January 2012 Monthly Forecast

Posted 23 December 2011
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AFRICA

Sudan/Darfur

Expected Council Action
In January, the Council will likely receive a briefing and discuss in consultations the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The Sudan sanctions committee is expected to receive the final report of its panel of experts in January.   At press time, no formal outcome was anticipated in January from the Council on Darfur.

The mandate of UNAMID expires on 31 July 2012, while the mandate of the panel of experts expires on 19 February 2012. 

Key Recent Developments
The Council was briefed on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNAMID on 25 October 2011. During the briefing, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous said that progress had been made with the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). In particular, he mentioned the fact that Eltigani Seisi, the leader of the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), a signatory of the DDPD, had been appointed chair of the Darfur Regional Authority. He added that UNAMID was helping civil society groups and community leaders in Darfur to create a strategy for circulating information about the DDPD. He also indicated that while internally displaced persons, civil society groups, local authorities and opposition political parties had expressed support for the DDPD, they deplored the fact that it was not supported by several key rebel groups, including the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudanese Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) and the Sudanese Liberation Army-Minni Minawi (SLA-MM).

Ladsous also noted that the success of the DDPD will be largely dependent on Khartoum’s willingness to carry out its provisions.   He added that the UN and the AU were, in consultation with Sudanese stakeholders, developing a “road map for peace in Darfur” that should be completed by the end of 2011. (The road map, which was referred to in the Secretary-General’s October 2011 report on UNAMID and is expected to be a major focus of his January 2012 UNAMID report, concentrates on implementation of the DDPD, engagement with rebel groups that have not signed the DDPD, internal consultations and dialogue with the people of Darfur on the peace process, and enhanced means of coordination among international partners assisting efforts toward peace.)

On 11 November 2011, Ladsous briefed the Council on Sudan and South Sudan.   With respect to the situation in Darfur, he said that the DDPD provides a framework for progress toward a settlement. However, he expressed concern with a number of issues, including, inter-alia, lack of humanitarian access, the number of armed groups outside the peace process, recent attacks on UN peacekeepers and the potential for renewed violence with the end of the rainy season.

On 28 November 2011, a special court for Darfur based in El Fasher sentenced seven members of JEM to death for their role in an ambush of a troop convoy in Darfur in January 2010, which led to the deaths of more than 50 Sudanese soldiers. 

The Joint Commission, tasked with implementing the DDPD, held its first meeting on 18 December 2011 in Khartoum. At the meeting, Ibrahim Gambari, Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur, noted the responsibility of the signatories of the DDPD, the government of Sudan and the LJM, to implement ceasefire and security arrangements.   Participants at the meeting also considered a report submitted by Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, UNAMID’s Force Commander, which indicated that incidents of violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the rebel movements that have not agreed to the DDPD have decreased since the signing of the DDPD.    

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been actively engaged on Sudan issues in recent weeks. On 2 December 2011, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested Pre-Trial Chamber I to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan’s Defence Minister, Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed between August 2003 and March 2004 in Darfur. (Hussein served during that time as Interior Minister and Special Representative of the President in Darfur.)

On 12 December 2011, the ICC announced that Malawi, a party to the Rome Statute, had been referred to the Security Council and the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties for its failure to apprehend and surrender Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visited Malawi in October 2011. (The ICC has indicted Bashir for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.)

On 13 December 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided that Chad had also not met its obligation to fully cooperate with the ICC by failing to arrest and surrender Bashir when he visited Chad in August. It likewise referred the case to the Council and the Assembly of State Parties, saying that it is up to those two bodies to “take any measure they may deem appropriate to ensure the full cooperation with the ICC.” (It is the second time the ICC has referred Chad’s non-compliance to the Council, following Bashir’s visit to Chad in July 2010 for a summit of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. In light of the obligations emanating from the Chapter VII resolution referring the situation in Darfur to the ICC, and as a signatory of the Rome Statute, Chad—like Malawi—had a legal obligation to detain Bashir.)

The Council received a briefing on 15 December 2011 from Moreno-Ocampo on the ICC’s work in Darfur.  Moreno-Ocampo described the ICC’s evidence supporting its indictments of Bashir, Ahmad Harun, Ali Kushayb and Hussein. He also added that two rebel leaders, Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo, who have been charged with war crimes after leading an assault on an AU facility on 29 September 2007 that resulted in the deaths of 12 peacekeepers, had voluntarily appeared before the Court in June 2010 to answer questions in a response to a summons. He said that their trial should begin in 2012 and that, while accepting responsibility for the attack, Banda and Jerbo questioned the illegality of their actions as well as the legitimacy of the AU mission under the UN Charter. Moreno-Ocampo closed his presentation by saying that the ICC’s arrest warrants needed to be executed and that the AU and the Arab League should respect the authority of the Council and the ICC.

Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali-Osman (Sudan) addressed the Council after Moreno-Ocampo. He prefaced his remarks by saying that Sudan is not a state party to the ICC and that his participation in the meeting did not constitute cooperation with the work of the court. Ali-Osman denied Moreno-Ocampo’s accusations, stating that they contradicted the findings of the Secretary-General’s UNAMID report in October, which described an improvement in the security situation in Darfur. He also questioned the impartiality of Moreno-Ocampo.

The chair of the Sudan sanctions committee briefed the Council in consultations on 16 December 2011. The discussion seems to have focused on the recent arrival in Darfur of the newly constituted panel of experts, who received their visas and work permits in the second half of November.

Key Issues
A key issue (and challenge to the peace process in Darfur) is the fact that the LJM is the only major rebel group in Darfur to agree to the DDPD, as the JEM, the SLA-AW, and the SLA-MM have not acceded to the document.

Another important issue is how the Council chooses to approach the “road map for peace in Darfur”, whose elements are expected to be elaborated in the Secretary-General’s January report. In this respect, issues that the Council could consider include:

  • what instruments, including incentives and disincentives, are at its disposal to facilitate the engagement of non-compliant rebel groups in the peace process and how these instruments should be employed;
  • how to support the implementation of the DDPD and facilitate enhanced understanding of and support for the DDPD among the inhabitants of Darfur;
  • how to calibrate a response to the Sudanese government that facilitates an improvement in the government’s human rights policies;
  • how to strengthen coordination and coherence among international actors in supporting the DDPD; and
  • whether, and how, to incorporate its approach to Darfur into efforts to develop a more cohesive and integrated strategy toward Sudan and South Sudan.

Another key issue is whether the newly constituted panel of experts will have the time to gain a solid understanding of the situation on the ground and produce a substantive final report. (New appointments have been made to all five positions of the panel since the beginning of October 2011, and the experts received their work permits to travel to Darfur only in late November.) 

Options
In considering the UNAMID report, one option is simply to receive the briefing and take no action at the current time.

Another option would be to adopt a statement that could contain any of the following elements:

  • welcoming the “road map for peace in Darfur”;
  • include language that encourages rebel groups that have not acceded to the DDPD to join the peace process;
  • adopting a more coercive approach toward the rebels, signalling the  possibility of imposing sanctions in certain cases, in an effort to compel their participation in the peace process; and
  • signalling the need for the government of Sudan to respect the human rights of the people of Darfur as a necessary condition for the successful implementation of the DDPD.

Another option would be for the Council to hold an Arria-formula meeting with experts on the situation in Darfur to explore the particular positions of the various Darfur factions that have not signed the DDPD. (Such a session could provide Council members with additional information to help the Council craft strategies to promote a more inclusive peace process in Darfur.)

Although less likely, on the referral of the Darfur situation to the ICC as per resolution 1593 (2005), the Council could continue to remain silent, or it could adopt a more coercive approach expanding the travel ban and/or asset freeze imposed by resolution 1591 (2005) to those individuals that have already been indicted by the ICC.

Council Dynamics
There is widespread support in principle among Council members for the DDPD. Some members, however, appear to remain concerned that conditions on the ground, given the government of Sudan’s record of violating human rights and repressing dissent, may hinder the peace process. There is also concern among some Council members about the DDPD’s potential negative implications for the peace process due to the fact that many of the major rebel groups have not supported it. There seem to be differences of opinion on the Council about how to calibrate a response, both toward the government of Sudan and the rebel groups, that is most constructive in advancing the peace process. While some Council members remain wary of the government of Sudan’s intentions, others believe that it has made a credible effort to support peace in Darfur and that these efforts should be recognised and encouraged. Regarding the rebel groups, it seems that there are different perspectives on the Council regarding the appropriate level of pressure that should be applied to either encourage or compel them to pursue peace.

It appears that some Council members are concerned that the newly formed panel of experts will not have the requisite time on the ground in Darfur to produce a quality report for the Sudan sanctions committee, given that they will have less than two months to conduct their investigations in the region. One perspective on the Council is that, rather than starting from scratch, the panel should strive to build as much as possible on the findings of the previous panel in formulating its upcoming report. 

The UK is the lead country in the Council on Darfur, while Colombia chairs the Sudan sanctions committee.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2003 (29 July 2011) extended UNAMID’s mandate until 31 July 2012. 
  • S/RES/1982 (17 May 2011) extended the mandate of the Sudan sanctions panel of experts until 19 February 2012.
  • S/RES/1593 (31 March 2005) referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • S/RES/1591 (29 March 2005) and S/RES/1556 (30 July 2004) imposed sanctions.

Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2011/643 (12 October 2011) was the most recent quarterly report of the Secretary-General on UNAMID.
  • S/2011/252 (15 April 2011) was on implementation of the Darfur Political Process.

Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6688 (15 December 2011) was the latest briefing by the ICC prosecutor.
  • S/PV.6638 (25 October 2011) was the Council’s discussion of the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNAMID.

Other

  • SC/10439 (8 November 2011) and SC/10407 (11 October 2011) were press statements condemning fatal attacks on UNAMID peacekeepers. 
  • S/2011/466 (27 July 2011) contained the communiqué of the AU Peace and Security Council on UNAMID’s mandate renewal. 
  • 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 30 November 2011: 17,626 troops and 247 military observers 
Police Strength as of 30 November 2011: 4,977 police personnel
Annual Budget: $1.69 billion
Duration: 31 July 2007 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2012 

Sanctions Committee Chairman

Néstor Osorio (Colombia)

Full forecast

 

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