UN: Sudan’s new government chance to end outstanding conflicts

New York: The establishment of a new transitional government in Khartoum on August 17 has created an opportunity to end outstanding conflicts there and restore long-term stability to Darfur, a UN senior official said.

“The recent transitional arrangements entail a pledge to end all outstanding conflicts in Sudan, which could bring long-term stability to Darfur and other marginalized areas,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the UN Security Council in a special session on Darfur, Kuwait News Agnecy (KUNA) reported.

He pointed out that talks were expected to take place between the new government and various armed groups, including the Sudan Revolutionary Front that includes some Darfur groups soon.

Focusing on Darfur, Lacroix reported that the security situation in that western region of Sudan remains largely unchanged, with intermittent clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces/Rapid Support Forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW) faction continuing in Jebel Marra.

“There have been no signs of renewed military activity among armed groups that are not yet part of the national political process, but they remain a risk to sustainable peacebuilding,” he emphasized.

He suggested that with the establishment of the Sovereign Council, the timeline for resuming the drawdown of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) might be revisited after the end of the “pause” at the end of October.

The mission is developing a roadmap for the handover of facilities to the Sudanese authorities for civilian use, Lacroix disclosed.

He added that the UNAMID and the United Nations country team continue to provide transition support through State liaison functions in four key areas – rule of law, livelihoods, immediate service delivery and human rights.

Looking ahead, he said the Department of Peace Operations has initiated discussions with the African Union on developing a joint political strategy for post-UNAMID engagement.

“This is an opportunity to put a definitive end to the conflict in Darfur,” he said.

Source: Bahrain News Agency