July 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 June 2009
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Expected Council Action
The mandate of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) expires on 31 Julyand the Council is expected to renew. The Council will consider the two most recent Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMID (one covering April and May and one likely to be received in mid-July covering June) and will be briefed by the joint AU-UN Special Representative, Rodolphe Adada. The Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Susana Malcorra, may brief on developments regarding UNAMID’s deployment.

Also in July, the Council is likely to hold consultations on the quarterly report from the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), whose mandate expires on 30 April 2010. The UNMIS report is likely to include findings from the May needs-assessment mission in preparation for the Sudanese elections planned for 2010 Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain le Roy may brief. If additional resources are requested, a decision from the Council will be required.

The Sudan Sanctions Committee is expecting a report from its Panel of Experts and may start discussing the possibility of adding new names to its list of targets.

Key Recent Developments
In a briefing on 11 June, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes noted that the Sudanese government has allowed some new registrations for international aid organisations and wassignaling that assistance from international NGOs is both welcome and valued. But he also said that the gaps left after the March expulsions of the humanitarian organisations were particularly serious in areas such as education, reproductive health and livelihood assistance and the overall humanitarian situation will be further exacerbated by the onset of the rainy season.

Holmes highlighted ongoing concerns about the impact of the NGO ejections on the Three Protocol Areas (Abyei, Blue Nile State, and Southern Kordofan State) and eastern Sudan. He also conveyed serious concerns about the high humanitarian toll of the tribal violence in Jonglei state and the renewed presence in Sudan of the Ugandan rebel group, Lord’s Resistance Army.

Chad/Sudan relations remain tense. Recent reports suggested that Sudan was pushing the rebels back across the border. A Chadian website reported that Sudanese forces had bombed the towns ofBahai and Karyare in Chad on 30 May.

On 28 May, Sudanese army forces working with Sudanese Liberation Army forces loyal to Minni Minnawi retook the town of Kornoy, in Darfur near the Chadian border, from Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels who had taken the town in mid-May and from there attacked nearby Umm Barru, forcing some 350 civilians to seek refuge with UNAMID.

A JEM spokesperson claimed Sudan bombed wells in the area of Furawiya settlement, Darfur, on 1 June, killing two and injuring 15.

Peace negotiations in Doha between JEM and the Sudanese government appeared to show some promise in late May and in June. On 28 May, JEM agreed to release sixty Sudanese army soldiers taken as prisoners of war. On 19 June the Doha talks were suspended. On 9 June, a court in Khartoum sentenced 12 more JEM rebels to death (bringing the total sentenced to death to 103), for their role in attacks on the capital in May 2008. Prisoners remain the key point of contention for JEM. On 23 June AU/UN Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Yipènè Bassolé announced that both sides agreed to exchange prisoners in the near future, with Sudan willing to release twenty members of JEM and JEM promising to free sixty soldiers.

On 29 May, also in Doha, special envoys of the permanent members of the Security Council met with the EU envoy and Bassolé to discuss the Darfur peace process. Most of them met again, along with representatives from about thirty other countries, on 23 June in Washington at a US-organised forum focused on the north-south process.

In South Sudan, tribal violence increased significantly. In late May in Southern Kordofan, some 250 were killed. On 3 June, 14 were killed and seven wounded in the vicinity of Akobo. In the same region, on 12 June, members of the Jikany-Nuer tribe ambushed a convoy of 27 boats carrying emergency food rations for the World Food Programme to an area controlled by the Lou-Nuer tribe. Forty people were killed, including several Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers, escorting the convoy. On 15 JuneSudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) accusedthe government of distributing the weapons used in the attack. Khartoum denied the accusations on 16 June.

On 5 June, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, briefed the Council. He said he had no plans to open a new investigation in the next six months but would continue to follow new information on ongoing crimes. Subsequently,Sudanese Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, denounced the prosecutor, his report and the warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Two African nations indicated they will enforce the ICC’s arrest warrant for Bashir. In May, South Africa warned Bashir against attending President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration in Pretoria, and Botswana on 9 June announced that it would arrest Bashir should he visit.

In South Sudan, the internal political landscape has seen some recent changes. President Salva Kiir on 31 May reshuffled his cabinet amid allegations of ministerial corruption and mismanagement. He relieved ten ministers of their posts and appointed nine replacements.

On 6 June, former Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol announced the founding of a new political party to challenge the SPLM: the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement—Democratic Change (SPLM-DC). Akol accused the SPLM of mismanagement and failing the people of South Sudan while in power. The SPLM, in turn, has accused Akol of being a pawn of the North. On 8 June, SPLM leadership indicated they would take legal action against Akol’s use of the SPLM name.

Developments in the Human Rights Council
On 16 June the UN Special Rapporteur for Sudan, Sima Samar, submitted her report (covering August 2008 to May 2009) to the Human Rights Council. She cited many human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, detentions and the torture of humanitarian workers by the National Intelligence and Security Services. In light of upcoming elections, Samar also noted increasing censorship and restrictions on the media in Sudan. In South Sudan, according to Samar, grave human rights problems developed as a result of ethnic tribal clashes. Sudanese representatives urged the council to end the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.

On 18 June, the Council adopted a resolution establishing the mandate for a new Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, to replace the Special Rapporteur, whose mandate lapses at the end of June. The new expert takes over the mandate of the Special Rapporteur (as outlined in Human Rights Council resolutions 6/34, 6/35, 7/16 and 9/17). The Independent Expert is mandated to work with the AU, UNAMID and UNMIS and to report at the Council’s session in June 2010.

Key Issues
A key issue is the delays in full deployment of the authorised strength of UNAMID (69 percent of troops and 46 percent of the police have been deployed—it is hoped that by year’s end 90 percent of deployment will be achieved).

The hybrid operation is novel and has proven to be an imperfect model. However, it is likely to be renewed without significant change. Some members have been critical of it, but no major changes to the core mandate are likely to be proposed. Achieving consensus on UNAMID historically has been very difficult.

An important issue has been the difficulty of conducting peacekeeping without a peace accord and the related need for a political settlement representative of all the Darfurian population, including rebels and the civilian population, to avoid the pitfalls of the previous peace agreement.

An issue for Darfur—and for Sudan as a whole—are the growing concerns about the north-south relationship and the recent upsurge in tribal violence. Important in this context will be whether both sides accept the ruling, expected in July, of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Abyei.

The Council has an opportunity to address several pressing issues by including in the resolution some of the following options:

    • calling for credible and timely elections representative of the entire Sudanese population with particular attention paid to the displaced population of Darfur;
    • requesting regular reports on the humanitarian situation and the fulfilment of commitments made by the government in the aftermath of the humanitarian organisations’ expulsions;
    • emphasising the importance of protection of civilians in UNAMID’s mandate and the need for this to translate into robust action on the ground;
    • enhancing support for quick-impact projects in health, education and infrastructure, which would also bring local communities and the UN closer together;
    • emphasising the need for strengthened support for displaced persons who might want to return home; and
    • asking UNAMID to strengthen its cooperation with the Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts.

On sanctions, should a new list of targets be suggested with no consensus in the Committee to approve it, an unlikely option is to take the matter to the Council for a vote.

Council Dynamics
The dynamics on UNAMID are affected by history. Reaching agreement on the original mandate in 2007 was exceptionally difficult because of significant differences among permanent members. Its first renewal in 2008 was clouded by the ICC announcement on President Bashir, and AU members’ call for a Council preemptive request to the Court to suspend ICC action. (A mention of this request in the 2008 resolution prompted the US to abstain.) At present, members seem agreed about the need for UNAMID’s renewal. They are likely to focus on areas of consensus to ensure that the operation achieves full deployment and fulfils its protection mandate to the best extent possible.

The Doha meeting on Darfur in May and the Washington forum on the north-south process on 23 June, both with the participation of the P5 special envoys for Sudan, possibly signal an emerging degree of political cooperation among the permanent members and recognition of the need for sustained focus on and support to the political process. It remains to be seen whether this will translate into effective and inclusive collective action in New York.

On the possibility of additional names for targeted sanctions, members are divided. Some (such as Libya) are interested in adding rebel leaders, and others (like France) are willing to move forward only if additions would also include spoilers on the government side. Sanctions committees operate by consensus and this may mean a continuing standstill on the sanctions list issue.

The UK is the lead nation on Sudan.

Underlying Problems
Access to Darfur has been a problem for UN bodies and humanitarian organisations ever since the situation entered the international security agenda. For Darfurians, freedom of movement (and association) has been an ongoing problem as well. On the international side, in addition to the expulsions of international aid workers, the Sudan sanctions Panel of Experts faced weeks of paralysing visa denials. On the domestic side, there appears to be an increasing pattern of attempts to isolate civil society groups and individuals. A conference organised by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, scheduled for 12-16 May in Ethiopia to bring together 345 members of Darfurian civil society was cancelled after the Sudanese government refused to issue exit visas for the participants. And on 12 May, Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service stopped a workshop organised by UNAMID at the University of Zalingei in western Darfur. The workshop was focused on the role of local administration in peace, conflict resolution and reconciliation, and was properly registered with local authorities.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

Selected Presidential Statement

  • 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/2009/297 (9 June 2009) was a report on UNAMID.
  • S/2009/211 (17 April 2009) was a report on UNMIS.

Selected Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6139 (11 June 2009) was the briefing of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes to the Council
  • S/PV.6135 (5 June 2009) was the briefing of ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to the Council.
  • S/PV.6131 (28 May 2009) was the briefing on the Council Mission to Africa, 14 to 21 May 2009.
  • 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 Peace and Security Council 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.


  • A/HRC/11/L.17 (18 June 2009) was a resolution from the Human Rights Council establishing the mandate for the Independent Expert on human rights in the Sudan.
  • A/HRC/11/14 (June 2009) was the report of the Special Rapporteur for Sudan to the Human Rights Council.
  • 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 Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
  • 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.
  • A/HRC/RES/9/17 (9 October 2008) extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Sudan to June 2009.
  • A/HRC/RES/7/16 (27 March 2008) was a resolution on the situation of human rights in Sudan.
  • A/HRC/RES/6/35 (14 December 2007) established the Group of Experts on the situation of human rights in Darfur.
  • A/HRC/RES/6/34 (14 December 2007) established the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Sudan.

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 6,432)

Main troop contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia

Strength as of 23 June 2009: 13,455 military personnel (including 12,814 troops, 378 staff officers, 179 military observers and 84 liaison officers) and 2,972 police personnel (including 1,997 police advisers and 7 formed units composed of 975 personnel)

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 Jehangir Qazi (Pakistan)

UNMIS: Size, Composition and Cost

Maximum authorised strength: up to 10,000 military and 715 police personnel

Strength as of 31 May 2009: 8,722 troops, 540 observers, 184 staff officers and 629 police.

Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Cost: 1 July 2008-30 June 2009: $858.77 million

UNMIS: Duration

24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2010

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

Full forecast


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