July 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 June 2011
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AFRICA

Sudan/Darfur

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) ahead of the expiry of its mandate on 31 July.

The Council is expected to receive a briefing on the situation in Darfur from the head of UNAMID, Ibrahim Gambari, based upon the latest quarterly report of the Secretary-General, expected to be issued in mid-July. 

Key Recent Developments
The All Darfur Stakeholders Conference (ADSC) was held in Doha, Qatar, from 27 to 31 May. The conference brought together more than 500 delegates representing internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, civil society (including women’s groups), the government of Sudan, elected officials, tribal leaders and the Darfuri diaspora. Most rebel movements were not represented. The main outcome of the ADSC was the endorsement by the stakeholders of the “Doha Draft Document for Peace in Darfur” as the basis for reaching a permanent ceasefire, a comprehensive and inclusive peace settlement and sustainable peace and stability in Darfur. The draft peace document is arranged in seven chapters: human rights and fundamental freedoms; power-sharing and administrative status of Darfur; wealth-sharing; compensation and return of IDPs and refugees; justice and reconciliation; permanent ceasefire and final security arrangements; and internal dialogue and consultation and implementation modalities.

The stakeholders also endorsed the formation of the Darfur Implementation Follow-Up Committee (IFC)—chaired by the state of Qatar to include other as-yet undetermined international partners—to work with the AU and UN to assist all parties to reach a comprehensive agreement.

On 22 June the Council held an informal interactive dialogue with the foreign minister of Burkina Faso and former AU-UN joint mediator, Djibril Bassolé, and the state minister for foreign affairs of Qatar, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, to discuss the outcomes of the ADSC. It is understood the mediators highlighted the ongoing problem of securing the participation of all belligerent groups in meaningful peace negotiations. On 23 June the Council President delivered a Council press statement welcoming the outcome of the ADSC as a significant step forward and as the basis for achieving a comprehensive peace in Darfur. The AU and UN have yet to appoint a replacement joint mediator.

The security situation in Darfur remains poor, with reports of continued fighting between various rebel groups and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and pro-government militia, particularly in the areas of Shangil Tobaya in North Darfur and Jebel Marra in West Darfur. There have been reports of SAF planes bombing these areas.

On 1 June a militia raided three ethnically Zaghawa villages near Shangil Tobaya, looting property and stealing cattle. A group of villagers confronted the militia, recovering some cattle. Witnesses later saw SAF personnel apprehend this group as they returned to their village and take them away. Sixteen of the villagers were executed by firing squad.

On 4 June the government of North Darfur formed a commission of inquiry, comprising representatives from the North Darfur governor’s office, the attorney general’s office, police, the National Intelligence and Security Service and a Zaghawa community leader. On 5 June the commission travelled from El Fasher to Shangil Tobaya to commence its investigation. Militia stopped the car carrying the Zaghawa community leader, who was shot and killed. The convoy immediately returned to El Fasher.

Separately, UNAMID confirmed that fighting occurred on 18 and 19 June between unknown armed men and the SAF in Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur state, resulting in close to 1,000 civilians seeking protection at UNAMID’s nearby team site.

Rebel fighters from the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdul Wahid (SLM-AW) and Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and SAF fought from 15 to 23 June in the area of Jebel Marra in West Darfur. SLM-AW claimed to have killed 35 SAF soldiers and said SAF planes had bombed the area forcing hundreds of civilians to flee.

UNAMID has posted a map on its website that shows that about a quarter of Darfur is ready for recovery (i.e. development) activities, mainly the area west of Ed Daein north-westward toward Nyala, Kass, Zalingei and El Geneina; however, approximately three-quarters of Darfur is either only potentially ready or not ready for recovery. The following areas are identified as not ready: areas along the border with South Sudan; the area north-east of Nyala; the area of Shangil Tobaya; the area of Jebel Marra; Kutum town; the area north of Malha; and a large area north of Kornoi along the border with Chad.

On 6 June three Bulgarian pilots who had been kidnapped at an airstrip in West Darfur state on 12 January while working for the World Food Programme were released unharmed.

On 8 June the Council received a briefing on the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Sudan from the court’s prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Moreno-Ocampo said crimes against humanity and genocide continued unabated in Darfur, citing attacks on the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. He added that the current governor of Southern Kordofan, Ahmad Harun (who has been indicted by the ICC) provides a good example of the consequences of ignoring information about serious crimes, saying that in the 1990s Harun used local militia to attack civilians in the Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan and used the same tactics between 2003 and 2005 in Darfur.

Human Rights-Related Developments
The UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Mohamed Chande Othman, visited Darfur for the third time from 5 to 7 June, travelling to El Fasher, North Darfur and Nyala, South Darfur. On 10 June, Othman commented that civilians in Darfur continued to bear the brunt of fighting between armed movements and government forces that has resulted in the killing of civilians and destruction of their homes and properties and has led to further displacements and affected humanitarian access. He said the state of emergency in Darfur continued to curtail fundamental rights and freedoms; arbitrary arrests and prolonged detentions without judicial oversight were being carried out under emergency or national security legislation or both. Othman said that humanitarian assistance to camps for IDPs was strictly limited in South Darfur, noting that in some camps the newly displaced had not received food, medical aid and shelter since January. He said that IDPs lived in a state of insecurity due to the presence of armed elements and criminal activity occurring within the camps. Othman will present his findings to the September session of the Human Rights Council.

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council is that Bassolé’s departure effectively ends the formal AU-UN contribution to internationally based peace talks. 

A second key issue is the difficulty of proceeding with a Darfur-based process in the absence of a signed comprehensive peace agreement. A related issue is determining how to encourage or pressure all belligerent groups to agree to a ceasefire in the first instance and then consider a comprehensive peace agreement, such as the draft endorsed at the ADSC.

A further issue will be how to support a sustainable Darfur-based process, balancing the preferences of Khartoum, the AU and the UNAMID leadership to commence the Darfur-based Political Process (DPP) as soon as possible, bearing in mind the deficits in the enabling environment as outlined in the special report of the Secretary-General in April.

A related issue is how UNAMID can best assist in enhancing the enabling environment for the DPP, including working with Khartoum to lift the state of emergency and improve the human rights situation.

Another issue is how the independence of South Sudan on 9 July will affect the situation in Darfur. A related practical issue will be whether to consider basing some leadership components of UNAMID in Khartoum, to facilitate the UN’s good-offices role, following the expected departure of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) from Khartoum as of 9 July.

Underlying Issues
While UNAMID patrols have successfully achieved more access recently, the broader lack of access for the media and humanitarian agencies in Darfur limits information on the humanitarian situation. This lack of information directly impacts UNAMID’s ability to investigate possible situations relevant to their protection-of-civilians mandate.

There is still no ceasefire between government forces and rebel groups, let alone a peace agreement. UNAMID therefore continues to operate in an environment in which it has “no peace to keep.”

Options
The Council could:

  • renew UNAMID’s mandate for 12 months with no changes to its mandate or force level;
  • include specific reference to UNAMID providing assistance to the DPP;
  • make the lifting of the state of emergency in Darfur a condition for UNAMID assistance to the DPP;
  • highlight how lifting the state of emergency would facilitate the effectiveness of the DPP; or
  • urge the appointment of a replacement for Bassolé to ensure there is an AU-UN representative on the IFC set up by  Qatar.

Council Dynamics
The Council is very divided in its approach to a number of aspects of the situation in Darfur.

Positions differ on both the DPP and the Doha process and, as a result, the political role of UNAMID in facilitating the DPP is controversial. Some want the DPP to start immediately with UNAMID support. Others believe a DPP would not be successful in the current circumstances. Many Council members are troubled by the human rights situation in Darfur and some are very concerned that any work toward a DPP at this stage would not be inclusive or sustainable. These members are concerned that a DPP process conducted under these conditions would not lead to real peace but would be a Khartoum-dominated charade. 

The other view in the Council is that it is wrong to try to set pre-conditions for the DPP, “ideal scenarios”, that would be difficult for many post-conflict societies to meet. The members who support the immediate start of the DPP feel it is important that the peace process move away from talks with the rebel groups or small delegations sent to Doha and include the full spectrum of Darfuri society. Supporters of the DPP also point out that most rebel groups have rejected the Doha peace talks and their intransigence should not prevent others seeking solutions.

There are also differences between Council members on their approach to applying pressure to rebel groups to cease their confrontations with pro-government elements and join established peace processes. Some on the Council seem to feel that the Council focuses too much attention on its condemnation of the actions of Khartoum and that the Sudan sanctions regime might be a possible approach to pressure leaders such as Abdul Wahid to participate more constructively in talks.

There is a strong possibility that the negative dynamics that characterised some recent discussions on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and Southern Sudan will exacerbate the divisions on Darfur and strain the atmosphere of the UNAMID negotiations. (The Council will have been intensively negotiating Sudan-related outcome documents for roughly two months without interruption.)

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1982 (17 May 2011) extended the mandate of the Sudan sanctions panel of experts to 19 February 2012.
  • S/RES/1935 (30 July 2010) 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.

Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2011/252 (15 April 2011) was on implementation of the DPP.
  • S/2011/244 (14 April 2011) was the previous quarterly report of the Secretary-General on UNAMID.

Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6548 (8 June 2011) was the latest briefing by the ICC prosecutor.

Other

  • SC/10291 (23 June 2011) was the Council press statement on the Doha peace process.

Other Relevant Facts

UNAMID: Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur

Ibrahim Gambari (Nigeria)

UNAMID: Force Commander

Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba (Rwanda)

UNAMID: Size, Composition, Cost and Duration

  • 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, Ethiopia and Senegal
  • Military strength as of 31 May 2011: 17,760 military personnel 
  • Police Strength as of 31 May 2011: 4,986 police personnel
  • Annual Budget: $1.81 billion
  • Duration: 31 July 2007 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2011

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Néstor Osorio (Colombia)

Panel of Experts

Rajiva Sinha (India): finance and coordinator of the panel

Claudio Gramizzi (Italy): arms

Michael Lewis (UK): aviation

Hesham Nasr (Egypt): international humanitarian law

Jérôme Tubiana (France): regional

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