April 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 March 2010
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Expected Council Action
In April the Council attention will be focused on Sudan and the renewal of the mandate of UNMIS. Elections are due on 11 April and a report from the Secretary-General is due. The head of UN peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy is expected to brief. (The UNMIS mandate expires on 30 April. The mandate of UNAMID expires on 31 July.)

Key Recent Developments
On 18 March, there was further progress on Darfur when the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed a Framework Agreement in Doha similar to the one signed on 23 February between Khartoum and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The agreement establishes steps towards a ceasefire between the two sides in Darfur, which could improve the security on the ground, while also allowing UNAMID to monitor those violating the ceasefire process.

On 11 March, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy briefed the Council on the preparations for the 11 April elections in Sudan and the agreement on Darfur signed by the Government of Sudan and rebel parties.

On 9 March, delegations from the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) met in Nairobi, Kenya, at a special regional summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and adopted a resolution urging the two parties to resolve the remaining disputes in the peace agreement, including finalising North-South border demarcation and creating an official referendum commission.

On 9 March, the Secretary-General sent a message to the parties during the IGAD meeting urging them to resolve key outstanding issues for the referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan and to address wealth and power-sharing. He encouraged IGAD to continue to support improved relations between the two parties.

In February, election campaigns began in Sudan, with 12 candidates running for president of the republic, two for Southern Sudan presidency and more than 4,000 for the National Assembly. On 21 February, the Presidency reached an agreement on the contested census results that provides for an additional forty seats in the National Assembly for the south, to be filled by appointment following the national election. In return, the south agreed to drop its objections to the national census results. In addition, Southern Kordofan and Abyei would be allocated four and two seats, respectively, in the new National Assembly. In February, the National Elections Commission (NEC) also released the final voter registration figures. Nationally, 79 percent of the population registered, including 72 percent in the north, 67 percent in Darfur and 111 percent in the south. (The reason for this last figure is unclear as SPLM previously complained that the southerners were undercounted during the census.) The total registration was 16,441,852 voters.

On 29 January Secretary-General reported on the AU-UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and noted that it is critical that the national elections provide an opportunity for all Darfurians, particularly internally displaced persons (IDPs), to participate fully. He also urged the Government of Sudan to address significant unresolved technical and political challenges that could compromise the electoral process in Darfur.

Access has been difficult for UNAMID. The Secretary-General’s January report on UNAMID noted the ongoing restrictions on UNAMID in particular as it conducts its patrols in the aftermath of reported fighting.

On 19 January the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) noted that better relations between the NCP and the SPLM are key to the north/south peace process and the implementation of the remaining provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), including:

  • increasing the NEC’s public information campaign to ensure that the voting public is well informed about the electoral process;
  • providing security during elections so voters have a fair opportunity to participate in the elections;
  • appointing a referendum commission and negotiating post-referendum agreements;
  • bringing all legislation in line with the values upheld by the Interim National Constitution;
  • focusing the efforts of the Government of Southern Sudan on protecting civilians and breaking the cycle of violence;
  • making progress on border demarcation between the north and south, a key concern with implications for both the elections and the referendums;
  • making a political decision on Abyei and the future governance of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile state;
  • supporting peaceful migration for people within Sudan; and
  • linking the formal disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process with effective community initiatives to reduce violence.

Following the 23 February signing of a Framework Agreement between the Sudanese government and JEM, UNAMID announced that it plans to set up mobile monitoring teams to increase its capacity to monitor the security situation and investigate reports of violence. The teams will establish liaisons with the parties to the ceasefire.

Human Rights-Related Developments

In her annual report to the Human Rights Council on 4 March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, said that she had met with representatives of Sudan throughout 2009 and had expressed deep concern over death sentences and executions imposed and carried out there. She acknowledged, however, the presidential pardon of all alleged combatants of the JEM. She noted the positive step that had been taken in February in the peace process in Sudan through the Framework Agreement between the Government of Sudan and JEM, reached with the help of Qatar and Chad. But, she added, “all parties should make the protection of civilians their utmost priority”.

Key Issues
A key issue is how the Council can play a more effective role in ensuring that the CPA is implemented. An immediate test is the outcome of the elections and whether Sudanese people have been able to freely participate and whether the results will be accepted by the population.

The UNMIS renewal in April brings to the fore several further issues:

  • monitoring the post-election situation in preparation for the referendum;
  • preparing UNMIS for managing its mandate for the protection of civilians in the south; and
  • fostering implementation of the remaining CPA provisions, including border demarcation.


Options for the Council include:

  • a simple renewal of the UNMIS mandate for another year;
  • adopting the current mandate to reflect UNMIS’s changed focus after the elections, intensifying tasks relating to the implementation of the CPA and the increase of protection of civilians activities in South Sudan; and
  • organising an informal interactive dialogue (or perhaps a series of such meetings) with key stakeholders after the elections to discuss the future issues for Sudan taking into account the results of the elections and the challenges ahead presented by the referendum.

Council Dynamics
Most Council members seem to expect that the outcome of the elections will simply reinforce the current trend towards the referendum in South Sudan, and that this means that the international community needs to plan on how to assist the parties to bring this about peacefully. Some members including Russia and China are cautious and feel that the Council should wait and see whether the parties might still reach an agreement on the way forward.

Many Council members are expecting the Secretary-General to provide more concrete information on protection of civilians in his next report. The impact of continuing violence on civilians in South Sudan is seen as a problem and it is likely that in the discussion of the renewal of the UNMIS mandate in April, some will urge that UNMIS should prioritise its protection-related activities.

On Darfur, some Council members are anxious that the coming elections will exclude many Darfurians, including IDPs. While most Council members are cautiously welcoming the recent agreements signed between the Government of Sudan and the rebels in Darfur, there is ongoing concern that insecurity continues in parts of Darfur. Some point to the lack of implementation of previous agreements.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1891 (13 October 2009) renewed the mandate of the Darfur Sanctions Panel of Experts for another year.
  • S/RES/1881 (30 July 2009) renewed UNAMID.
  • S/RES/1812 (30 April 2008) renewed UNMIS.
  • 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.

Latest Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2010/50 (29 January 2010) was on UNAMID.
  • S/2010/31 (19 January 2010) was on UNMIS.
  • S/2009/562 (27 October 2009) was a report of the Sanctions Panel of Experts.
  • S/2009/391 (28 July 2009) was on possible UN support to upcoming elections in Sudan.

Selected Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6251 (21 December 2009) was the briefing by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and AU Commission Chair Jean Ping on the recommendations of the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur.
  • S/PV.6227 (30 November 2009) was the briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet regarding the Secretary-General’s report in November on UNAMID.

Selected Letters

  • S/2010/57 (29 January 2010) was from the Secretary-General informing the Council of his intention to appoint Haile Menkerios as his Special Representative for the Sudan.
  • S/2009/639 (14 December 2009) was from the Secretary-General informing the Council of the appointment of experts to serve on the Panel of Experts.
  • S/2009/599 (17 November 2009) transmitted the report of the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur.


  • SC/9805(7 December 2009) was a Security Council press statement condemning attacks on UNAMID peacekeepers.

Other Relevant Facts

UNAMID: Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur

Ibrahim Gambari (Nigeria)

Joint AU-UN Chief Mediator

Djibril Yipènè Bassolé (Burkina Faso)

UNAMID: Force Commander

Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba (Rwanda)

UNAMID: Size, Composition and Cost

  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 19,555 military personnel and 6,432 police personnel
  • Main troop contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia
  • Military Strength as of 28 February 2010: 16,852
  • Police Strength as of 28 February 2010: 4,675
  • 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

Haile Menkerios (South Africa)

UNMIS: Force Commander

Major-General Paban Jung Thapa (Nepal)

UNMIS: Size, Composition and Cost

  • Maximum authorised strength: up to of 10,000 military personnel and 715 police personnel
  • Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • Military Strength as of 28 February 2010r: 9,390 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 28 February: 674 police personnel
  • 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

Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

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