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Security Council extends peacekeeping mission in Darfur by another year

30 July 2009 – The Security Council agreed today to extend the work of the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping operation in Sudan’s Darfur region by another year and called for the UN to set out a plan so it can measure whether the mission is making progress towards achieving its mandate.

Council members voted unanimously to keep the mission, known as UNAMID, in place through the end of July 2010 and stressed the importance of protecting Darfur’s civilian population and ensuring humanitarian workers have unhindered access to those in need.

The resolution emphasized “the importance of achievable and realistic targets against which the progress of UN peacekeeping operations can be measured,” and therefore asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit a workplan containing benchmarks so the Council can track UNAMID’s progress in implementing its mandate.

The 15-member panel also asked for reports every 90 days on the progress made towards implementing UNAMID’s mandate, as well as on the progress on the political, security and humanitarian fronts.

Today’s extension follows a request earlier this month from Mr. Ban, who warned in his latest report on the work of the mission that numerous challenges remain in Darfur, despite the decrease in large-scale conflict.

He voiced particular concern about the deteriorating relationship between Sudan and neighbouring Chad, and urged the two Governments to stop supporting rebel groups in each other’s country and to normalize their bilateral relations.

The Council resolution echoed those remarks, and reiterated that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur, which has displaced an estimated 2.6 million people and left as many as 4.7 million people totally dependent on humanitarian assistance.

It also underlined the need for all sides to cooperate with UNAMID so it can carry out its work, and called on the Sudanese Government to comply fully and immediately with its obligations, especially the timely provision of visas for UNAMID staff.

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