The UN Security Council on Friday decided to terminate the mandate of the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).
Adopting resolution 2715 (2023) by 14 votes in favor and one abstention (Russia), the UNSC requested UNITAMS “immediately start on 4 December 2023, the cessation of its operations and the process of the transfer of its tasks, where appropriate and to the extent feasible, to UN agencies, funds and programmes, with the objective of completing this by 29 February 2024.”
The end of UNITAMS has provoked different reactions from different parties in Sudan. Some supported the resolution while others opposed it.
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the resolution, viewing it as a triumph of its diplomacy and a response to its request.
It considered UNITAMS a “disappointment” and applauded the decision to terminate its mandate, advocating for the redistribution of its responsibilities among other UN agencies based on their respective competencies.
However, others perceive this resolution as a diplomatic trap set for Sudan. They argue that it establishes a stronger international guardianship than existed before the cancellation of the mandate of the UN political mission in Sudan.
The relationship between UNITAMS and Sudan has been strained since the outbreak of the war between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group. The UN secretary-general's special representative and head of UNITAMS at the time, Volker Perthes, was declared persona non grata by the Sudanese authorities in June.
Perthes resigned in September, approximately three months after the replacement request.
Subsequently, the situation escalated to a demand for the termination of UNITAMS’ mandate on November 17, following its perceived failure to fulfill its mission and its “disappointing” performance.
UNITAMS, established by the Security Council in June 2020, was tasked to help Sudan with its political transition after the ouster of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in 2019.