25 September 2006
Security Council Votes Unanimously to Extend Mandate of United Nations Mission in Sudan until 8 October
Resolution 1709 (2006) Stipulates Intention of further Renewals
NEW YORK, 22 September (UN Headquarters) -- With the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) expiring on Sunday, 24 September, the Security Council decided this afternoon to extend it until 8 October, with the intention to renew it for further periods. It took that action by its unanimous adoption of resolution 1709 (2006).
Determining that the situation in the Sudan continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security, the Council reiterated in the strongest terms the need for all parties to the conflict in Darfur to end the violence and atrocities in that region. It also expressed its grave concern over the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur.
It noted with deep concern the adverse impact of restrictions on the movements and materiel of UNMIS and on the Mission's ability to perform its mandate effectively. The Council also reaffirmed its commitment to the Sudan's sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity, and to the cause of peace there.
The meeting began at 1:15 p.m. and ended at 1:17 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1709 (2006) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolution 1706 (2006) of 31 August 2006, 1679 (2006) of 16 May 2006, 1663 (2006) of 24 March 2006, 1653 of 27 January 2006, 1627 of 23 September 2005 and 1590 (2005) of 24 March 2005, and the statements of its President, in particular that of 3 February 2006 (S/PRST/2006/5), concerning the situation in the Sudan,
"Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of the Sudan and to the cause of peace,
"Noting with deep concern the restrictions placed on movements and materiel of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan and the adverse impact such restrictions have on UNMIS' ability to perform its mandate effectively,
"Expressing its grave concern over the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur, and reiterating in the strongest terms the need for all parties to the conflict in Darfur to put an end to the violence and atrocities in that region,
"Determining that the situation in the Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMIS until 8 October 2006, with the intention to renew it for further periods;
"2. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
In a briefing that preceded the Council's debate on the situation in the Sudan earlier this week, members noted that the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South was on track, but also agreed with the assessment of Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, that it was still "a bumpy ride and the train could easily derail". They noted that efforts to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement will prove inadequate until durable peace also comes to Darfur. The Council voted last month to deploy more than 17,000 United Nations peacekeepers to take over in Darfur from the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), but the Sudanese Government opposes the deployment of the "blue helmets".
Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned this week that Darfur is headed for disaster unless Khartoum changes its mind. More than 400,000 people are estimated to have lost their lives in the continuing Darfur conflict. About 1.9 million people have been displaced and nearly 3 million people depend on international aid for food, shelter and basic health care.
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