November 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 October 2010
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AFRICA

Sudan

Expected Council Action
A ministerial-level meeting is expected on 16 November where the Council will be briefed on preparations for the referenda in Sudan, the situation in Darfur and progress of the Doha peace talks. The Secretary-General is expected to brief along with the head of the AU High-Level Implementation Monitoring Panel, Thabo Mbeki, the head of UNMIS, Haile Menkerios, and the head of UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari. Some may brief by video teleconference.

A presidential statement is expected.

Key Recent Developments
Rhetoric from both parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) escalated during October regarding actions that will be taken by the north against southern Sudanese in the north if the south votes for secession—including stripping southerners of property and Sudanese citizenship. Authorities in the south are reiterating their commitment to move all southerners in the north who want to move to the south ahead of the referenda. Uncertainty over referenda processes, including who is eligible to vote and the process for southerners in the north to vote, are leading to high levels of anxiety and fear among the population.

Registration for the southern Sudan referendum will commence on 14 November and run until 1 December, with 13 to 30 December set aside for appeals.

The Council visited Sudan from 6 to 10 October, visiting South Sudan (Juba), Darfur (El Fasher) and Khartoum. Uganda, the US and the UK briefed the Council on 14 October, saying the visit helped reinforce the message that the referenda should be held on time and maintain pressure on both parties to work through the remaining procedural and political obstacles. The briefing also highlighted the dire situation in Darfur and the importance of all parties’ participation in the Doha talks. Closed consultations followed, where it is understood members held an unusually free-flowing discussion on their perspectives of progress in Sudan and what they had learned from the visit.

During the visit, the President of southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, requested the Council to authorise the deployment of additional troops to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to form buffer zones along the prospective north-south border. The Government of Sudan rejected the proposal and stated that both parties to the CPA need to agree to any UNMIS troop increase. The head of UNMIS, Haile Menkerios, stated the UN has adjusted the deployment of some existing UNMIS troops in the ceasefire zone to defuse tensions, consistent with its mandate and with the full knowledge of both parties.

On 14 October the Council adopted resolution 1945 renewing the mandate of the Darfur sanctions monitoring panel of experts. China abstained, explaining it had serious concerns over the panel’s annual report and the manner in which the panel had undertaken its work. The resolution contains several new elements that refine the existing sanctions regime outlined in resolutions 1556 (2004) and 1591 (2005), including:

  • a requirement that the Government of Sudan notify the Darfur Sanctions Committee in advance of moving arms into Darfur when using the existing exemption related to the CPA;
  • a requirement that states exporting weapons to Sudan ensure they obtain appropriate end-user certificates to ascertain that the weapons will not be transferred to Darfur; and
  • stronger language on the role of the private sector.

On 25 October the head of peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, briefed the Council on the southern Sudan referenda preparations and Darfur. Council members raised with Le Roy in subsequent closed consultations reports of harassment and arrests of some internally displaced persons (IDPs) whom the Council had spoken to during its visit to Darfur.

The UN panel to monitor the referenda made its first visit to Sudan from 10 to 14 October. The panel met with both parties to the CPA and a range of other stakeholders. It seems the panel has serious concerns over the work that remains to be accomplished for the referenda to be held.

An AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) civilian staff member was kidnapped in El Fasher on 7 October. The UN is in contact with his abductors and is working with Sudanese authorities to secure his release. At press time, he was still being held.

Intensified fighting has been reported in eastern Jebel Marra in Darfur and the UN is concerned about limitations on humanitarian access. The UN has reports that at least six villages in Jebel Marra had been attacked but has faced difficulties confirming information because of limited access to the area.

Human Rights-Related Developments
In her statement at the opening of latest session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), High Commissioner Navi Pillay, observed that “in Sudan the general climate of repression and intimidation of the April presidential elections and their aftermath now casts a grim shadow over the conduct of next year’s referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan.” Later in the HRC’s session (its 15th), disagreement arose among member states as to the need to renew the mandate of the UN’s independent expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan. The African Group had tabled a resolution emphasising that states have primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights. The resolution was silent on the question of renewing the expert’s mandate. An amended resolution renewing the mandate for one year and asking the expert to submit a report to the HRC for its 18th session (scheduled for September 2011) was then tabled by Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the US. It was adopted on 1 October by 25 in favour, 19 against, with three abstentions.

Key Issues

The key issue for the Council remains that the CPA be implemented and the referenda conducted in a credible and peaceful manner. A related issue is how to maintain pressure on all parties to ensure the timetable for the referenda is met.

A second key question is whether UNMIS has sufficient troops to support the referenda.

A separate issue continues to be ongoing violence in Darfur and the persistent unwillingness of all key stakeholders to join negotiations to consider a credible political strategy to resolve the conflict. Related is the growing instability in IDP camps and tension between supporters and opponents of the Doha peace talks. The instability may deteriorate further and spread throughout Darfur. Security of UNAMID staff also remains a key issue.

A possible issue is the process for formation of the new panel of experts to monitor the Darfur sanctions, given China’s concerns over the former panel’s final report.

Underlying Issues
The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (based in Khartoum) and Referendum Bureau (based in Juba) are severely underfunded. Key rules and regulations have yet to be decided, including the definition of who is eligible to register or vote. Locations of registration points, in the north and south, have yet to be determined. The referenda question has yet to be finalised—either in words or pictographically.

Options
A presidential statement could:

  • reiterate the international community’s commitment to referenda being held on 9 January 2011;
  • insist that the parties to the CPA are responsible for the referenda preparations and urge them to negotiate quickly all outstanding matters in good faith and a timely manner;
  • signal the use of sanctions to press those rebel groups in Darfur not participating in the Doha talks to join the process; and
  • authorise, as a contingency, an increase in troop numbers for UNMIS to give the Secretary-General flexibility to respond to events that may arise in its efforts to support the CPA.

Another option is for the Council to hold an informal interactive dialogue with UNMIS troop-contributing countries to discuss the Council’s and the contributing country’s expectations regarding the role of UNMIS in the coming months.

Council Dynamics
The Council visit brought unity to its resolve that the CPA must be fully implemented and that pressure be maintained on both parties to ensure the referenda are held in a credible and timely manner. But that sense of cohesion is fragile and could easily be tested by future issues in reaction to events on the ground.

The visit reinforced some existing divisions within the Council over its approach to the situation in Darfur, but seems to have convinced some members previously reluctant to pressure rebel groups currently outside the talks in Doha to change this policy. Some Council members were concerned that no prior consultations were held on the content of the 14 October briefing, despite the statements purporting to represent all members of the visit.

Most members were pleased with resolution 1945, particularly the strengthening of the sections on notification, end-user documentation and references to the relationship between UNAMID and the panel. Some others were concerned that language reintroduced from earlier panel renewals was unnecessarily strong. China has strong reservations about the report of the panel monitoring sanctions regimes in Sudan (submitted to the Council in early October), which alleged that Chinese ammunition had been found at the site of attacks against UNAMID peacekeepers in Darfur.

The UK is the lead country on Darfur in the Council. The US is the lead country on north-south issues.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1945 (14 October 2010) renewed the mandate of the Darfur Sanctions Panel of Experts for another year.
  • S/RES/1935 (30 July 2010) renewed UNAMID.
  • S/RES/1919 (29 April 2010) 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.

Latest Secretary-General’s Reports

Selected Security Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6410 (25 October 2010) was a briefing by head of peacekeeping Alain Le Roy.
  • S/PV.6401 (14 October 2010) was the adoption of the resolution to renew the mandate of the Darfur Sanctions Panel of Experts.
  • S/PV.6397 (14 October 2010) was a briefing by Uganda, the US and the UK on the Council’s visit to Sudan.

Other

  • S/2010/509 (4 October 2010) contains the terms of reference of the Council visit to Sudan.
  • SG/2165 (24 September 2010) was the Communiqué on the Sudan High-Level Meeting.
  • SC/10031 (15 September 2010) was a press statement calling for parties to the CPA to take urgent action to facilitate peaceful and on-time referenda.

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

Lt.-Gen. 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 September 2010: 17,199 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 30 September 2010: 4,769 police personnel
  • Annual Budget: $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

Maj.-Gen. 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 15 September 2010: 9,948 military personnel
  • Police Strength as of 15 September 2010: 634 police personnel
  • Annual Budget: $938 million

UNMIS: Duration

24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2011.

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria)

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