The UN Security Council voted to cease the ongoing political mission in Sudan on Friday. This follows claims by Sudan’s military government that the mission failed to meet expectations.
This withdrawal comes only months after the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on the international community for new funding to respond to the Sudan crisis. Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, stated at the time, “The needs are vast, and the challenges are numerous … If the crisis continues, peace and stability across the region could be at stake.”
The UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) was established in June 2020 to support Sudan during its transition toward democratic rule. On December 4, 2023, UNITAMS will begin to cease its operations, aiming to complete any necessary transitions by February 29 2024. The resolution passed with 14 votes in favour and one abstention, which came from Russia.
In response to this vote, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, stated:
The Security Council just voted to close down @UNITAMS, but the UN is not abandoning the Sudanese people. We urge full support for the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Ramtane Lamamra, to bolster efforts to bring the devastating conflict to an end.
Describing the situation in Sudan, which the UN called “a severe humanitarian crisis,” it noted that the war-torn region has seen over 6,000 casualties. Citizens have been displaced from their homes, and there has been an increase in “abhorrent sexual and gender-based violence.”
Similarly, the EU recently warned of the “potential genocide” that may result from the escalating violence in Darfur. Nations such as the United Kingdom, Norway, and the United States have condemned the loss of lives as a result of the violence across the region.