Insights on Sudan
The report on the Darfur-based Political Process (DPP) which Council members expected orginally in late February and then in April is now expected to be delayed further. (On 9 February the Council requested in a presidential statement that the Secretary-General report by the end of February on issues related to the DPP, including an assessment of the “enabling environment”.) Indications are that the Secretariat is not close to finalising the report.
A related development is the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) proposal that the DPP process should start on 1 May. This was included in its Communique of 8 April. It also requested UNAMID to make “all necessary preparations for the DPP as a matter of priority” and emphasised that it should proceed in a manner “concurrent with and complementary to the Doha Talks”. This cuts across the process in the Security Council where a number of members seem to hold serious reservations about the DPP. And it complicates life for UNAMID which of course answers to both Councils.
The AU PSC Communique was also very critical of Djibril Bassole, the Joint Chief Mediator, stressing the need for him to coordinate his efforts with that of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki and regretting that such coordination had not taken place.
The Security Council is expected to adopt a presidential statement on Sudan on 20 April following briefings and consultations on both UNMIS and UNAMID. African members of the Council are likely to want language supporting the recent AU decisions. The P3 are likely to be more cautious at least until the much delayed Secretariat report is available. The P3 seem very sceptical about whether conditions are ready for the DPP to begin and are likely to want to wait until there is a better sense of the current shortcomings.