After nearly four years of the establishment, the United Nations has decided to terminate the mandate of the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) effective from Monday December 4, 2023.
The decision to end the UNITAMS on Friday at the voting at the UN Security Council by 14 votes in favour and one abstention (Russia) comes against the backdrop of the continuing war raging between rival militaries after Khartoum called for its immediate withdrawal last month.
Sudan’s military Government, whose forces have been battling the RSF militia for control of the country since April, has said that the UN mission was failing to meet expectations.
According to the UN report, the conflict in Sudan has killed 6,000 lives, driven millions from their homes, led to abhorrent sexual and gender-based violence, and precipitated a severe humanitarian crisis.
The Council also decided that the Mission’s liquidation shall commence 1 March 2024, and underlined the need for an orderly transition to ensure the safety of UN personnel and the effective functioning of all UN operations.
Following the vote to close the mission, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said the Organization stands with the Sudanese people.
The 15-member Security Council also authorized, for the duration of UNITAMS’ transition and liquidation, “the retention of necessary security personnel” to protect UNITAMS’ staffers, facilities and assets and called on all relevant Sudanese parties to cooperate fully with the UN during the process.
The representative of Russia referred to the letter by the Foreign Minister of Sudan that called for the closure of UNITAMS.
UNITAMS was established by the UN Security Council at the request of Sudan to support the political transition process following the ouster of former ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
Headquartered in Khartoum, UNITAMS was established by the Security Council in June 2020 to support the country through a range of political, peacebuilding and development initiatives as a special political mission, to provide support to Sudan from political transition to democratic rule.
UNITAMS duration was extended in 2021 and 2022 to further assist the nation to achieve the goals of peace through the constitution to guarantee the rights of the citizens.