9 February 2008 -- Government of Sudan and UNAMID sign Status of Forces Agreement
UNAMID Press Release No/13/2008
9 February 2008
Government of Sudan and UNAMID sign Status of Forces Agreement
Khartoum --- The signing ceremony of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the Government of the Sudan (GoS) and the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) was held today, 9 February 2008 in Khartoum, Sudan. The Agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan, Mr. Deng Alor and the UN-AU Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Mr. Rodolphe Adada.
The Agreement provides the legal framework within which UNAMID will operate. It covers the activities of the military, police and civilian personnel of UNAMID. The SOFA also deals with UNAMID funds, property, communications facilities, as well as the freedom of movement of UNAMID personnel, their safety and security, privileges and immunities, entry into, and exit from Sudan.
It is specifically agreed that “the Joint Special Representative, the Force Commander and Representatives of the Government of Sudan shall take appropriate measures to ensure close and reciprocal liaison at every appropriate level.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Adada said that on behalf of the UN Secretary-General and the AU Commission Chairperson, he was pleased to sign the Agreement which he described as “an important milestone” in the deployment of UNAMID in Darfur. He promised to work with the Sudanese Party to implement the Agreement and ensure the success of UNAMID. Mr. Adada congratulated the negotiating teams that put together the Agreement and expressed the hope that the SOFA negotiations will serve as a model for future cooperation between UNAMID and the Sudanese Government.
On his part, the Sudanese Foreign Minister said he was happy to sign the document and described the SOFA as the beginning of an endeavour by both parties to help the people of Darfur “who have suffered a lot.” Mr. Alor said that by signing the SOFA, he was committing himself and the Government of Sudan to its implementation. “As a government, we have the responsibility to protect our people,” he added.
Responding to a reporter’s question on specific provisions of the Agreement, Mr. Adada said that signing the SOFA was an indication that both Parties had agreed on all the issues in the document and were committed to its full implementation, adding that the Agreement is a public document.
Asked about the participation of non-African troops in the Hybrid Force, The Sudanese Foreign Minister said, “The forces will be predominantly African. We are committed to deploying non-African forces as we go along, in consultation with UNAMID.”
The ceremony was witnessed by senior officials from the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNAMID, notably Ambassador Abdal-Mahmood Abdal-Haleem, Sudan’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations and Ambassador Al Tayeb Ali Ahmed, Director of Peace and Humanitarian Affairs at the Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Martin Luther Agwai, UNAMID Force Commander and Mr. Hocine Medili, UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management.
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