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Sudan establishes national mechanism for coordination with UNITAMS

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Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok speaks to the media after the swearing-in ceremony on 21 August 2019 (AFP Photo)

July 5, 2020 -(KHARTOUM) - Sudan has established a national mechanism for coordination with the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), which will begin its activities on January 1, 2021.

On June 3, the UN Security Council approved the establishment of a political mission in Sudan to support democratic transition and peace implementation, in response to a request by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

"The Prime Minister issued a decision to form the national mechanism for coordination with the UNITAMS, and appoint Ambassador Omer al-Sheikh as the national coordinator," reads a statement issued by Hamdok’s office on Sunday.

Al-Sheikh is one of the skilled Sudanese diplomats with rich experience in international organisations. He previously served as head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and also served as ambassador in many capitals.

The new mission which does not include military components will provide technical assistance to the Constitution drafting process, supporting the implementation of all human rights, equality, accountability and rule-of-law provisions in the Constitutional Document.

The UNITAMS will also assist in peacebuilding, civilian protection and rule of law. It will support Sudan’s capacity to extend State presence and inclusive civilian governance, in particular by strengthening accountable rule of law and security institutions, and by building trust between State authorities and local communities, according to the UN resolution.

Mechanism’s powers

Hamdok’s decision seen by Sudan Tribune provides that the new mechanism will include 14 other members besides Ambassador al-Sheikh. All of them are civilians except the representative of the military intelligence.

The main task of the committee is to coordinate between the government and the UNITAMS at the federal and state levels and identifying Sudan’s support needs.

Furthermore, the prime minister conferred to the new mechanism all the attributions and functions of the National Committee for Coordination with UNAMID, including following up the withdrawal of UNAMID from Darfur.

The mechanism will negotiate a draft Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) and will follow up on its implementation.

The committee also will follow up on the procedures for the annual renewal of the UNITAMS and submit recommendations to the government.

The UN Security Council in its resolution establishing UNITAMS requested Secretary-General to swiftly establish the political support mission and provide the Council with a suggested structure and geographical deployment within 60 days.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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