September 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 25 August 2010
Download Complete Forecast: PDF


Expected Council Action
In September, the Sudan Sanctions Committee’s group of experts is likely to submit its report in advance of the 15 October 2010 expiration of their mandate. The periodic report of the Sanctions Committee also falls due in September.

The Secretary-General is also likely to chair a high-level meeting on Sudan involving many Security Council members and other key stakeholders in the week of 20 September.

A formal briefing on Sudan is also a possibility, along with informal discussions on a possible Council mission to Sudan.

Key Recent Developments
Violence has been unusually high in Darfur. There were 144 fatalities in July. Particularly serious has been the situation surrounding the Kalma internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in South Darfur. Violent incidents also followed the latest round of peace talks in Doha in mid-July. Clashes between supporters of the Liberation and Justice Movement, who are currently in negotiations with the government, and supporters of the Sudan Liberation Movement who were not represented at the talks, have taken the lives of eight IDPs in Kalma. Six local leaders accused by Sudanese authorities sought refuge with the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). On 2 August the government demanded that UNAMID hand over the six leaders but UNAMID refused. That same day the government blocked UN agencies and international NGOs from operating in the camp, but restored some humanitarian access on 16 August to allow for the delivery of medicines and fuel to run water pumps.

Tribal clashes have renewed between the Misserya and Rizigat tribes in the Kass area of South Darfur in mid-August. An estimated fifty people have died in the clashes and the violence had reportedly spread into the West Darfur state.

Security has been a problem for UNAMID staff. On 26 July seven peacekeepers on patrol in West Darfur were injured during an ambush. On 14 August, armed men abducted two Jordanian UNAMID police advisors. The peacekeepers were released unharmed on 17 August.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy briefed the Council on the violence in Kalma Camp in closed consultations on 30 July.

Relations between the Sudanese government and the UN appear to have deteriorated. On 7 August President Omar al-Bashir threatened to expel the mission if it attempted to block or hinder the work of Sudanese authorities. Al-Bashir’s comments apparently referred to UNAMID’s unwillingness to turn over the Darfuri leaders who had sought UNAMID’s protection. On 16 August the government expelled three UN employees, the heads of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the FAO in West Darfur and the head of UNHCR in Zalengei, from West Darfur state. Abdallah al-Fadil, head of UNAMID in West Darfur said Sudanese authorities had not made it clear why the staff members were asked to leave, only that they had been believed to have made mistakes “beyond their mandate.” The government also expelled two International Committee of the Red Cross employees.

On 23 August Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Atul Khare briefed Council members in closed consultations concerning the humanitarian situation in Darfur. In remarks to the media which followed the Council president, Vitaly Churkin, read a statement condemning the instigation of violence in Kalma camp and attacks on humanitarian personnel. The statement also welcomed UNAMID’s efforts to restore calm and stressed the need to demilitarise Kalma and other IDP camps and recalled the obligation of Sudanese authorities and other parties to ensure humanitarian access. It also urged all parties to join the Doha process.

On 30 July the Council adopted resolution 1935 extending the mandate of UNAMID until 31 July 2011. Resolution 1935 underlines the need for UNAMID to focus on protection of civilians and ensure humanitarian access. It also welcomes the priority given to UNAMID’s efforts to support the work of Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé. It condemns all attacks against UNAMID, expresses deep concern at continuing restrictions placed on UNAMID’s operations and urges the Sudanese government to comply with the Status of Forces Agreement. It also encourages UNAMID to facilitate the work on early recovery and reconstruction in Darfur of the UN country team and expert agencies.

During his last briefing to the Council on 27 July, UNAMID’s head, Ibrahim Gambari emphasised the work UNAMID was doing to support a process of internal political dialogue in Darfur, focusing on the causes of conflict including political and economic marginalisation, land, justice and reconciliation. He reported that fighting between government forces and the Justice and Equality Movement continued to be a major cause of instability and inter-communal fighting had been occurring along the border of South and West Darfur. Closed consultations followed.

On 5 July Gambari convened a retreat in El Fasher with special envoys and representatives of member states and UN partners. The participants agreed it was imperative to reach a lasting solution to the conflict in Darfur before the end of the year.

On 29 July the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum approved a new strategy on Darfur which reportedly would involve shifting the focus from external venues (such as the current Doha process) to a domestically controlled approach to all Darfur issues—security, development, reconciliation, humanitarian situation and political negotiations—to be presented to the legislative councils of Darfur’s three states.

Regarding the North-South process, on 23 June the NCP and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed the Mekelle Memorandum of Understanding which agreed that negotiations on post-2011 referendum arrangements on citizenship, security, financial, economic and natural resources, and international treaties and legal issues shall be facilitated by the AU’s High-level Implementation Panel for Sudan supported by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the IGAD partners’ forum and the UN.

On 17 July the Sudan Consultative Forum held its first meeting in Khartoum. The Forum was established to coordinate international support to the democratic transformation of Sudan, to implement the remaining provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to promote an inclusive political agreement to bring about peace in Darfur.

Le Roy briefed Council members on developments in Southern Sudan and the work of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in closed consultations on 29 July. He reportedly told Council members that the UN had received a formal request for assistance for the referendum from both the NCP and the SPLM involving financial support, technical assistance, logistical support and monitoring. The Secretary-General is considering appointing a panel of three eminent persons to lead a monitoring mission.

On 2 August delegations from the NCP and SPLM undertook a workshop on referendum issues in Cairo under the auspices of the Egyptian government. The two parties agreed to hold the referendum on Southern Sudan’s independence in January 2011 as planned. Earlier, several NCP officials had called for border demarcation to be finalised before the referendum. Demarcation remains stalled. Voter registration also remains delayed as the parties discuss the nomination of the Secretary General of the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission. The formation of Abyei referendum commission remains stalled.

The AU, during its July summit in Kampala, reiterated its decision to not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the arrest and surrender of Omar al-Bashir. On 12 July the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC issued a second arrest warrant against al-Bashir for three counts of genocide. On 21 July the AU Peace and Security Council urged the Security Council to defer the ICC proceedings against al-Bashir, emphasising the need for peace talks to be completed before the January 2011 referendum. Al-Bashir travelled to Chad on 21 July, his first visit to a state party to the ICC Rome Statute since his 2009 arrest warrant. 

Developments in the Sanctions Committee
On 7 July the Panel of Experts provided their midterm briefing to the Sanctions Committee. The Panel reported problems with access to locations of interest in Darfur. It also found significant amounts of ammunition which it believed to be transferred into Darfur in contravention of the arms embargo and cited reports of aerial bombardments in Darfur. The movement of Sudanese Armed Forces troops into Darfur without approval from the Committee, and whether this constitutes a violation of the sanctions regime, continues to be discussed in the Committee. As a follow-up to the Panel of Experts’ recommendation in their 2009 report on enhancing due diligence for corporations whose products and services potentially affect the conflict in Darfur, the Committee was briefed by the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, Georg Kell on 7 June. A briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Business and Human Rights, John G. Ruggie is expected in the fall.

Four individuals are listed for targeted sanctions on the Sudan Sanction’s list. It seems likely that any attempt to add Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, to the Sanctions list, as suggested to the Council in June by the Prosecutor of the ICC, would need to be brought to the Council via a resolution. (The Court issued arrest warrants for Harun and Kushayb on 51 counts each of crimes against humanity and war crimes). At press time, no formal listing request from a Council member was before the Council.


Human Rights-Related Developments
The Sudanese National Assembly on 1 August 2010 called for the enforcement of the stoning of women accused of extra marital affairs, the promotion of early marriages and polygamy, and the removal of HIV/AIDS education from Sudan’s school curricula. This was criticised by the ‘No to Women’s Oppression Coalition’ (the coalition was formed following the case of Lubna Hussein, a UN public information officer who was arrested in 2009 by the Sudanese authorities for wearing trousers in Khartoum). Coalition members said that this not only jeopardised the safety and security of women it also perpetuated violence, conflicts and hatred in society. Removal of HIV/AIDS education and awareness from the curricula showed poor judgment and lack of awareness of the implications of the health risks, they argued. Promotion of polygamy was also seen by the Coalition as one of the major causes of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases with serious consequences for the lives of children, families and the stability of societies.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is the conduct as the date for the referendum approaches is that they be conducted in a credible, peaceful way. A key concern is the limited time remaining in which to prepare for the referenda. Of particular concern is the failure to establish the Abyei Referendum Commission and the need to resolve the residency criteria (which determines who is entitled to vote in the referendum), including in Abyei.

A related issue is the parties’ reaching an agreement on post-referendum issues before the referendum on southern Sudan’s self determination.

A key procedural issue for the Council members in view of the possible visit to Sudan will be the limitations created by the fact that President Omar Al Bashir is an ICC indictee.

A key issue related to Darfur is the continued need for a credible and effective political strategy to resolve the conflict and turn around the deteriorating security situation. A key concern is the recent violence in Darfur between those in support of peace talks in Doha and those against. How the issue of the six local leaders under the protection of UNAMID is managed is a further key concern given its serious implications for the UN’s relationship with key stakeholders in Darfur, the Doha peace talks and the broader situation in Darfur.

A related issue is the access and freedom of movement restrictions under which humanitarian agencies and UNAMID are forced to operate in Darfur. An outcome of these restrictions of particular concern is UNAMID’s inability to fully report on and assess the true situation on the ground.

On sanctions, in addition to the listing recommendation from the ICC Prosecutor, a key issue is how to find a consensus to better enforce the sanctions.

Council action in September on sanctions in response to the Panel of Expert’s final report is unlikely. However, the report is likely to encourage work on the renewal of the Panel’s mandate in mid October. Possible areas of attention include:

  • including in October’s resolution specific language on the Council’s intention to consider taking strong and effective measures against any individual or group directly impeding peacekeeping or humanitarian aid;
  • to further examine the role of the private sector and perhaps seek engagement with companies identified by the Panel of Experts that have or have had in the past a significant economic relationship with actors involved in the Darfur crisis to discuss compliance with UN sanctions;
  • along this line, the Council could establish tangible guidance on how to address the role of dual use products.

Another option for the Council is to request the Panel of Experts to look into the late July/August events in Kalma Camp as a threat to the peace process.

On Sudan in general, an option for the Council would be to request regular briefings from the Secretariat during the period heading up to the referendum.

Council Dynamics
The negotiations in July on renewal of the UNAMID mandate underlined Council members’ differing views on the purpose and intent of peacekeeping. It seems China wanted to emphasise UNAMID’s role in addressing the political causes of the conflict and to stress UNAMID’s priorities to include the peace process and early recovery activities. Maintaining UNAMID’s focus on security related tasks, namely protecting civilians and ensuring humanitarian access, was seen as a priority issue for some other members including Austria, France, Japan, Mexico, the UK and the US.

Most members favoured strengthening language on the peace process and support the work of Bassolé but were also keen to ensure the work of UNAMID on the peace process complemented Bassolé and was not conducted in parallel.

Third, some countries, including China, the African members of the Council and Brazil, wanted UNAMID to be authorised to perform early recovery activities where appropriate but others resisted this proposal arguing that early recovery is the domain of other agencies and organisations and that UNAMID’s responsibility lays in providing a secure environment for these actors to conduct their work.

The UK is the lead country on Darfur in the Council. The US is the lead country on the north-south Sudan peace process.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1935 (30 July 2010) renewed UNAMID.
  • 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/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.

Latest Secretary-General’s Reports

Selected Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6365 (27 July 2010) was a briefing by Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur Ibrahim Gambari.
  • 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.


  • Assembly/AU/Dec.296(XV) (27 July 2010) reiterated the AU’s decision to not cooperate with the ICC in the arrest and surrender of al-Bashir.

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 June 2010: 17,018 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 30 June 2010: 4,418 police personnel
  • Cost: 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011: $1.81 billion

UNAMID: Duration 

31 July 2007 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2011 

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 June 2010: 9,441 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 30 June 2010: 676 police personnel
  • Cost: 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011: $938 million

UNMIS: Duration

24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2011

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

Full forecast

Subscribe to receive SCR publications