Update Report

Posted 22 May 2008
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Update Report No. 5: Security Council Visiting Mission

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Expected Council Action

A Council mission will visit Africa between 30 May and 10 June. The itinerary so far includes Kenya (for discussions on Somalia), Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Côte d’Ivoire. The mission may also visit Djibouti, where the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and elements from the Asmara-based opposition are gathering for talks. It is unclear whether further changes will be made to the schedule, particularly regarding Somalia. Members are currently discussing separate terms of reference for each part of the mission.

All 15 members are expected to participate in the visits to Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan and Chad, and perhaps a smaller number will go to Côte d’Ivoire and the DRC.

Meetings with national stakeholders, UN officials and civil society organisations are expected.

Upon the mission’s return, a report is likely, as well as briefings by the ambassadors leading the different stages of the mission and possibly a debate. It is unclear whether formal outcomes—such as presidential statements—will emerge.

Côte d’Ivoire
This part of the Council mission will be led by Ambassador Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso. It will take place against the backdrop of important developments, including the scheduling of presidential elections for 30 November 2008 and progress with implementing the Ouagadougou Political Agreement and supplementary accords.

There are however ongoing concerns about delays in the implementation of the agreements, in particular of the slow pace of progress on the disarmament of the Forces nouvelles, re-establishment of state authority and dismantling of militias in the west, as well as timely arrangements for the elections.

The Ivoirian government appeared interested in a relaxation of the sanctions regime in the past. There now appears to be an understanding with the Council to leave this issue for after the elections.

Members will also likely have in mind the recommendations of the Secretary-General on a future role for the UN Operation (UNOCI) in support of the agreements and the elections, included in his 15 April report.

(For further information, please see our January and April 2008 Monthly Forecasts.)

Accordingly, some of the issues and messages to be raised during the mission may include:

  • progress made since the signing of the Ouagadougou and supplementary agreements;
  • the need for the parties to observe the timetable established in the agreements and assure them of the Council’s support in that regard;
  • arrangements for the first round of presidential elections in November and the need for all parties to observe the “Code of Good Conduct;”
  • the need for certification at all stages of the electoral process by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General;
  • support for UNOCI and French forces;
  • signalling that the Council will examine the sanctions regime in the light of developments in the peace process and the elections; and
  • the need for protection of the civilian population, in particular women and children.

DRC
The DRC part of the mission will be led by Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France.

Council attention regarding the DRC and the broader Great Lakes region has included a wider focus on the issue of Congolese and foreign armed groups. Members have also paid particular attention to related humanitarian effects and the regional dimension, especially relations between the DRC and Rwanda. Most recently, this focus was re-energised following renewed violence in eastern DRC in late 2007. Two important related developments include:

  • the signing in Nairobi on 9 November 2007 of a joint communiqué by the DRC and Rwanda calling for steps to eliminate the threat of illegal armed groups in eastern DRC, particularly the ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR) Interahamwe; and
  • the January 2008 Goma conference, which brought together armed groups, government authorities, civil society representatives and international partners. This led to the adoption of commitments by armed groups for North and South Kivu on a ceasefire; disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration; and facilitation of the return of civilians.

(For further information, please see our January, February and March 2008 Monthly Forecasts.)

Most recently in March, the Council adopted resolution 1804 on the Great Lakes region. The resolution inter alia demanded that all Rwandan armed groups operating in eastern DRC immediately lay down their arms; signalled the possibility of further sanctions; called upon DRC and Rwanda to implement the Nairobi communiqué; and called upon states to intensify cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The Council also adopted resolution 1807, which lifted the arms embargo for government forces and strengthened measures related to aviation and customs.

A related set of issues for the Council has also been the development of Congolese state institutions (especially security sector reform) and the future of UN Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Some cost-conscious members in particular have pressed for benchmarks for a future gradual drawdown of MONUC.

Concerns also remain about progress with arrangements for local elections, and conduct and discipline of MONUC and Congolese armed forces. (In recent weeks, new allegations emerged of involvement of MONUC personnel in sexual exploitation, as well as of faulty investigation of illegal dealings on arms and natural resources involving MONUC troops.)

The following issues and messages are likely to be raised during the visiting mission:

  • reiterating the Council’s commitment to contribute to the consolidation of peace and stability in the DRC;
  • expressing support for the Nairobi joint communiqué and the Goma conference;
  • stressing the Council’s demand that the militias and armed groups in eastern DRC lay down their arms;
  • encouraging regional cooperation to this effect, including improved relations between the DRC and Rwanda;
  • urging Congolese authorities, with regional support, to take appropriate steps to end the illegal trade in natural resources;
  • calling on Congolese authorities to intensify efforts to reform the security sector, including the army, the police and the justice sector;
  • emphasising the Council’s support for the strengthening of democratic institutions, the rule of law, and good governance, including through the timely holding of local elections;
  • encouraging further efforts to address the grave humanitarian situation in the DRC, protect vulnerable civilian populations; and
  • promoting and protecting human rights and fighting impunity.


Somalia
This section of the trip will be co-led by Ambassadors Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa) and John Sawers (UK).

Clashes involving the TFG and Ethiopian forces against the armed insurgency—in particular the Shabaab militia—continue relentlessly with little progress on full deployment of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The Council will hold its meetings on Somalia in Nairobi (because of security reasons), as well as possibly in Djibouti.

The TFG and elements of the Asmara-based opposition met in Djibouti in mid-May to discuss a peace process under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. The parties also called on the Secretary-General and the Council to “help them with all necessary measures to implement their final decisions” (seemingly including UN peacekeeping) and decided to meet in Djibouti on May 31 2008 for further discussions.

The talks were seen as a possible milestone in that the insurgency has traditionally refused peace talks unless Ethiopian troops withdrew. But significant concerns remain about fragmentation among insurgents. Some groups (most notably the Shabaab) insist on Ethiopian withdrawal and have rejected talks with the TFG altogether. There are also concerns about links between insurgents and terrorist groups.

On 15 May, the Council adopted resolution 1814, which inter alia supported the Secretary-General’s phased approach to Somali issues; requested him to establish security arrangements for the relocation of the UN Political Office (UNPOS) from Nairobi to a location in Somalia; and requested him to continue contingency planning for the deployment of a UN operation to succeed AMISOM. But important differences of view remain among members on the issue of UN peacekeeping in Somalia, with some adopting a more cautious view regarding requirements for a political process and broad support from Somali parties. (For more information, please see our 2 May Update Report.)

It seems that issues and messages likely to be raised during the mission include:

  • reaffirming the Council’s commitment to a political settlement and the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), and stressing the importance of broad-based and representative institutions through an inclusive political process;
  • encouraging TFG efforts to advance the political process, including a timetable for the constitutional process leading to a referendum and democratic elections in 2009, and efforts to improve public finance management;
  • reiterating the need for agreement on a comprehensive and lasting cessation of hostilities and a roadmap for the remainder of the transitional process;
  • expressing the Council’s determination to assist Somali efforts through a strengthened presence and a more active role for the UN;
  • highlighting the need to fully resource the deployment of AMISOM; and
  • expressing concern at violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, underlining the need for those responsible to be brought to justice, and for all parties to protect civilians and allow timely, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

If and when the mission goes to Djibouti, members may meet TFG and opposition representatives to encourage progress with peace talks. In this context, some members are likely to have in mind the issue of transition to a UN operation to replace AMISOM and allow for Ethiopian withdrawal as an important aspect for consideration.

The wider regional dimension is also likely to be on the minds of members, in particular relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as between the latter and Djibouti. (At press time, members were considering options for the future of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, UNMEE. Tensions between Djibouti and Eritrea emerged in recent weeks, with the former reporting that Eritrean forces had been concentrating along the border. It now appears that both sides have reached a bilateral understanding.)

Sudan-Chad
The mission to Sudan will be co-led by Ambassadors Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa) and John Sawers (UK), and to Chad by Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert (France).

While in Sudan and Chad, Council members will have before them a large set of inter-related issues including:

  • the north-south Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the recent clashes involving government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA);
  • the recent violence, prospects for a cessation of hostilities and a peace process in Darfur;
  • problems with the deployment of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID);
  • implementation of resolution 1593 which referred Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC);
  • the conflict in Chad;
  • Chad-Sudan relations; and
  • deployment of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and the EU Force (EUFOR), including, in this context, the need for options if and when EUFOR is withdrawn in May 2009. (The Secretary-General is due to present options in September. The Chadian government has opposed the deployment of UN military contingents.)

There have been important differences of view on how best to reach progress with each of those issues. There is consensus on the key issues and challenges, but members appear divided on a strategic vision. Particularly regarding Chad-Sudan relations and the conflict in Chad, members appear to support regional initiatives, but there has been slow progress on improving the situation. (For more information, please see our April and May 2008 Monthly Forecasts.)

At press time, the terms of reference for Sudan appeared to include the following messages:

  • reaffirming the international community’s determination to implement the CPA and resolving the situation in Darfur;
  • stressing that successful implementation of the CPA is essential to sustainable peace and stability throughout Sudan, including Darfur, and in the region and to encouraging cooperation between north and south in carrying out their responsibilities;
  • urging the government of Sudan to intensify its efforts to resolve the crisis in Darfur;
  • reiterating the Council’s strong support for UN-AU mediation team, and urging all parties to engage constructively in a peace process in Darfur (which might include talks in London as recently proposed by the UK);
  • calling on Sudan, donors, troop contributors and all relevant parties to facilitate the full deployment of UNAMID; and
  • underlining the need to ensure that all Security Council resolutions are implemented and that the rule of law is upheld in all situations and that due process must take its course.

In addition, members are also likely to call on Chad and Sudan to abide by bilateral agreements.

The terms of reference for the visit to Chad appear to include the following messages:

  • stressing the Council’s commitment to protect vulnerable civilian populations and facilitate humanitarian assistance in eastern Chad through the deployment of MINURCAT and EUFOR;
  • recalling the need for arrangements for following up EUFOR, including a possible UN operation; and
  • encouraging Chadian authorities to persevere in promoting political dialogue with respect for the constitutional framework.

Other Issues
A number of other important issues are likely to be on the minds of members during the mission.

One is the situation regarding the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Negotiations between the Ugandan government and the LRA took place in Juba, southern Sudan. LRA leaders consistently maintained that pending ICC arrest warrants were an obstacle to achieving peace. An agreement was eventually reached in Juba on the use of domestic Ugandan justice mechanisms in lieu of an ICC trial. However, despite this understanding, LRA leader Joseph Kony continues to refuse to sign the final peace agreement.

While this domestic approach is not fundamentally at odds with the ICC’s Rome Statute, questions remain on whether Ugandan mechanisms could meet necessary international law standards and would therefore be an alternative to ICC trials. According to the ICC’s Rome Statute, it is up to the ICC judges to determine this. Observers have noted that the government appeared interested in requesting the Council to adopt a resolution suspending ICC proceedings if and when a final peace agreement is signed. This type of measure is foreseen in the Rome Statute for one-year periods. Prospects are unclear, especially given the current breakdown in the negotiations. In any event, concerns have been raised about the ICC’s credibility and independence should this materialise. (For more information, please see our 11 April 2008 Update Report.)

There have also been reports of recent abductions of children by the LRA in the DRC, Sudan and Central African Republic, where Kony now appears to be located. This recent LRA activity has prompted some human rights groups to call for international action to investigate LRA abuses; track and publicise its movements; cut off weapon and other supply flows for the LRA; and make plans to execute ICC arrest warrants while minimising the risk to civilians and the use of excessive force in any arrest operation.

In resolution 1812, which renewed the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS), the Council also requested.

Another pending matter is Kenya, in particular progress with the agreement between the Party of National Unity of President Mwai Kibaki and the Orange Democratic Movement of opposition leader and presidential contestant Raila Odinga. The agreement led to a government of national unity, sharing of cabinet posts and the appointment of Odinga as prime minister. Concerns remain regarding simmering tensions between the parties; unresolved political issues and the implementation of the agreements; and justice and accountability. (In February, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report on Kenya, but this was still pending at press time. For more information, please see our March 2008 Monthly Forecast.) It appears that while the Council will visit Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, all its meetings there are likely to have a focus on Somalia.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

Côte d’Ivoire 

  • S/RES/1765 (16 July 2007) renewed UNOCI’s mandate to support elections and the full implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement.
  • S/RES/1643 (15 December 2005) established a diamonds embargo.
  • S/RES/1609 (24 June 2005) expanded UNOCI’s mandate, increased the contingents, and authorised temporary troop and police-sharing among UN missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire.
  • S/RES/1572 (15 November 2004) established an arms embargo.

DRC

  • S/RES/1807 (31 March 2008) modified the sanctions regime.
  • S/RES/1804 (13 March 2008) inter alia demanded that all members of Rwandan armed groups operating in eastern DRC immediately lay down their arms, called upon DRC and Rwanda to implement commitments under the Nairobi communiqué, signalled the possibility of further sanctions, and called upon states to intensify cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
  • S/RES/1756 (15 May 2007) revised MONUC’s mandate in the post-transitional period.
  • S/RES/1698 (31 July 2006), 1649 (21 December 2005) and 1596 (18 April 2005) strengthened sanctions.

Somalia

  • S/RES/1814 (15 May 2008) supported the Secretary-General’s strategic approach to Somalia and requested him to establish security arrangements for the relocation of UNPOS.
  • S/RES/1801 (20 February 2008) renewed AMISOM for six months.
  • S/RES/733 (23 January 1992) imposed an arms embargo.

Sudan-Chad

  • S/RES/1778 (25 September 2007) established MINURCAT and authorised the EU protection force.
  • S/RES/1769 (31 July 2007) established UNAMID.
  • S/RES/1672 (25 April 2006), 1591 (29 March 2005) and 1556 (30 July 2004) imposed sanctions in the context of the conflict in Darfur.
  • S/RES/1593 (31 March 2005) referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC.
  • S/RES/1590 (24 March 2005) established UNMIS.

Other

  • S/RES/1812 (30 April 2008) renewed the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and requested a Secretariat report on possible measures UNMIS could take to assist in the implementation of a future peace agreement between the Ugandan government and the LRA. 

Selected Secretary-General’s Report

  • S/2008/250 (15 April 2008) contained recommendations for UNOCI in support of the peace agreements and the elections in Côte d’Ivoire. 

Selected Reports of Security Council Missions

  • S/2007/421 and Corr. 1 (11 July 2007): Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Accra, Abidjan and Kinshasa
  • S/2006/434 (22 June 2006): DRC
  • S/2006/433 (22 June 2006): Sudan and Chad
  • S/2005/723 (16 November 2005): visit to Ethiopia and Eritrea by the Chairman of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations
  • S/2005/716 (14 November 2005): Central Africa
  • S/2004/934 (30 November 2004): Central Africa
  • S/2004/525 (2 July 2004): West Africa

Other Relevant Facts

Heads of Mission

  • Sudan, Somalia: Ambassadors Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa) and John Sawers (UK)
  • DRC, Chad: Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert (France)
  • Côte d’Ivoire: Ambassador Michel Kafando (Burkina Faso)

Duration

  • 30 May-10 June

Tentative Itinerary as of 22 May

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Djibouti
  • Sudan (Khartoum, Juba, El Fasher)
  • Chad
  • DRC
  • Côte d’Ivoire

Prior Security Council Visits to the Region

  • Sudan, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, and AU Headquarters (14 to 21 June 2007)
  • Sudan, Chad, DRC, and AU Headquarters (4-12 June 2006)
  • Ethiopia and Eritrea (Visit by the Chairman of the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations) (6-9 November 2005)
  • Central Africa (DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania) (4-11 November 2005)
  • West Africa (Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea) (20-29 June 2004)
  • Central Africa (Rwanda, DRC, Burundi, and Uganda) (21-25 November 2004)
  • West Africa (Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire) (26 June-5 July 2003)
  • Central Africa (South Africa, Angola, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) (7-16 June 2003)
  • Great Lakes (South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRC, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda) (27 April-7 May 2002)
  • Ethiopia and Eritrea (21-25 February 2002)
  • Great Lakes region (South Africa, DRC, Angola, Zambia, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda) (15-26 May 2001)
  • Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Nigeria, and Liberia (7-14 October 2000)
  • DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Uganda (4-8 May 2000)
  • Eritrea and Ethiopia (9 and 10 May 2000)
  • Rwanda and Burundi (10-13 February 1995)
  • Somalia (26 and 27 October 1994)
  • Burundi (13 and 14 August 1994)

UN/AU/EU Missions in the Region

Chad 

  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General: Victor da Silva Ângelo (Portugal)
  • MINURCAT
    • Authorised strength: up to 300 police and fifty military liaison officers
    • Strength as of 31 March 2008: 71 police and 14 military observers
    • Main police contributors: Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda and France
    • Cost: approved budget 1 July 2007–30 June 2008: $182.44 million
    • Duration: September 2007 to present; mandate expires on 25 September 2008
  • EU Force
    • Expected strength: 3,700 troops and 600 on reserve
    • Expected main contributors: France, Ireland, Poland, Sweden and Finland
    • Cost: EUR 119.6 million
    • Duration: 17 March 2008 to present; mandate expires on 17 March 2009

 

Côte d’Ivoire 

  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General: Choi Young-Jin (Republic of Korea)
  • UNOCI:
    • Authorised Strength: 8,115 military and 1,200 police
    • Strength as of 30 April 2008: 7,835 troops, 194 military observers and 1,139 police
    • Key troop contributing countries: Bangladesh, Pakistan
    • Cost: 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2008: $470.86 million
    • Duration: 27 February 2004 to present; mandate expires on 30 July 2008

DRC

  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General: Alan Doss (UK)
  • MONUC
    • Authorised Strength: 17,030 troops, 760 observers, and 1,141 police
    • Strength as of 30 April 2008: 16,669 troops, 714 observers, and 1,063 police
    • Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uruguay
    • Cost: 1 July 2007-30 June 2008: $1,115.65 million
    • Duration: 30 November 1999 to present; mandate expires on 31 December 2008

 

Somalia 

  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General: Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah (Mauritania)
  • AMISOM
    • Maximum authorised strength: 7,650 troops plus maritime and air components
    • Strength as of 19 May 2008: about 2,500 Ugandan and Burundian troops
    • Duration: February 2007 to present: AU mandate expires on 18 July 2008 and Council authorisation expires on 20 August 2008

Sudan 

  • Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur: Rodolphe Adada (Republic of Congo)
  • UN and AU Special Envoys: Jan Eliasson (Sweden) and Salim A. Salim (Tanzania)
  • UNAMID:
    • Maximum authorised strength: up to 19,555 military, 3,772 police and 19 formed police units
    • Strength as of 30 April 2008: 7,393 troops, 128 observers, 1,716 police
    • Main troop contributors: Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal
    • Cost: 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2008: $1.28 billion
    • Duration: 31 July 2007 to present; mandate expires 31 July 2008
  • North-South, Special Representative of the Secretary-General: Ashraf Qazi (Pakistan)
  • UNMIS:
    • Maximum authorised strength: up to 10,000 military and 715 police personnel
    • Strength as of 30 April 2008: 8,721 troops, 586 observers, and 631 police
    • Main troop contributors: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
    • Cost: 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2008: $846.28 million
    • Duration: 24 March 2005 to present; mandate expires 30 April 2009