June 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 May 2009
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Several Council meetings on Sudan are likely in June, although no formal Council action is expected.

The Council will receive its regular briefing by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first since the March indictment of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

A briefing by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and consultations are expected on the Secretary-General’s sixty-day report on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). John Holmes, the Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, may also brief the Council on his recent trip to Sudan.

A briefing of the Sudan Sanctions Committee (previously expected in March but delayed by visa refusals) by the sanctions Panel of Experts is possible.

Finally, the Secretary-General may convey results of the recent needs-assessment mission for Sudan’s 2010 elections. The Council would need to meet to consider endorsing such a request.

The mandates of the UN/AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) expire on 31 July 2009 and 30 April 2010 respectively.

Key Recent Developments
Holmes visited Sudan from 6 to 10 May to assess the impact of the expulsion of NGOs on the humanitarian situation. He also visited Malakal in southern Sudan to meet individuals displaced by intertribal clashes in the region.

In the two months since NGOs were expelled, the UN and the Sudanese government have worked to fill the gaps in services. Nonetheless, with the rainy season fast approaching, it is feared that the humanitarian crisis will continue to worsen.

Banditry and clashes continued in Darfur. A UN peacekeeper was killed on 7 May by attackers attempting to steal his car. On 9 May, members of the Justice and Equality Movement claimed to have repulsed an ambush set by Sudanese armed forces and the forces of Minni Minnawi, near Umm Baru. Heavy fighting in that area continued in late May with UNAMID and the Secretary-General issuing statements condemning the violence on 25 May.

Tribal clashes continued in southern Sudan. Thousands of civilians reportedly fled interethnic fighting between Lou-Nuer and Jikany-Nuer tribes, in Upper Nile State. In response, UNMIS announced on 13 May that it would deploy 120 peacekeepers to assist local communities in restoring dialogue and provide security for aid delivery.

The Chad/Sudan border situation deteriorated significantly. At talks in Doha from 29 April to 4 May, both countries agreed to renew diplomatic ties and cease cross-border attacks. On 5 May, however, Chad accused Sudan of sending armed forces and Chadian rebels into its territory. Hostilities followed. On 20 May reports indicated that Chad’s armed forces were preparing to enter Sudan to attack Chadian opposition fighters. On 8 May the Council issued a presidential statement calling on the parties to respect and implement their mutual commitments.

At the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, oral pleadings on Abyei concluded on 23 April. (Abyei is a long-contested zone between north and south Sudan.) On 7 May, the Secretary-General welcomed the progress and encouraged the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to reach a peaceful settlement in the matter.

On 18 May, rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda became the first Sudanese indictee to voluntarily appear before the ICC. He is accused of war crimes involving an attack on AU peacekeepers in 2007 in which 12 died.

On 8 May a Sudanese official indicted by the ICC, Ahmed Haroun, was appointed as governor of Sudan’s oil rich South Kordofan province. Haroun is a former minister of state indicted by the ICC for recruiting Janjaweed militias who committed atrocities in Darfur between 2003 and 2004.

Sudan was one of the key issues discussed in Addis Ababa during the Council’s mission to Africa when it held an informal meeting with the AU Peace and Security Council on 16 May.

The heads of the AU, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) visited Sudan on 17-18 May, with a field trip to Darfur, and met the Sudanese government in Khartoum. In the subsequent press communiqué, leaders expressed their confidence in the “ability and integrity of the Sudanese judiciary to realize accountability and address impunity.” They called on the Council to heed previous requests made by the three organsations, regarding the ICC indictment of Al-Bashir.

Data from the 2008 population census, crucial for preparations for elections in February 2010, were released on 21 May. Of Sudan’s total population of 39.15 million, Darfur accounts for nearly 22 percent (or 8.5 million) while 21 percent live in the south. This was disputed by the southern-based SPLM, which claims that at least 30 percent resides in the south. The SPLM threatens to boycott the elections over the census issue.

A mission to assess Sudan’s needs for the 2010 elections took place in May with representatives from the Departments of Political Affairs and Field Support, and the DPKO.

Key Issues
Fragile political relations between Chad and Sudan, which collapsed into violence only two days after the two countries signed the Doha agreement to end cross-border violence and renew diplomatic links, is an important matter at the heart of the Darfur issues.

Preparation for the 2010 elections in light of the recent census is an important emerging issue relevant to both the Darfur situation and the Sudan north/south situation. Producing a credible plan for elections in Darfur and responding to a threatened SPLM boycott will be important challenges.

The issue of the ICC warrant against Al-Bashir remains in the background.

On the ICC indictment of Al-Bashir, the Council remains divided. A public or open debate on the occasion of the prosecutor’s briefing is therefore unlikely.

An option for the Council on Darfur is to begin early discussions on the UNAMID July mandate renewal.

Finally, with regard to the 2010 elections, an option for the Council will be to begin discussion of resources and strategy.

Council Dynamics

There are no major divisions within the Council on the overall support for the north/south peace process and keeping the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord on track, and concern about the humanitarian situation in both Darfur and South Sudan.

The Council remains deeply divided on deferral of the ICC warrant under article 16 of the Rome Statute, which allows the Council to defer an ICC investigation or prosecution for 12 months. African members and some others favour this approach, but European and Latin American members are firmly opposed. The US has in the past indicated that it would veto any such measure and its position remains unchanged in this respect.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1870 (30 April 2009) renewed UNMIS.
  • S/RES/1828 (31 July 2008) renewed UNAMID.
  • S/RES/1593 (31 March 2005) referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC.
  • S/RES/1591 (29 March 2005) and S/RES/1556 (30 July 2004) imposed sanctions.

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2009/13 (8 May 2009) called on Chad and Sudan to respect and fully implement their mutual commitments.

Latest Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2009/211 (17 April 2009) was the UNMIS report.
  • S/2009/201 (14 April 2009) was the UNAMID report.

Selected Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6112 (27 April 2009) was the latest open UNAMID briefing.
  • S/PV.6079 (5 February 2009) was the latest UNMIS open briefing.

Selected Letters

  • S/2009/255 (16 May 2009) was a letter from Sudan detailing complaints against Chad.
  • S/2009/249 (15 May 2009) was the letter containing the 3 May 2009 Doha agreement between Chad and Sudan.
  • S/2009/144 (6 March 2009) was the AU PSC communiqué on the ICC arrest warrant for President Al-Bashir.
  • S/2009/100 (18 February 2009) was the Agreement of Goodwill and Confidence-Building for the Settlement of the Problem in Darfur.


  • S/2009/259 (20 May 2009) contained the press statement from the 17-18 May consultative meeting between the Sudanese government and a delegation from the AU, the Arab League and the OIC.
  • S/2008/743 (26 November 2008) listed the names of the five members of the Sudan sanctions Panel of Experts with a mandate to serve until 15 October 2009.

Other Relevant Facts

UNAMID: Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur

Rodolphe Adada (Republic of Congo)

Joint AU-UN Chief Mediator

Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé (Burkina Faso)

UNAMID: Size, Composition and Cost

  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 19,555 military personnel, 3,772 police and 19 formed police units (total police 6432)
  • Strength as of 23 May 2009: 13,454 military troops, 1,855 police advisers and 978 formed police unit members.
  • Main troop contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia
  • Cost: 1 July 2008-30 June 2009: $1.6 billion

UNAMID: Duration

31 July 2007 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2009

UNMIS: Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission

Ashraf Qazi (Pakistan)

UNMIS: Size, Composition and Cost

  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 10,000 military and 715 police personnel
  • Strength as of 6 April 2009: 8,537 troops, 560 observers, 184 staff officers and 685 police
  • Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • Cost: 1 July 2008-30 June 2009: $876.9 million

UNMIS: Duration

24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2010

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

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