Despite setbacks and challenges, Sudan continues its transition towards democracy, the head of the UN special political mission in the country told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

Volker Perthes, head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), briefed on the authorities’ efforts to address violence in the volatile Darfur region and the east, the ongoing economic crisis, and other issues.

Measures have included the launch of an initiative to shape consensus around key objectives such as military and security sector reform, the economy, justice and peace.

There is also growing momentum to move forward on the preparations for constitution-making and elections,” said Mr. Perthes.

“The Government has produced a draft law on the constitution-making process, which will now be subject to public consultations.”  

Debt relief decision

Following continued economic reforms, Sudan is now eligible for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries, initiative of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), another positive development.

Mr. Perthes said the move will unlock critical financial resources to strengthen the economy, address poverty and improve social conditions.   

Humanitarians have been advocating for timely and flexible funding, he added, as needs have risen mostly due to the economic crisis and intercommunal conflict

Some 418,000 people have been newly displaced this year following fighting and armed attacks, mainly in Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile.

This is about six times as many newly displaced persons as in the same period last year,” he said, while the conflict in neighbouring Ethiopia is also sparking refugee flows into the country, according UN News.

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