May 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 April 2010
Download Complete Forecast: PDF
AFRICA

Sudan

Expected Council Action
In May, the Council is expecting the Secretary-General’s report on Darfur. It is likely to receive a briefing by the head of UN peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, and discuss the report in consultations.

The Council will also be following closely wider events in Sudan including the aftermath of the April elections and the issues between North and South Sudan.

The mandates of the peacekeeping operations in Sudan, UNAMID in Darfur and UNMIS in South Sudan, expire on 31 July and 30 April 2010 respectively.

Key Recent Developments
On 11-15 April, Sudanese voters voted for the first time in 24 years to elect a national president and to cast votes for a South Sudan presidency, state governors and members of national and local assemblies.However, many opposition parties withdrew from the elections prior to the ballot claiming that the processes were rigged.

On 15 April, the Secretary-General issued a statement congratulating all who participated in the elections and urging political leaders to address any concerns about the outcome of the elections peacefully in the spirit of dialogue.

According to the results released by the National Elections Commission, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir won the national presidential poll with 68 percent of the vote. In addition, Salva Kiir, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement has been confirmed to have won 93 percent of the southern vote to remain president of the semiautonomous region. A referendum is due in January 2011 on whether the south should secede from the north.

Concerns have been raised about the electoral process, in particular in Darfur, due to the continuing state of emergency, suppression of civil liberties and ongoing conflict. Only limited numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) were able to participate in the census and voter registration, with much of the population being left out of the process.

In the lead-up to the elections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) had stated that both the Government of National Unity and the Government of South Sudan were violating rights and restricting freedoms critical to a fair poll, including those related to freedom of expression, assembly and equal access to the media. HRW expressed concern that these authorities were failing to uphold standards agreed in March with the AU, based on the AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

About 750 international and 18,000 domestic observers monitored the elections including representatives of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the EU and the Carter Center. On 7 April, the EU decided to withdraw its election observers from Darfur, stating that lack of security and access impacted their ability to observe election process properly in Darfur. The EU and the Carter Center each said on 17 April that the elections were faulty, with irregularities including late arrival of election material and harassment of voters. IGAD pointed out numerous challenges but considered the elections credible.

Regarding Darfur, on 23 March, the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the League of Arab States agreed to coordinate projects intended to provide services to residents in the region with the aim of promoting peace and stability and facilitating the return of IDPs to their villages. Both parties also noted the recent two framework agreements signed between the Sudanese government and two rebel groups, which they hope would lead to stability in the region.

The security situation in some areas of Darfur remains a serious concern. The 29 January Secretary-General’s report on UNAMID noted increased intercommunal violence, resulting in civilian casualties in north and south Darfur.

On 26 April, four peacekeepers serving with UNAMID, held for more than two weeks by kidnappers, were released. The peacekeepers (all police advisors from South Africa) went missing after they departed their team site close to Nyala, south Darfur. On 27 April, the Secretary-General issued a statement thanking the Government of Sudan for securing their safe release. He also urged all parties to ensure the safety of all UN and other personnel who are on the ground to help the people of Darfur.

The Secretary-General’s 5 April report on UNMIS noted the framework agreements signed between the Government of Sudan and Justice and Equality Movement in February and March, but cautioned that the agreements did not address a ceasefire or a final agreement because of disputes about participation by other movements in the peace talks.

The Secretary-General welcomed the 15 January Accord on Normalization of Relations between Sudan and Chad. He urged the two countries to translate their efforts into increased security on the ground, particularly along the common border area.

The Secretary-General’s upcoming report on UNAMID will likely include updates on:

  • the framework agreements signed between the Government of Sudan and rebels;
  • the efforts of UNAMID in supporting a sustainable solution to the humanitarian situation in Darfur;
  • humanitarian efforts to support conditions conducive to the voluntary return of displaced persons;
  • humanitarian organisations’ access to remote rural areas; and
  • deployment and operational capabilities of UNAMID.

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council regarding Darfur is progress in achieving the benchmarks for UNAMID’s priorities, including:

  • movement towards a comprehensive political solution ensuring that Darfur is represented in the national political process;
  • a secure and stable environment throughout Darfur, in which civilians and vulnerable groups are protected and displaced populations may choose to return to their places of origin without fear of violence;
  • effective state institutions that maintain the rule of law, good governance and uphold international human rights standards;
  • humanitarian access to populations in need of assistance; and
  • helping IDPs to fully integrate into communities of their choice.

Several important issues for the Council are emerging with respect to the north-south relationship and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) following the elections. Based on the findings by a Secretariat March assessment mission, Council members are aware of some key issues for the UNMIS role in coming months, including:

  • how best to assist the parties to negotiate referendum-related issues after elections;
  • whether to increase UNMIS presence in the south in the coming months and intensify contingency planning for post-referendum arrangements;
  • how to produce effective support to the Government of South Sudan in its efforts on protection of civilians and improving the rule of law; and
  • how to develop coordination with humanitarian actors and to develop contingency planning in the event that insecurity continues in South Sudan.

Underlying Problems
Even though the political process continues in Darfur, there has not yet been real engagement of some parties in the peace process allowing sustainable peace.

The prospect of possible independence for South Sudan after the referendum is likely to intensify already complex and dangerous trends in the region.

Options

Options on Darfur include a statement:

  • noting progress with Benchmarks;
  • encouraging the AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator, Djibril Bassole, to accelorate getting all parties to fully engage in the negotiations; and
  • in light of the improved relations between Sudan and CHad, emphasising the importance of both countries using this opportunity to enhance safety and security for refugees and IDPs and create conditions for political solution of the causes of the conflict on each side of the border.

Options on wider issues in Sudan include:

  • a statement expressing appreciation to UNMIS and UNAMID for their efforts in supporting elections by providing logistical support, training and distributing registration materials in collaboration with the National Elections Commission;
  • requesting UNMIS to intensify its engagement with the parties to the CPA in the past election period to optimise conditions for peaceful referendum and post-referendum environment; and
  • urging the international and regional communities to work with the parties to CPA to help move beyond obstacles peacefully.

Council Dynamics
Council members see value in Bassolé’s efforts to bring the parties together to comprehensively engage in the peace process.

Most members are concerned that security challenges remain and that UNAMID needs to focus on the critical tasks of protecting civilians and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid. Restrictions on freedom of movement, which seriously impede the ability of UNAMID and humanitarian actors to gain access to populations affected by violence, also concern members.

Many Council members believe that it is not enough for UNAMID to simply support the peace process. There is also a need for effective state institutions maintaining rule of law, good governance and international human rights standards.

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

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/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/2010/168 (5 April 2010) was on UNMIS.
  • S/2010/50 (29 January 2010) was on UNAMID.
  • 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 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 on the Secretary-General’s report in November on UNAMID.

Selected Letters

  • S/2010/57 (29 January 2010) was a letter 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 a letter from the Secretary-General informing the Council about the appointment of the Panel of Experts.
  • S/2009/599 (17 November 2009) was the letter transmitting the report of the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur.

Other

  • 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, 3,772 police and 19 formed police units (total police 6,432)
  • Main troop contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia
  • Military Strength as of 28 February 2010: 17,125 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 28 February 2010: 4,675 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

Haile Menkerios (South Africa)

UNMIS: Force Commander

Major-General Paban Jung Thapa (Nepal)

UNMIS: Size, Composition and Cost

  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 10,000 military and 715 police personnel
  • Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • Military Strength as of 28 February: 9,867 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

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

Full forecast