Status Update since our April Forecast
Central African Republic
On 3 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack on a temporary operating base of MINUSCA in Tagbara (prefecture of Ouaka) on the same day, by suspected anti-Balaka elements, which resulted in one Mauritanian peacekeeper killed and 11 others injured (SC/13275). On 11 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack on MINUSCA in Bangui the day before by armed groups, which resulted in one Rwandan peacekeeper killed and eight others injured (SC/13291). On 18 April, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui (via video teleconference) and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed Council members in an informal interactive dialogue on their joint visit to Sudan and the CAR from 7 to 13 April. During the visit to the CAR from 10 to 13 April, Lacroix and Chergui met in Bangui with senior government officials, including President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and Prime Minister Simplice Sarandji. They also met with members of the National Assembly, and jointly chaired with the Economic Community of Central African States a meeting of the International Support Group for the CAR, which is intended to buttress international efforts to support the peace process and provide humanitarian relief.
On 3 April, the Council held its regular debate on Haiti with a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix (S/PV.8220). He presented to the Council the main findings from the report (S/2018/241) on the latest strategic assessment of MINUJUSTH, which also included the 11 benchmarks for the exit strategy and a transition to a non-peacekeeping UN presence in Haiti. In their statements, most Council members recognised the progress made over the past several years. However, there was also an emphasis on the importance of reforming the justice sector, strengthening the rule of law, and improving human rights. On 10 April, the Council adopted resolution 2410 which extended the mandate of MINUJUSTH for another year under Chapter VII and set a timeline for the gradual drawdown of formed police units (S/PV.8226). The resolution outlined comprehensive reporting requirements regarding the implementation of the resolution including progress assessments on the drawdown and exit strategy. China and Russia abstained during the vote and voiced their concern about designation of the mission’s mandate under Chapter VII noting that the situation in Haiti does not at the moment pose a threat to international peace and security.
Use of Nerve Agent
On 5 April, the Security Council met at the request of Russia to discuss developments related to the 4 March use of a nerve agent in Salisbury, UK on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who spied for the UK, and his daughter (S/PV.8224). The Council reconvened to discuss this matter on 18 April. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, provided information on the 4 March incident from the OPCW (S/PV.8237).
On 5 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack against a MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok, which caused the death of two Chadian peacekeepers and injured ten others (SC/13281). The next day, Council members condemned an attack against a MINUSMA vehicle in Gao which caused the death of a Nigerien peacekeeper (SC/13283). On 11 April, the Council was briefed (S/PV.8229) by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, who presented the 29 March report of the Secretary-General on Mali (S/2018/273). The Foreign Minister of Mali, Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, also participated at the meeting. On 15 April, Council members condemned an attack on a MINUSMA camp in Timbuktu the day before, which caused the death of a Burkinabe peacekeeper and injured others, including Malian civilians, MINUSMA personnel, and members of the French forces (SC/13298). On 18 April, Council members met in consultations, at the request of France, to be briefed on the latest attacks against the mission.
Great Lakes Region
On 10 April, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit briefed the Council (S/PV.8227) on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region (S/2018/209). The meeting was followed by consultations. The Council issued a press statement on the same day, calling for further engagement to address the remaining challenges in implementation of the framework and stressing the importance of opening political space to enable the full and free participation of political parties, civil society, and the media (SC/13287).
Non-Proliferation (1540 Committee)
On 12 April, Chair of the 1540 Committee Sacha Sergio Llorenty Solíz (Bolivia) briefed the Council on the planned activities of the committee including the new programme of work. Solíz emphasised that reporting on the implementation of resolution 1540 remains one of the main priorities of the committee. He said that 180 out of 193 member states have submitted their national reports and that the committee will continue to work on achieving universal reporting as soon as possible. Solíz also told the Council that in March 2017 the committee revised its assistance template to better suit the states in developing their requests and in turn providing them with the effective assistance.
Women, Peace and Security
On 16 April, the Security Council held an open debate (S/PV.8234) on the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2018/250). The debate focused on “preventing sexual violence in conflict through empowerment, gender equality and access to justice” and was chaired by Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru). The briefers were Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten; and Razia Sultana, Senior Researcher at Kaladan Press, on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
On 17 April, the Security Council received a briefing from the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock (S/PV.8235). The meeting was Griffiths’ first briefing to the Council since becoming Special Envoy for Yemen in March. He said that he planned to put to the Council within the next two months a framework for negotiations, while raising concerns about an escalation in fighting, including over the prospect of intensive military operations against the port city of Hodeidah, which could derail political efforts. All members delivered their statements in the public chamber, and consultations that had been scheduled were not held. On 5 April, Ahmed Himmiche was reappointed the Coordinator and finance expert of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts (S/2018/305), leaving still pending the appointment of the armed groups expert (the regional, international humanitarian law, and arms experts were appointed on 27 March (S/2018/272). On 27 April, the Yemen Sanctions Committee met to discuss with the committee’s Panel of Experts the panel’s work plan for the coming year.
On 19 April, the Security Council held its final briefing on Liberia following the closure of UNMIL on 30 March (S/PV.8239). At the meeting, the Council adopted a presidential statement on UNMIL’s conclusion (S/PRST/2018/8). Briefings were provided by Alexander Zuev, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations; Deputy Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni (Sweden) on behalf of the Peacebuilding Commission; and Chid Liberty, the chief executive officer of “Liberty & Justice”. On 30 March, the mandate of UNMIL ended after a nearly 15-year presence, having been established in September 2003 following 14 years of civil war. The Secretary-General submitted his final report on Liberia to the Council on 13 April (S/2018/344).
CAR-Sudan Informal Interactive Dialogue
On 18 April, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui (via video teleconference) briefed Council members in an informal interactive dialogue on their joint visit to Sudan and the CAR from 7 to 13 April. While in Sudan, Lacroix and Chergui met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and with community leaders at a camp for displaced persons near El Fasher, North Darfur. They also interacted with officials from the UN, the AU, and the government regarding the work of UNAMID. (For information concerning the 10-13 April CAR part of the trip, see above, under Central African Republic).
On 19 April, the Council was briefed (S/PV.8238) by Jean Arnault, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, on the Secretary-General’s latest report on Colombia (S/2018/279). The briefing was followed by consultations. Óscar Naranjo, the Vice President of Colombia, participated in the meeting as well. In a press statement adopted later that day, Council members welcomed positive developments and expressed concern about continued insecurity in some of the conflict-affected areas, in particular the killings of community and social leaders (SC/13310).
On 23 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning the ISIL terrorist attack on a voter registration center in Kabul that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 and injury to about 100 people (SC/13314).
Youth, Peace and Security
On 23 April, the Security Council held an open debate on youth, peace and security (S/PV.8241). The lead author of the progress study on youth, peace and security, Graeme Simpson, and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, briefed. Two civil society members also provided briefings: Sophia Pierre-Antoine, a member of the Advisory Council of the World Young Women’s Christian Association and a board member of the FRIDA Young Feminist Fund in Haiti, and Kessy Ekomo-Soignet, a youth activist and the Executive Director of the Organisation URU in the CAR.
On 25 April, the Security Council held a high-level briefing on peacebuilding and sustaining peace to coincide with the two day high-level General Assembly event (24-25 April) on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Secretary-General António Guterres, Secretary of State of Romania Dan Neculăescu as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaїl Chergui briefed (S/PV.8243). On 26 April, the Council adopted resolution 2413 that mirrored the procedural resolution that the General Assembly had negotiated for its high-level session on continuing to consider and implement the recommendations and options in the Secretary-General’s 18 January report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace (A/72/707-S/2018/43). A concept note was prepared by Peru for the Council meeting (S/2018/325).
Middle East (Israel/Palestine)
On 26 April, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed at the quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) (S/PV.8244).
On 17 April, the Council met in consultations to be briefed by Special Representative for the Secretary-General and head of MINURSO Colin Stewart on the situation in Western Sahara. During consultations, members considered the Secretary-General’s latest report on Western Sahara (S/2018/277). On 27 April, the Council adopted resolution 2414 renewing the mandate of MINURSO for six months.