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Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 605th meeting on the situation in Darfur and the activities of the AU-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 605thmeeting held on 13 June 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in Darfur and the activities of the AU-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID):


1. Takes note of the report of the Joint report of the Chairperson of the Commission and the Secretary General of the United Nations on the situation in Darfur and the activities of UNAMID PSC/PR/2.(DCV), as well as of the introductory remarks made by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, and the briefing provided by Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, Acting Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator (JSR/JCM) for UNAMID. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of the Government of Sudan, and Ethiopia, Chair of IGAD, as well as the United Nations;

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Darfur, including communiqués PSC/PR/COMM.(CDXXV) and PSC/PR/COMM.(CDXXVI), adopted at its 425th, 446th and 516th meetings, held on 24 March 2014, 9 July 2014 and 22 June 2015, respectively;

3. Reiterates its appreciation to the UNAMID leadership, in particular the Joint Special Representative, as well as the Force Commander and the Police Commissioner, and the Mission's personnel, for their dedication and contribution to the promotion of peace, security, stability and reconciliation in the Darfur region of Sudan. Council notes with appreciation the efforts made in the implementation of UNAMID's mandate, particularly with respect to the protection of civilians. In this regard, Council pays tribute to the UNAMID personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the cause of peace in Darfur;

4. Further recalls the request of the Government of Sudan for UNAMID to prepare an exit strategy, as conveyed by its letter of 15 December 2014 addressed to the UN Secretary-General. In this regard, Council welcomes the report of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the UNAMID Exit Strategy of 23 May 2016, which contained findings, assessments and recommendations on the Exit Strategy and hails the cordial working environment displayed in May 2016, creating conditions conducive to progress on executing their given mandate. Council looks forward to the outcomes of the next JWG to be held in four months' time;

5. Welcomes the ongoing efforts of the Tripartite Mechanism to address both strategic and technical issues affecting the operations of UNAMID mission;

6. Strongly condemns all hostile actions and attacks against UNAMID personnel and assets, as well as against humanitarian organizations and their staff, and urges the Government of Sudan to spare no efforts to arrest and prosecute all perpetrators of these criminal acts, including the establishment of a dedicated Commission of Inquiry. Council also urges the Government of Sudan to work closely with UNAMID towards improving the issue of access to affected areas, as well as allowing UNAMID equipment and food rations into the country, given that these are essential for the operation of the Mission. Council notes that removing those restrictions is critical to maintaining the African nature of the Mission. In this respect, Council welcomes the announcement by the Government of Sudan of efforts being made to alleviate logistical constraints faced by UNAMID;

7. Appeals to the AU Member States and the larger international community to continue to provide the much-needed support, with a view to enhancing the capacity of UNAMID to more effectively discharge its mandate and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Darfur;

8. Appeals to all the parties to the conflict to cease all acts of violence in Darfur and to recommit themselves to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region. In this respect, Council calls on the Government of Sudan and the armed movements are remaining out of the peace process to commit to direct political talks for a durable and sustainable solution to the Darfur conflict. Council reiterates its full support to the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for its efforts to facilitate a cessation of hostilities between the Government of Sudan and the Darfur armed movements. Council, once again, commends the efforts of the AUHIP and the JSR/JCM to facilitate negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the Darfur armed movements, within the context of the agreed one-process-two-track approach to end all violent conflicts in Sudan;

9. Welcomes the efforts of the JSR/JCM, in conjunction with the Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar, in convening meetings of the holdout armed movements which resulted in the return of the movements to Doha for the first time since 2011 and in principle agreed to work with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD);

10. Encourages the AUHIP to pursue its efforts to ensure the early resumption of the negotiations between the Parties on the basis of the Roadmap Agreement of March 2016. Council welcomes the signing of the Roadmap Agreement by the Government of Sudan in March 2016. Council strongly condemns continued refusal by Sudan Liberation Movement/Army-Wahid (SLM/A-Wahid) to join the mediation process and further urges the parties that have not signed the Roadmap Agreement to do so urgently in order to give impetus to the peace process;

11. Notes that the three strategic priorities of UNAMID remain crucial, and reiterates the critical importance of the presence and work of UNAMID in Darfur, in order to contribute to the protection of the civilian population and facilitate the search for peace, security, stability and reconciliation in the region. Accordingly, Council decides to extend, for a further period of 12 months, the mandate of UNAMID as defined in communiqué PSC/PR/Comm.(LXXIX) of its 79th meeting held on 22 June 2007 and in UN Security Council resolution 1769 (2007) of 31 July 2007. Council requests the UN Security Council to do the same;

12. Requests the Commission and UNAMID to provide quarterly updates on the evolution of the situation and the implementation of UNAMID mandate;

13. Agrees to undertake a field visit to Darfur, as soon as possible, to assess the situation on the ground to inform its decision on the matter;

14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).
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