June 2007 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 May 2007
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AFRICA

Sudan/Darfur

Expected Council Action
Darfur is likely to keep the Council extremely busy in June with:

  • discussions on AU-UN proposals for a hybrid operation and Sudan’s position;
  • a Council mission to Africa, including Addis Ababa and Accra (Sudan has invited the mission to visit Khartoum);
  • an interim report by the sanctions Panel of Experts; and
  • a briefing by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

It is unclear how discussions will progress on the hybrid operation proposal. A new Council resolution seems likely.  Tolerance for further delays or obstruction from Sudan seems to be diminishing.  In particular, the US on 29 May tightened domestic financial measures against Sudan and will want to sponsor wider measures in the Council if there is not rapid progress. 

The mandate of the AU Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) is likely to be renewed by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) by 1 July.

Key Recent Developments
Limited humanitarian access and attacks against civilians and humanitarian workers have continued unabated in Darfur. Reports suggest that Sudan carried out aerial bombardments, which the government denies. The High Commissioner for Human Rights also reported that Sudanese forces had indiscriminately attacked villages. The situation is compounded by tribal and rebel in-fighting and critical shortages of AMIS funding leading to troubling salary arrears. 

The Council received the AU-UN report on the hybrid operation on 23 May. This was the culmination of months of difficult AU-UN negotiations on the mandate and structure of the proposed operation. It is envisaged that both the Security Council and the AU PSC establish the hybrid operation, with a mandate to:

  • contribute to security for humanitarian assistance;
  • contribute to protection of civilians under imminent threat and prevention of attacks against civilians;
  • monitor and verify the implementation of existing and future agreements;
  • assist the political process to ensure that it is inclusive;
  • contribute to the promotion of human rights and the rule of law; and
  • monitor and report on the situation along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).

To implement the mandate, its tasks would include:

  • actively providing security and robust patrolling;
  • monitoring violations of agreements and Janjaweed disarmament;
  • ensuring the complementary implementation of all peace agreements in Sudan;
  • capacity-building, monitoring and supporting law enforcement; and
  • assisting all stakeholders, especially in efforts to transfer federal resources to the Darfur states, and implement reconstruction plans and agreements on land use and compensation issues.

The report said clarity is needed on command and control by troop and police contributors as well as UN financial bodies and that unity “of UN command and control…would be required given the Security Council’s primary responsibility for authorising, and the UN’s direct responsibility for implementing the mandate.”

The military component, focusing on protection, liaison, monitoring and verification, would need to be sufficiently robust to deter violence, pre-emptively with sufficient capabilities to deal with significant logistical challenges.

While a military concept of operations is still being finalised, two options were presented in addition to the units deployed under the heavy support package:

  • the first calls for 19,055 troops, 120 liaison officers, 240 observers and significant air assets; and
  • the second, more dependent on the availability of rapid reaction capabilities and more air assets, calls for 17,065 troops. The report notes that this option would have less capacity to provide security and would be more vulnerable to weather conditions.

Police would focus on training, capacity-building and law enforcement reform, protection and monitoring in camps, requiring 3,772 officers and 19 formed police units (about 2,375 police).

Priority would be given to African personnel in force and police generation. The final list of contributors would be agreed by the UN and the AU in consultation with Sudan. Financial management and oversight mechanisms consistent with UN regulations would be put in place, and a Secretary-General’s recommendation on costs to the General Assembly would follow the Security Council’s establishment of the operation.

On 25 May, the Council adopted a statement welcoming the AU-UN report and calling for it to be considered and taken forward immediately.

Force-generation consultations are underway for the heavy support package with significant challenges, including the need for Sudanese agreement on land and water-drilling in Darfur, reconfiguring and strengthening AMIS, and funds for new AMIS facilities and camps. Full deployment may take up to six months.

Libya hosted a conference in late April with Sudan, AU and UN envoys Salim A. Salim and Jan Eliasson, and representatives from the UN, the AU, permanent Council members, the Arab League, Chad, Eritrea, Egypt, the EU,  Canada, the Netherlands and Norway. The conference reached an important consensus including the need for convergence of all peace initiatives under the AU-UN lead.

Eliasson and Salim are preparing a detailed political process roadmap. This would require an end to violence, a strengthened ceasefire supported by effective peacekeeping, and improvements in the humanitarian situation. It would comprise three phases.

  • Phase 1 (ongoing): convergence of various peace initiatives, strengthening of the mediation team and consultations. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement is currently facilitating a common rebel negotiating position, but efforts have reportedly been hampered by government aerial bombardments.
  • Phase 2: preparations for negotiations, including a mediation strategy, including format, participation, and venue as well as upholding the ceasefire.
  • Phase 3: negotiations.

On 27 April, the ICC issued arrest warrants in connection with the case against former Sudanese interior minister Ahmed Haroun and Janjaweed commander Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman. ICC Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo also signalled a second wave of investigations on the border with Chad and the CAR.

Related Developments in the Human Rights Council
The human rights expert group on Darfur met with Sudanese government officials on 24 May to discuss practical ways to improve the human rights situation in Darfur. There seems to have been only limited agreement on future steps. The group is expected to present its report during the June session of the Human Rights Council.


Options

On the peace process, an option is for the Council to intensify its support for the efforts of Salim and Eliasson.

Should progress prove elusive, another option is threatening targeted sanctions against all those who “impede the peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law or other atrocities, violate the [arms embargo], or are responsible for offensive military overflights” pursuant to resolution 1591.

Available peacekeeping options include:

  • authorising the hybrid operation as recommended in the AU-UN report. (given the need for funding commitment from the Fifth Committee, and the need for Chapter VII for the proposed mission’s protection mandate, a new resolution seems necessary);
  • delaying a decision until firm agreement from Sudan is obtained;
  • actively engaging Sudan to consent to the operation; and
  • encouraging regional players to support the hybrid operation.

The sanctions option is also likely to loom in the background as the heavy support package is implemented and discussions on the AU-UN proposals develop.

Key Issues
The key issues are ensuring that:

  • a peace process in Darfur is re-established;
  • the phased approach already agreed by all parties is implemented and  Sudan honours its commitments;
  • humanitarian access improves, and violence and attacks against civilians cease;
  • the regional dimension does not present problems; and
  • AMIS has sufficient resources until the hybrid operation is deployed.

Related issues are:

  • political process: supporting the efforts of Salim and Eliasson, including securing a comprehensive ceasefire. There are several major questions, including rebel unity, negotiation modalities (how much the failed Darfur Peace Agreement should be reopened, participation, and resources for mediation), and the relationship with the north-south Comprehensive Peace Agreement;
  • hybrid operation: how best to address AU-UN recommendations and ensure compliance by Sudan. Time is critical. Negotiations are likely to be difficult, especially on command and control, size, robustness, protection of civilians and involvement in key issues such as law enforcement and governance. Other key aspects are full implementation of the support packages ahead of the operation; and funding commitment by the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee.

Generating a substantial number of troops and police will be a significant issue. Costs are likely to be huge. The heavy support package requires 2,250 troops and 675 police, while the hybrid operation involves at least 17,065 troops and 6,147 police, particularly if current AMIS troops are not re-hatted. AMIS involves two battalions (1,600 troops).

All combined, the hybrid operation would be the largest UN operation after UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia and UNOSOM II in Somalia in the 1990s and possibly the most expensive operation ever authorised. This is compounded by the substantial practical challenges in implementing an unprecedented hybrid peacekeeping concept.

Council and Wider Dynamics
Prior to the release of the report, however, permanent members appear increasingly unified. There was agreement on the text of a demarche to Sudan on the need to uphold commitments to the phased approach as agreed in November 2006. China recently appointed a special envoy responsible for Darfur.

At press time, divisions remained on how to respond to Khartoum’s invitation to the Council mission. Some prefer a more cautious approach, with acceptance dependent on whether Sudan shows unequivocal signs of cooperation on the heavy support package and the hybrid operation.

There is also greater willingness to focus on the political process, particularly with increased prospects of a formal contact group using the format of the Tripoli conference.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1755 (30 April 2007) extended UNMIS until 31 October 2007.
  • S/RES/1706 (31 August 2006) set a mandate for UNMIS in Darfur.
  • S/RES/1591 (29 March 2005) and 1556 (30 July 2004) imposed sanctions in Darfur.
  • S/RES/1590 (24 March 2005) established UNMIS.
Selected Presidential Statement
  • S/PRST/2007/15 (25 May 2007) welcomed the AU-UN report and called for it to be considered and taken forward immediately.
  • S/PRST/2006/55 (19 December 2006) endorsed the phased approach.
Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2007/213 (17 April 2007) was the latest quarterly report on Sudan.
  • S/2007/104 (23 February 2007) was the latest monthly report on Darfur at press time.
Other
  • S/2007/284 (15 May 2007) was a Sudanese letter following up on existing commitments to increase humanitarian access.
  • S/2007/251 (1 May 2007) was a Libyan letter with the Tripoli consensus.
  • S/2007/212 (17 April 2007) was a Council letter in response to Sudan’s agreement to the heavy support package.
  • A/HRC/4/L.7/Rev.2 (30 March 2007) was the recent Human Rights Council resolution on Darfur.
  • A/HRC/4/80 (9 March 2007) was the report of the Human Rights Council’s high-level mission to Darfur.

 

Other Relevant Facts

Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur
Rodolphe Adada (Congo)
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General
Jan Eliasson (Sweden)
UNMIS: Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Vacant
UNMIS: Size, Composition and Cost
  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 27,300 military and 6,015 police
  • Strength as of 30 April 2007: 9,398 military and 613 police
  • Key troop contributors: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Kenya and Pakistan
  • Cost: 1 July 2006-30 June 2007 $1,126.30 million (excludes Darfur)
UNMIS: Duration
24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 31 October 2007
AU Special Envoy
Salim A. Salim
AMIS: Size and Composition
  • Total authorised strength: about 10,000 military and 1,500 police 
  • Strength as of 23 May 2007: 6,143 military and 1,360 police
  • Key troop contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal
AMIS: Duration
25 May 2004 to present; mandate expires 1 July 2007


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