November 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 2 November 2009
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AFRICA

Sudan/Darfur

Expected Council Action
In November the Council is due to discuss the Secretary-General’s report on the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). It is expected to provide an update on the political process, security and humanitarian situation in Darfur. The mandate of UNAMID expires on 31 July.

Key Recent Developments
On 24 July the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, briefed the Council on developments in Darfur. He stated that failing to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan would lead to crisis throughout the country causing further suffering for vulnerable populations. In addition, he noted that insecurity near the border with Chad is hindering the Darfur peace process. The Secretary-General’s report in October on the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) also referred to the impact of insecurity and Sudan-Chad tensions on populations on either side of the border.

On 21 October the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Susana Malcorra, visited UNAMID headquarters in El-Geneina, West Darfur. She encouraged UNAMID forces to defend the mission’s staff and civilians in Darfur according to the mission’s mandate, while recognising the changing environment and threats. The Secretary-Genera’s report in July highlighted challenges facing UNAMID in implementing its mandate. While noting the decrease in large-scale conflict, it underscored the unpredictable and continued instability.

Peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel continue to face security challenges. On 28 September, a convoy carrying UNAMID civilian and military personnel was attacked in El Geneina, West Darfur, which killed a Nigerian peacekeeper and left two others seriously injured. On 27 October ten people were killed during clashes between Zaghawa and Birgid tribes in Shangil Tobaiya in south of the North Darfur capital of El-Fasher. On 22 October, a staff member from International Committee for the Red Cross was kidnapped. On 17 September, gunmen carjacked two trucks carrying food from El Obeid to El Daein, South Darfur, for the World Food Programme. They abducted the two drivers, who were later released.

Two staff members of the international humanitarian organization GOAL, who had been abducted from their compound in Kutum, North Darfur by armed men on 3 July, were released on 18 October. Two civilian staff members working for UNAMID, taken in late August from West Darfur, remain missing.

On 19 October UNAMID reported a military build-up in North Darfur, with increased military activities by the Sudanese government and Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid Faction (SLA/AW) forces in Sortony and Kabkabiya. On 18 September, clashes between the Sudanese army and anti-government militias in Korma, North Darfur led to civilian casualties, with civilians in the area fleeing their villages.

Peace-Process
In recent months, the international community has increased efforts to reactivate the Sudan peace process. On 6 October, a meeting was held in Moscow focusing on resumption of Doha talks and implementation of the CPA. On 19 October, the US announced a revised policy framework, which simultaneously focuses on ending the conflict in Darfur and supporting implementation of the CPA.

Sudan and Chad have also initiated direct dialogue. On 10 October, a Sudanese presidential adviser met Chadian President Idriss Déby and expressed Khartoum’s willingness to improve ties with N’djamena. The Sudanese government agreed to remove Chadian rebels from the joint border, and Déby agreed to allow Sudan to verify the presence of Darfur rebels in Chad.

Discussions continue on Sudan’s 2010 elections, the 2011 referendum on independence for South Sudan and Darfur’s participation in these processes. Meanwhile, Sudan is strengthening its borders with neighbouring countries. On 20 October, the issue of the disputed border region with Egypt arose as Sudan’s electoral commission announced that the residents of the Red Sea border area of Halayeb will be allowed to register and vote during the election. Last year, Egyptian authorities blocked Sudanese census agents wanting to conduct registration in the area, and stated that it was an integral part of Egypt. While there have been no direct talks on the issue, it is likely to come up in the months ahead as elections approach.

On 8 October, the AU Panel on Darfur (AUPD) headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki submitted its report to the Chair of the AU Commission. During their mission the panel met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, senior government officials, representatives of armed movements, members of civil society, tribal leaders, internally displaced persons and leaders of neighbouring states. The Panel’s report highlighted the need to address justice and reconciliation, promoting dialogue among Darfurians, support for humanitarian assistance, reengaging political processes to solve the conflict and mobilising subregion countries to address Sudan-Chad tensions.

On 25 October, President al-Bashir formed a committee headed by Second Vice Presindent Ali Osman Taha to review the findings of the AUPD while finalising the government’s response, to be shared at the AU Peace and Security Council meeting which began on 29 October.

On 19 October the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened its confirmation hearing against Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, the first Darfur rebel suspect to appear before the ICC. He is accused of three war crimes allegedly committed against the AU peacekeeping mission in Sudan in 2007. At the confirmation hearing, the ICC Prosecutor is required to support each charge with sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the suspect committed the crime charged. If the charges are confirmed, the case will then be transferred to a Trial Chamber of the ICC.

On 13 October, the Council extended the mandate of the Darfur Sanctions Panel of Experts for another year through resolution 1891.

Human Rights-Related Developments

On 2 October, following a narrow decision at the June session, the Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed Mohamed Chande Othman as Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan. In response, Sudan said it regretted a lack of recognition in the HRC of positive developments in Sudan such as the establishment of a national committee on human rights, the carrying out of a census and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Key Issues
An ongoing issue for Council members is the difficulty faced by UNAMID as it develops a comprehensive strategy to protect civilians within its mandate in a politically changing environment marked recently by attacks against peacekeepers and aid workers.

Another key issue is the peace process, including the role of regional countries and Council members in pushing the parties to move forward and commit to the Doha peace process and addressing Sudan and Chad tensions. A related issue is the role the Council can play in accelerating these processes.
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Options
Options include:

  • going beyond a simple briefing and taking an active approach supporting UNAMID as it fully engages all stakeholders to resolve the crisis and support the peace process;
  • taking action supporting the activities of the Joint Chief Mediator in his efforts working with all parties especially on key issues related to the May 2009 Doha agreement between Chad and Sudan;
  • adopting a statement supporting a more inclusive peace process, through enhancing the role of civil society groups including women-led organisations, community groups and tribal leaders, as a way to reach the whole population in Darfur; and
  • requesting UNAMID to develop
  • benchmarks and timelines to measure progress in implementing its mandate.

 

Council Dynamics
Council members seem largely agreed on the linkage between the Darfur crisis, the Darfur peace process implementation of the CPA, and the need to resolve the conflict between Sudan and Chad. They also recognise the critical role that neighbours play in moving the various parties to the negotiation table.

However, there are differences about what to do next. While most members see that overall insecurity persists and are inclined to be more active, others believe that large-scale conflict is decreasing and that a hands off approach is preferable. Some are arguing that a balance between these viewpoints might be achieved in the Council by focusing on protection of civilians and facilitation of humanitarian assistance.

Some Council members support urging the Sudanese government to address the issue of peace and justice in a manner consistent with resolution 1593 (which in 2005 referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC). But there are also some members that stress the importance of the recommendations of the AU High-level Panel and suggest these might be a step in addressing peace and justice in Sudan while facilitating mediation efforts.

The UK is the lead country on Sudan in the Council.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1891 (13 October 2009) extended the mandate of the Darfur Sanctions Panel of Experts for another year.
  • S/RES/1881 (30 July 2009) renewed UNAMID for a further year.
  • 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 Statement

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

Selected Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2009/391 (28 July 2009) was the report on possible UN support for the upcoming elections in Sudan.
  • S/2009/357 (14 July 2009) was a report on UNMIS.
  • S/2009/352 (13 July 2009) was a report on UNAMID.
  • 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.6170 (24 July 2009) was the briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy to the Council regarding the Secretary-General’s reports in July on UNMIS and UNAMID.
  • 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/2009/369 (16 July 2009) was a letter from Sudan informing the Council of Chadian bombing incidents in Darfur.
  • 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 Bashir.
  • S/2009/100 (18 February 2009) was the Agreement of Goodwill and Confidence-Building for the Settlement of the Problem in Darfur.

Other

  • AU/Dec.245(XIII) (3 July 2009) was the decision of the AU Assembly about non-cooperation with the ICC.
  • 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

Henry Anyidoho (Ghana, Acting)

Joint AU-UN Chief Mediator

Djibril Yipènè Bassolé (Burkina Faso)

UNAMID: Force Commander

Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba (Rwanda) (as of 1 September)

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
  • Military Strength as of 31 August 2009: 14,659 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 30 June 2009: 3,941 police personnel
  • Cost: 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2010: $1,598.94 million

UNAMID: Duration

31 July 2007 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2010

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 August 2009: 9,723 troops, 485 observers; and as of 28 June 2009: 192 staff officers and 693 police advisers (as of 31 August)
  • Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • Cost: 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2010: $958.35 million

UNMIS: Duration

24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2010

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

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