May 20, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – The head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) Volker Perthes voiced “great concern” about the slow pace of peace implementation in the country.
Perthes who took part in an economic conference in Paris for Sudan’s debt relief and investment briefed via videoconference the Security Council on Thursday about the democratic transition process, the implementation of the peace agreement and the ongoing efforts to bring armed holdout groups.
In his remakes to the Council, he expressed ” great concern with the limited progress in implementing the Juba Peace Agreement, (JPA), pointing to the security arrangements and the establishment of the Ceasefire and other Security Committees.
“Delays in establishing the Joint Protection Force and the absence of integrated and united armed forces, one army that has a direct bearing on Protection of Civilians and overall stability”.
The UNITAMS head underscored the urgent need for money to fund the security arrangements and to establish the joint protection force and the enforcement of the security arrangements.
He said the armed groups identified their combatants for the joint protection force but it has not been deployed
“Some delays in deploying the joint protection force are reportedly due to a lack of resources; and material international support for these joint forces, including support for housing and equipment, would certainly be welcomed,” he said.
“I fear that without the speedy establishment of these Joint Forces, and the implementation of Sudan’s National Plan for the Protection of Civilians, we could see similar incidents like Geneina be repeated,” he further stressed.
Over 144 people were killed and an estimated 65,000 displaced following the resumption of tribal clashes in the West Darfur State capital El-Geneina earlier.
For his part, Richard Mills, U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations said the Biden administration remains concerned about the “transitional government’s efforts and its ability” to protect its people.
“We cannot let continued violence destroy the Juba Peace Agreement’s prospects for effective peace in Darfur. Fulfilment of the agreement is needed for a successful transition to democracy and stability in Sudan,” he said.
“We strongly encourage the civilian-led transitional government to commit – with conviction – to ensuring that all Sudanese feel safe and secure in their communities and their livelihoods,” he further said.