Remarks by Ambassador Heusgen during the Security Council VTC Meeting on UNAMID, April 24, 2020

24.04.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

It is indeed one of the brighter spots on the Security Council agenda, what has happened in Sudan. It is very timely that we have scheduled the debate today and during this month where we actually can celebrate the first anniversary of the peaceful revolution in Sudan.

When we go back, we can feel very encouraged by the protest that was led by civil society, by women who played a very important role in this process, by the region and by also the African Union, which plays a very important role in Sudan and in the transition.

I also would like to highlight the courageous leadership of Prime Minister Hamdok. We are all shocked by the attacks on his life. Germany supports Sudan both individually, but also as part of the Group of Friends of Sudan.

As Jean-Pierre [Lacroix] said in his introduction: a lot of progress has been achieved on women's participation and on accountability. The Prime Minister has opened up the country and is carrying out reforms, but we know that the situation is still very fragile. Therefore, the country continues to need the support of the international community.

Now we have to see how we move forward our engagement and our support. We all agree that it is now time to end the UNAMID Mission and to have a transition to a new U.N. mission. There we are very encouraged. We heard Rosemary DiCarlo mentioning the two letters that the Prime Minister sent. We are very encouraged that the Prime Minister wants to have this new U.N. mission and we have to do everything to support it.

When we go forward, and this will be our main task over the next weeks, we have to get this transformation right. The draw down is very complex. COVID 19, of course, makes the whole situation even more difficult. There we have to we have to get it right. I do appreciate very much what Rosemary DiCarlo said with regard to the preparation of the plans for this new mission: that it's taken very seriously, that you get all the different actors on the U.N. side together. As Jonathan [Allen] said, this is one of the bright spots on the agenda. Yet it is still very fragile. The international community, the U.N., plays a very important role. And we need to continue the very close cooperation with the African Union. We appreciate your cooperation.

What do we need to do with our mission? Of course, we have to try to implement what the Prime Minister has asked the U.N. to do. We have to support the government. We have to support all the efforts to get to the transformation correct. We have to look at the people of Sudan. And we have a very specific responsibility for the people in Darfur. We all remember why the U.N. is engaged, why UNAMID is engaged in the first place. We still all remember the horrible atrocities that happened in Darfur and we have to do everything we can to contribute to this not repeating itself.

So what is very important indeed is that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is reached, the cessation of hostilities as a response also to the Secretary General's call for a humanitarian ceasefire is good, but we are not there yet. Jonathan Allen has mentioned that there were incidents even last week. So what is very important, and I ask this also of Rosemary DiCarlo and of Jean-Pierre in your planning: the protection of civilians has to be in the center of your work. It cannot be that when we leave the people in Darfur alone, all of a sudden we have massive violations of human rights or intercommunal violence again escalating. We have to see to it that the protection of civilians is actually accomplished. The lead has to be with the the government.The government is responsible, but we know we know also from developments in the last months that right now they are not able to accomplish this to the degree that is needed. We have to support. We have to train. We have to see also in our presence that uniformed police or if uniform support is there  so that the UN can participate and contribute to the protection of of civilians. Thank you very much.

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