Update Report

Update Report No.3: Sudan/Darfur

Update in Word Format• in PDF Format

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jan Pronk, and the AU’s Chief Mediator in the Darfur crisis, Salim Ahmed Salim, briefed the Council today, 13 January. This followed a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and Council discussions with the Secretary-General, both on 12 January.

The PSC considered the report of a joint assessment mission that visited Darfur on 10-20 December 2005. The mission was comprised of AU, UN and international partners’ representatives. The report covers the future of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS). The report was essential because AMIS’ mandate from the AU expires on 20 January. Discussions will carry over into the AU Summit in Khartoum on 23-24 January. But it seems that the PSC has supported the extension of the mandate. Significantly, it has also agreed in principle to a transition between the AU and the UN, “within the framework of the partnership between the AU and the United Nations”, and to review the situation in two months.

Peace Process
Salim briefed the Council on the status of the peace negotiations between Khartoum and the rebels: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A). So far, negotiations have stalled on power-sharing and security arrangements, with the rebels demanding the redrawing of Darfur’s borders and a Vice-Presidency for Darfur in the new Government of National Unity. Peace talks are scheduled to resume on 15 January in Abuja.

AMIS
Despite AMIS’ widely recognised contribution, Darfur has suffered significant setbacks, including increasing chaos, attacks on civilians and lawlessness. Lack of funds and capacity present increasing difficulties for AMIS, which only has committed funding until the end of March.

For some weeks there has been increasing pressure for change in the present peacekeeping presence. The EU and the US, AMIS’ main donors, have indicated that funding for the current operation is not sustainable. However, this has been taking place very much in private.

In recent days, both the Secretary-General and the AU Commission Chairman Alpha Omar Konare have begun to speak openly about the need for UN peacekeepers to become involved. And the Secretary-General has said that the UN has already commenced contingency planning.

This is consistent with the Secretary-General’s last report on Darfur (S/2005/825), in which he indicated that a political agreement must go “hand in hand with an enhanced international security presence”. Furthermore, in his 21 December report on Sudan(S/2005/821), he emphasised that “peace in the Sudan is indivisible and cannot flourish in one part of the country if it is fledgling in another”.

In the light of these developments, the Council will now start to focus on a possible future role for the UN helping with peacekeeping in Darfur. In our January brief on Sudan we highlighted various possible options for the future of peacekeeping in the region, including:

Any attempt to simply replace AMIS with a completely UN presence in Darfur is likely to encounter strong opposition from Khartoum. Indeed the Sudanese Foreign Minister was quick to oppose that option. In this regard, the issue will be complicated further by Sudan possibly taking over the chairmanship of the AU later in the year.

The matter is extremely politically sensitive. Council members have been looking for some indication that the AU would be ready to support an increased international presence in Darfur, possibly through the deployment of UN peacekeepers in some configuration yet to be determined. Council members do not want to be seen as critical of the AU, acknowledging that, despite its shortcomings, AMIS did play a unique and important role.

There is an understandable reluctance within the AU to dismantle AMIS, which was initially conceptualised as an African solution to African problems. AU Chairman Konare has indicated that the organisation would like to stay for another nine to twelve months. However, he has confirmed that this will not be possible beyond March without additional funds. Hence the two month extension of the AMIS mandate.

In any event, a very important logistical factor suggests that AMIS troops will need to remain deployed for at least six months. The Secretary-General indicated in a press conference that six months would be the likely timeline for UN force generation.

Key Issues
It seems clear that the challenge that has to be addressed by the Secretariat, the AU and the Council is to develop quickly - bearing in mind the financial deadline and the PSC ministerial meeting scheduled ot review the issue by the end of March - a package of decisions which, while needing to be taken by different actors, also need to be closely integrated.

The package needs to:

Sanctions Committe Developments
The Sudan Sanctions Committee seems to have experienced some difficulties in recent days as Qatar sided with China in objecting to the transmittal of the Panel of Experts’ report to the Council. The move is unprecedented in Council committees, which have forwarded such reports as a matter of routine. The document reportedly points to violations of the arms embargo, especially by Khartoum, Libya, Chad and Eritrea.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/Res/1651 (21 December 2005) renewed the mandate of the Panel of Experts until 29 March 2006.

  • S/Res/1627 (23 September 2005) renewed UNMIS’ mandate until 24 March 2006.

  • S/Res/1593 (31 March 2005) referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • S/Res/1591(29 March 2005) strengthened sanctions in Darfur.
  • S/Res/1590 (24 March 2005) established UNMIS.
  • S/Res/1556 (30 July 2004) established an arms embargo in Darfur and requested monthly reports.
Selected Presidential Statements
Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2005/825 (23 December 2005) is the latest report on Darfur at the time of writing.
  • S/2005/821 (21 December 2005) is the latest regular report on Sudan.
  • S/2005/411 (23 June 2005) assessed UNMIS’ deployment.
  • S/2005/285 (03 May 2005) reported on UNMIS’ assistance to AMIS.
  • S/2005/57 (31 January 2005) assessed risks in the CPA implementation and proposed UNMIS.

Historical Background

29 November 2005 Darfur peace talks resumed.
09 July 2005 The Government of National Unity was inaugurated and John Garang was sworn in.
28 April 2005

The AU increased AMIS to 7,731 personnel.

31 March 2005 The Council referred Darfur to the ICC.
29 March 2005 Further sanctions were imposed in Darfur.
24 March 2005 UNMIS was established.
25 January 2005

International Commission of Inquiry concluded that the situations should be referred to the ICC

09 January 2005

The CPA was signed.

18 September 2004

The ICI was established.

01 September 2004 Parties to the Darfur conflict called for AU peacekeepers.
30 July 2004 The Council imposed the first arms embargo on Darfur.
April 2004

Darfur N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement signed.

September 2003

Naivasha Agreement on Security Arrangements (ceasefire between north and south) was signed.
February 2003 Rebels rose up in Darfur.
July 2002 The Government of Sudan and SPLM/A signed the Machakos Protocol.

Other Relevant Facts

UNMIS: Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission
Jan Pronk (Netherlands)
UNMIS Force Commander
Lieutenant-General Jasbir Singh Lidder (India)
UNMIS: Size and Composition of Mission
  • Maximum authorised strength: up to 10,000 military personnel
  • Strength as of 31 October 2005: 3,519 troops and 228 military observers
  • Key troop contributors: Bangladesh, India, Nepal
UNMIS: Cost
1 July 2005 - 30 June 2006: $969.47 million (gross)
AU’s Chief Mediator
Salim Ahmed Salim (Tanzania)
Head of AMIS
Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe (Nigeria)
AMIS Force Commander
Major-General Festus Okonkwo (Nigeria)
AMIS: Size and Composition
  • Total authorised strength: 6,171 military and 1,560 police personnel
  • Strength as of 20 October 2005: 5,618 military personnel and 1,176 police personnel
  • Key troop-contributing countries: Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Ghana
AMIS: Cost
  • $466 million ($290 million pledged)
  • Largest donors: Canada, EU, US

Click here for other SCR Reports on Darfur/Sudan