The United Nations hopes to withdraw its operations in Darfur, Sudan, by next year, because of an improvement in the security situation, according to the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres.
“In Sudan, where the security situation in Darfur has improved markedly since the height of the conflict, our two organizations are drawing down, the United Nations African Union Hybrid Operations, (UNAMID), the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, with a view to a potential exit in 2020,” Guterres told African leaders during the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
The operation in Darfur is a joint A U and U N peacekeeping mission to bring stability to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan, while peace talks on a final settlement continue.
According to the secretary general, African peace operations require robust mandates from the Security Council and predictable, sustainable financing, including assessed contributions.
“To consolidate and build on our gains, I launched the Action for Peacekeeping initiative to enable our missions to be more effective, better equipped, safer and more robust. I thank African member states and the A U commission for endorsing this effort,” Guterres said
African countries provide nearly half of all Blue Helmets deployed worldwide, including some two-thirds of all women peacekeepers and the majority of U N police.
“But our peacekeeping operations are increasingly being called into areas where there is no peace to keep. That is why I have been repeatedly expressing my support for African peace enforcing and counter terrorism operations. I salute the sacrifices of the African soldiers in AMISOM, the G5-Sahel Joint Force, and the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin.”
He warned that the global community is falling behind in addressing two key challenges: meeting the sustainable development goals and tackling climate change. The world is not moving far enough, or fast enough, to translate the promise of sustainable development goals into reality, the Secretary General said.