October 2007 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 September 2007
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Sudan: North-South

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), which expires on 31 October. It is unclear whether members will want to use this opportunity to convey key messages regarding challenges surrounding the north-south Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Key Recent Developments
On 7 September, members held consultations on CPA implementation and the north-south situation. At the meeting, most members seemed to prefer keeping an open mind about the outlook, although most were mindful of the challenging picture from the latest report of the Secretary-General. They decided not to take any action in the hope that the situation would improve.

On 12 September, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Council on his trip to the region. On the CPA, Ban noted that, “unless this milestone achievement [is] implemented, hopes for sustained peace in Sudan would suffer a serious blow.” (For background details, please see our 5 September Update Report.)

September has been tense in relations between north and south. Early in the month, about sixty troops associated with southern forces were encircled by the northern army while crossing the contested area of Southern Kordofan. The situation was apparently resolved with agreement on UNIMIS monitoring withdrawal of the troops. Tensions deepened after Khartoum police reportedly raided three offices maintained by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

On 10 September the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, painted an alarming picture of the relations between north and south and the CPA’s status. Kiir reportedly said that when the CPA was signed, “our feeling was that Sudan had entered into a new dawn of peace and hope for our people. Today [the] feeling is not the same. I am alarmed, worried and deeply concerned about the status of CPA implementation… I am worried [that] it is likely that Sudan will reverse again to war if we do not act now with our partner [Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party].”

Kiir also apparently criticised Khartoum for back-pedalling on key CPA commitments, including:

  • the status of Abyei, a deeply contested and oil rich area between north and south;border demarcation (and its impact on “oil-revenue allocations, redeployment of forces, population census, and demarcation of geographical consistencies, general elections and referendum in 2011”);
  • northern troop redeployment; and
  • the national census.

Options available to the Council include:

  • maintaining the current “optimistic” approach and keeping southern Sudan issues carefully separated from Darfur issues;
  • moving towards some expression of concern about delays in CPA implementation and calling on parties to abide scrupulously by their commitments on Abyei’s status, border demarcation, the national census and preparations for the elections;
  • reviewing the Council’s overall approach, including a wider, forward-looking strategy integrating the Council’s involvement in south Sudan and Darfur;
  • requesting a Secretariat briefing in a month’s time; and
  • encouraging the Secretariat to be alert to potential risk scenarios, especially regarding the outcome of the Darfur peace talks (currently scheduled for 27 October in Tripoli) bearing in mind their possible linkage with issues affecting the south’s stability, including the CPA’s provisions on power and wealth-sharing.

Key Issues
The Council has so far managed its involvement in Darfur and southern Sudan separately. Members are aware of the key issues surrounding the CPA, but the immediate issues for the Council have largely been centred on Darfur.

An emerging issue arises from the fact that mounting problems with CPA implementation are increasingly raising questions about whether the Council should devote more attention to the north-south situation and how best to ensure that the agreement is implemented. The issue is not so much that deployment of two separate UN peacekeeping operations in the same country, with distinct chains of command and civilian leadership, will pose major challenges and may require a cohesive approach. Rather, at the political level, the issue is how best to:

  • structure commitments under a new Darfur peace agreement in light of experience with the same implementation issues in the CPA; and
  • manage the potential linkages between the CPA and a new Darfur agreement, in particular new power-sharing structures. (The CPA provides for a power-sharing structure with representation for the south and the north in fixed proportions at almost all levels of government.)

Council Dynamics
Council members are aware of the dangers surrounding the CPA’s implementation and the linkages with the peace talks in Darfur. Members have nonetheless preferred a low-key approach, in part given the Council’s focus on Darfur, especially by those members most keen on greater UN involvement in the situations in Sudan.

It is unclear whether members will want to revisit this strategy. Major changes in the Council’s approach and a broader involvement in southern issues seem unlikely at this stage.
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Status of CPA Implementation
There are significant delays in setting up various commissions and developing legislation, especially regarding elections, land, national security, armed forces and human rights.

On power-sharing, there is particular concern with delays and major controversies.

  • The north-south border has not been demarcated. This may not start until next year.
  • The national census has been postponed and is now scheduled for 2-16 February 2008 (Khartoum has failed to channel mandated funding).
  • The draft electoral bill may be submitted to the national assembly in October. Delays in adoption may lead to postponement of the CPA-mandated elections in 2009.
  • Despite a final and binding ruling by the Abyei Boundaries Commission in July 2005, the National Congress Party has refused to demarcate the border. UNMIS has faced continuing restrictions of movement.

On wealth-sharing, there is continuing disagreement between the south and Khartoum over:

  • oil revenues, the boundaries of oil producing areas, and oil contracts; and
  • how best to establish mechanisms to begin sharing non-oil revenues.

The south Sudan government seems to be facing a looming fiscal crisis. Reconstruction has been slow given decreasing oil revenue transfers from Khartoum and reported slowness of disbursements by international donors, including through the CPA-mandated multi-donor trust funds. Other factors have been: increases in military spending due to the incorporation into the southern army of 31,000 troops associated with other armed groups and problems with corruption and lack of capacity.

On security arrangements, implementation is behind schedule, and has been marked by considerable tensions:

  • the deadline for northern troop redeployment from the south has been missed;
  • little progress has been made with practical integration in the joint units comprising northern and southern troops mandated by the CPA for contested areas (this has delayed troop redeployment away from contested areas such as the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states); and
  • disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes have not yet commenced.

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/1590 (24 March 2005) established UNMIS.
  • S/RES/1574 (19 November 2004) was adopted in Nairobi and expressed support for the Sudanese peace processes.
Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2007/500 (20 August 2007) was the latest quarterly report on Sudan.
  • S/2005/78 (8 February 2005) contained the CPA.

Other Relevant Facts

UNMIS: Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Ashraf Qazi (Pakistan)
UNMIS: Size, Composition and Cost
  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 10,000 military and 715 police
  • Strength as of 31 August 2007: 8,809 troops, 607 observers and 660 police
  • Key troop contributors: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Egypt and China
  • Civilian staff as of 30 August 2007: 904 international civilians; 2,523 local civilians; 248 UN volunteers
  • Cost: Approved budget July 2007-June 2008: $887,332,000
UNMIS: Duration
24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 31 October 2007

Useful Additional Sources

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