On the security environment in Sudan, the A-3 continues to be worried by the deteriorating security, which is related also to other developments in the country, including the political impasse and the socio-economic challenges. The intermittent armed conflicts, inter-communal clashes in parts of Darfur, and violent crimes are a deep concern. The A3 condemns all forms of violence directed towards civilians and civilian property. While the A3 acknowledges the measures taken by the government to improve the security, a lot more needs to be done to expedite implementation of the security arrangements under the JPA and the National Plan for Protection of Civilians. 11. We urge the Sovereign Council of Sudan to exercise restraint and show tolerance when dealing with the social forces in the country who through peaceful assembly and protestation seek to express their desire for an early resolution of their needs and a fulfilment of their aspirations, including an improvement in their conditions of living and the return to constitutional rule. We reaffirm that the population of every nation constitute an important component of the State and any actions against their legitimate interest would ultimately weaken the State. We therefore urge the Sudanese authorities to be mindful of the rights of its people in law enforcement actions. 12. We regret the criminal incidents of looting at the UNAMID Logistics Base in El Fasher as well as the camp handed over to the North Darfur State authorities. We urge restraint and encourage coordinated border arrangements between Sudan and Ethiopia to avoid a recurrence of the incident that happened on 27 November 2021. We continue to also remain concerned by the illicit flow and large presence of small arms and light weapons outside State control that facilitate the situation of instability. We therefore encourage the continuation of negotiations with all relevant armed groups along the lines of the agreement reached on 3rd October 2020 by the transitional authorities with the Sudan Revolution Front.
13. The socio-economic challenges of Sudan continue to be immense. At the heart of the Sudanese people’s rise against their government in 2019 was a sharp rising price of food. Today, that challenge if anything at all, has worsened. The interruption of access to markets and the suspension of financial assistance programmes has predictable impacted adversely on the Sudanese people, as is reflected in higher prices of goods and services and shortages of basic goods, including food and medicine. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, the impact is projected to be even worse. 14. We therefore encourage the Sudanese people to urgently and constructively work on their political differences to enable the donor partners and the international financial institutions to positively engage in their fiscal processes and support the implementation of the 2022 budget of the country which was adopted on 22 January 2022.
15. A review of the present situation in the Sudan would not leave anyone in doubt of the huge humanitarian challenges the country faces. We therefore call for sustained international support for the humanitarian programme in the Sudan: for more than 10 million people who remain acutely food insecure; the 3.1 million internally displaced persons; and more than 1.1 refugees in the Sudan.
16. Finally, Madam President, we would be remiss if this statement is concluded without calling on the international community to support the funding of the JPA to realize its objectives. In this regard, we welcome and appreciate the kind gesture by Norway of donating USD$ 800,000 to the multi-partner trust fund for Sudan. 17. We remain engaged with the pen-holder on Sudan as we anticipate the renewal of the mandate of UNITAMS by June 2022.
I thank you, Madam President.