On 8 April 2018, the Under Secretary-General (USG) for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, started a weeklong joint visit to Sudan and the Central African Republic. The joint visit is aimed at further strengthening the important partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, as emphasized by both UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Upon arrival in Khartoum, USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui held discussions with various interlocutors on the overall situation in Darfur and the implementation of UNAMID mandate, including its ongoing reconfiguration. They attended the 25th meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID on 8 April. The Mechanism, composed of representatives of the Government of Sudan (GoS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), is a forum at the strategic level aimed at resolving issues and challenges related to UNAMID. USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui held meetings with Government officials, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour. On 9 April, they are scheduled to travel to El Fasher, Darfur, which hosts the headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
From 10-13 April, USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui will travel to Bangui, Central African Republic, where they will meet with senior Government officials, senior UN and AU officials and other interlocutors. They will highlight the cooperation between the UN and the AU in seeking political solutions to the country’s conflict. They will also co-chair the first meeting of the International Support Group on the CAR aimed at encouraging the international community to re-engage in the peace process and to support the urgent humanitarian needs of millions in the country.
USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui will then travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they will jointly brief the African Union Peace and Security Council on 13 April and meet senior AU officials.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.