The UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) completed its withdrawal from Sudan on February 29 local time, said a UN spokesman, Report informs referring to Xinhua.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterates his deep appreciation to all international and national UNITAMS personnel for their dedication and service to the people of Sudan throughout the mission’s mandate, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for Guterres, in a statement.

A small team will remain in Port Sudan to oversee the mission’s liquidation process, beginning on March 1. The spokesman said the secretary-general counts on the full cooperation of the Sudanese authorities to ensure this process is completed as smoothly and swiftly as possible.

The conflict that continues to rage in Sudan is further eroding the rule of law and protection of civilians, as well as jeopardizing the entire country and region. Guterres calls on the conflict parties to lay down their weapons and commit to broad-based peace talks that lead to the resumption of a civilian-led democratic transition, said the spokesman.

“The United Nations is not leaving Sudan. It remains strongly committed to providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and supporting the Sudanese people in their aspirations for a peaceful and secure future,” he said, noting that the UN secretary-general’s personal envoy for Sudan, Ramtane Lamamra, has commenced his work in support of mediation efforts.

Continued international support in that regard is of critical importance. Guterres calls on the Sudanese authorities to continue their cooperation to deliver this much-needed support, said the spokesman.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Dec. 1, 2023, to terminate the mandate of UNITAMS at the request of the Sudanese authorities.

The relationship between UNITAMS and Sudan has been strained since the outbreak of the war between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group. The UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of UNITAMS at the time, Volker Perthes, was declared persona non grata by the Sudanese authorities in June 2023. Perthes later resigned.