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Sudan’s new political shift eyes stability

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Escorted team from UNAMID’s Governance and Community Stabilization Section is pictured on its way to the Birka area, North Darfur, to conduct a peace conference for farmers and herders. UN photo

“Important developments” are under way in Sudan since midsummer, including a pledge to end the country’s outstanding conflicts, and the establishment of a new transitional government, which could serve to edge the country’s people closer to stability, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said, briefing the UN Security Council.

Lacroix, speaking by video teleconference from Paris, said these improvements could bring long-term stability to Darfur and other marginalized areas.

He reported that on 17 August, the Transitional Military Council and the country’s main opposition alliance, Forces for Freedom and Change, entered into a new power-sharing deal for a three-year period of transitional government leading up to democratic elections.

On 21 August, the swearing in of a Sovereignty Council took place; comprised of five military personnel and six civilians, two of whom are women. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, a Sudanese Army lieutenant general assumed the Council’s presidency, the Transitional Military Council was dissolved, and Dr. Abdallah Hamdouk, economist and UN veteran, will serve as Prime Minister, leading the cabinet expected to be sworn in by 1 September.

The agreement comes following a stall in negotiations set for early April, after the end of a three-decade autocratic rule under President Omar al-Bashir, which sparked mass public strikes and protests over food and basic necessities.

The security situation in the western Sudanese region of Darfur remains largely unchanged, LaCroix said, adding that sporadic clashes between Sudanese Armed Forces/Rapid Support Forces and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW) faction are ongoing in Jebel Marra mountains.

Talks are expected to take place between the new Government and various armed groups, he added.

He stressed that the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur and the UN Country Team continue to provide transition support through state liaison functions, namely in the areas of rule of law, livelihoods, immediate service delivery, and human rights.

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