July 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 July 2010
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AFRICA

Sudan

Expected Council Action
In July the Council is expected to renew the mandate of UNAMID which expires on 31 July. Prior to that, the Council expects to receive a report from the Secretary-General. Consultations on UNMIS are also likely.

Key Recent Developments
Clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) continue, and the security situation in Darfur remains tense and volatile. According to the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), May had the highest monthly overall death toll since peacekeepers were deployed in 2008. UNAMID reported that in May, 440 people were killed in fighting between rebels and government forces, 126 in intertribal violence and another 31 in other violence.

On 3 May JEM suspended its participation in the Doha peace talks. (Talks were earlier suspended in April due to the election. In the week of 14 June direct talks on wealth sharing resumed between the government and the rebel Liberation and Justice Movement or LJM.)

On 21 June three Rwandan UNAMID personnel were killed in West Darfur. These fatalities followed a 7 May deadly attack on two Egyptian peacekeepers in South Darfur. Since UNAMID’s establishment in 2008, 27 peacekeepers have been killed in hostile actions in Darfur. In a 22 June statement to the press the Council encouraged the Sudanese government to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, stressing that there must be an end to impunity for those who attack peacekeepers.

On 29 June Sudan announced that it is closing its border with Libya due to Darfur rebels operating there.

In June, intertribal violence outside of Zalingei, West Darfur, reportedly led to the deaths of more than 100 people. UNAMID has been unable to reach and investigate the clash sites.

Humanitarian access in Darfur continues to be restricted. Large areas of eastern Jebel Marra, in West Darfur, which is experiencing ongoing fighting between government forces and JEM, have been inaccessible to humanitarian workers since February.

On 13 June the Sudanese government lifted a ban on UNAMID helicopters that it had imposed in May. The ban seriously affected UNAMID’s ability to carry out medical and evacuation operations.

On 17 June, two suspects from the Darfur opposition movement charged with alleged war crimes appeared voluntarily before the pre-trial judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Former Chief of Staff of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA-Unity) Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus and Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain, described as the commander-in-chief of JEM, are accused of a September 2007 attack in Haskanita in South Darfur in which 12 AU peacekeepers were killed and eight severely wounded. Their hearing is scheduled to begin in November 2010.

The post-election period in Sudan has seen a crackdown on civil society. On 15 June Albaquir Al-Afif Mukhtar, the director of the Alkhatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development and the Tamam network, a coalition of over 120 civil society groups who monitored the elections, was detained. Several other incidents including the arbitrary arrests and intimidation of activists and journalists have been reported.

On 14 June UN and AU officials briefed the Council on an integrated approach to Sudan that aims to enhance cooperation and coordination between UNAMID, the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), the work of Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé and the AU High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan. In his briefing to the Council, Thabo Mbeki, Chairperson of the AU Panel, underlined the importance of meetings convened on 7 and 8 May in Addis Ababa by the AU and UN with governments and intergovernmental organisations involved in helping resolve the challenges in Sudan. Participants of the Addis Ababa meeting agreed that a final, inclusive and comprehensive agreement on Darfur should be concluded this year, ahead of the referenda planned for January 2011. The Sudanese government supported this proposal.

Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur Ibrahim Gambari also briefed the Council. Gambari reported that UNAMID has intensified its military and police patrols, strengthened joint patrolling at selected internally displaced persons camps and continued to provide logistical support to the humanitarian community to expand access. UNAMID continues to negotiate with government authorities and armed movements to ensure wider access. During an earlier briefing to the Council on UNAMID on 20 May, Gambari listed UNAMID’s four priorities as enhancing security for the mission, humanitarian personnel and civilians; providing more proactive support for the peace process; facilitating the ongoing normalisation of Chad-Sudan relations; and enhancing support to reconstruction and development efforts.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMIS Haile Menkerios also addressed the Council on 14 June. He highlighted the tight time frame for the preparation and conduct of the referenda in southern Sudan and Abyei and outlined the tasks critical to the proper and timely implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Menkerios said both the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement had indicated they desired enhanced engagement by UNMIS for the referenda which would likely exceed UNMIS’s current mandate. UNMIS was awaiting a formal joint request for support. He also said the government of southern Sudan, with the assistance of the UN country team and partners, was working on a capacity building strategy addressing security sector reform, institutional capacity building and development.

In remarks to the press following the meeting, Council President Claude Heller of Mexico underlined the importance of timely preparations for and holding of the referendum; completion of outstanding CPA tasks; and progress in negotiations on post-referendum issues. He noted the need for the UN to plan its presence in Sudan post-CPA. On Darfur, he said the Council called on all parties to respect the ceasefire. It also called for full access for UNAMID and humanitarian organisations. It urged all rebel groups to join the peace process and all parties to engage constructively in negotiations in Doha.

On 11 June the Council received its biannual briefing by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, which was followed by closed consultations. On 25 May the Court’s pre-trial chamber referred to the Council Sudan’s failure to comply with its obligations to enforce the arrest warrants for Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, in accordance with Council resolution 1593 (2005).

On 10 June the Chairman of the 1591 Committee presented his ninety-day report to the Council on the work of the Sudan Sanctions Committee in closed consultations. The Council was reportedly told the Panel of Experts had concluded in their interim report that violations of the ban on offensive military overflights, of the arms embargo and of international humanitarian and human rights law continued to be committed by various actors in Darfur. The Council was also reportedly informed that UNAMID would soon be in a better position to monitor the arms embargo given that it was almost fully deployed.

On 3 June Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes briefed Council members in closed consultations on his 22-30 May visit to Chad and Sudan. Holmes reported that fighting between government forces and JEM in South Darfur was constraining humanitarian access. Holmes said criminal attacks and intimidation of humanitarian personnel continued, as did impunity for those responsible. On southern Sudan he reported a steady increase in intertribal violence, partly caused by increased competition over natural resources and political uncertainties. He reported that raids by the Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army had also recently resumed in Western Equatoria.

Human Rights-Related Developments

The Human Rights Council (HRC) held an interactive debate on 7 June with the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan. Mohammed Chande Othman. Othman’s report for the period from June 2009 to April 2010 were the focus of the debate. These include his assessment of the government’s implementation of recommendations of the HRC’s Group of Experts on Sudan. He acknowledged steps towards the implementation of some recommendations, including the passage of statutes on the child and the media, as well as programmes to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate former child combatants. Nevertheless, the independent expert noted that a significant number of the recommendations had not been implemented. He emphasised that the ultimate measure of the government’s implementation of the experts’ recommendations would be concrete improvement in the human rights situation in Darfur.

Key Issues
On Darfur, the key issue is the renewed volatility in the security situation, the enforced need for protection of civilians and the need for a stable ceasefire, as well as the safety of UN and humanitarian personnel.

A related issue is the restriction on UNAMID and humanitarian agencies’ movements. The government’s interference in UNAMID’s use of its air assets is a serious infringement of its agreement with the UN and is a major impediment to UNAMID carrying out its mandate. It also raises serious concerns about UNAMID’s ability to transport personnel in medical emergencies.

Another issue is proactively supporting the ongoing peace process in Darfur in order to find a political resolution to the conflict before the January 2011 referenda. A key question for the Council is what role should UNAMID be playing in the Darfur peace process and whether Gambari’s vision of injecting UNAMID further into the peace process should be highlighted in its upcoming mandate renewal.

On North/South issues, the key issue is to help create the conditions conducive to the holding of the referenda in southern Sudan and Abyei on time, peacefully and in a credible manner. A second issue is enhanced UNMIS support for the referenda and what changes to UNMIS’s mandate may need to be considered. A related issue is the need to consider the UN’s role in Sudan come the end of interim period of the CPA in July 2011.

Underlying Problems
Core issues to the conflict in Darfur such as power and wealth sharing and national reconciliation require a comprehensive approach in the context of a democratic transformation of the whole of Sudan.

The lack of cohesion among armed movements, the refusal of Abdul Wahid (Sudan Liberation Army) to participate in the peace talks, and the limited progress made toward the establishment of durable ceasefire arrangements and a comprehensive agreement which is inclusive and which addresses the issues of peace and security, land issues, social and economic issues, justice and reconciliation continue to impede a political settlement to the Darfur conflict.

The issue of slow implementation of the remaining CPA provisions remains serious. Instability in southern Sudan as a result of ongoing communal conflicts and weak security institutions continues to be a major problem.

Options
Options for the Council with regards to UNAMID include:

  • renewing its mandate for a further 12 months without significantly changing the mandate’s substance;
  • emphasising a role for UNAMID in assisting the political process and engaging more proactively with all parties in Darfur to reach a comprehensive peace agreement;
  • requesting an urgent assessment on the impact of the restrictions placed on UNAMID’s movement, particularly the government’s interference with UNAMID’s air mobility;
  • addressing the need for enforced cooperation between UNAMID and the UN Country Team (UNCT), and encouraging the UNCT, along with international partners, to support the efforts of the Sudanese government on peace consolidation and development activities in Darfur; and
  • taking up the ICC request to the Council about Sudan’s lack of cooperation.  

Council Dynamics
Council members view Sudan as one of the most important issues facing the Security Council over the coming 12 months.

Negotiations on the UNAMID mandate renewal are unlikely to be as difficult as in 2009, which were conducted in the aftermath of the March 2009 ICC indictment of al-Bashir and the expulsion of 13 humanitarian organisations.

It seems unlikely that many Council members will want significant changes to the substance of UNAMID’s mandate. However, most members do want UNAMID to fully implement its current mandate and for UNAMID not to be impeded in its activities.

There is consensus UNAMID’s core mandate should remain protecting civilians and facilitating humanitarian assistance. It is possible some members of the Council, such as the Council’s African members and Russia, China, Brazil and Austria would support a greater role for UNAMID in early recovery activities. However, the general reluctance of some other Council members to discuss anything that might be seen as peacebuilding tasks makes it unlikely that such a role will be included in this mandate renewal.

Council members on the whole seem more open to UNAMID playing a greater role in facilitating the peace dialogue in Darfur.

Possible areas of contention in the UNAMID resolution may be how to reflect the increase in violence in Darfur and the restrictions of access on UNAMID and humanitarian organisations and whether to use the resolution to pressure those outside the peace process to join. Balancing language on the responsibilities of the government and rebels has historically produced divisions in the Council.

The Council was unable to reach consensus on remarks to the press following the 3 June Holmes briefing and the 11 June Moreno-Ocampo briefing (but was able to following the 14 June briefing).

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1919 (29 April 2010) renewed UNMIS.
  • S/RES/1891 (13 October 2009) renewed the mandate of the Darfur Sanctions Panel of Experts for another year.
  • S/RES/1881 (6 August 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

Selected Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6338 (14 June 2010) was the briefing by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Haile Menkerios, Ibrahim Gambari and Djibril Bassolé.
  • S/PV.6336 (11 June 2010) was the briefing by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
  • S/PV.6318 (20 May 2010) was the briefing by Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur Ibrahim Gambari.

Other

  • SC/9958 (22 June 2010) was a Security Council press statement condemning recent 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 30 April 2010: 16,883 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 30 April 2010: 4,797 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 Moses Bisong Obi (Nigeria)

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 30 April: 9,428 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 30 April: 668 police personnel
  • Cost: 1 July 2009 – 30 June 2010: $958.35 million

UNMIS: Duration

24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2011

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

Full forecast

 

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