Insights on Sudan
The Council is expected to receive two separate briefings tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 April) on Sudan – one on the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and the other on the AU-UN Hybrid mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Council members will also have separate informal consultations on Sudan and Darfur. It appears that Atul Khare, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, will brief on both subjects.
Late Friday, Council members received an advance copy of the report on the Darfur-based Political Process (DPP) which Council members expected orginally in late February. Council members are expected to discuss this report tomorrow together with the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMA and UNMIS which were published in mid-April.
Council members are currently discussng a presidential statement that may be issued. The draft presidential statement was circulated yesterday. There is still some uncertainty as to whether Council members will be able to reach agreement on it by the end of tomorrow.
It seems the most difficult area is likely to the section on the Darfur Political Process. The 8 April AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) Communique contained a proposal that the DPP process should start on 1 May and 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”. It seems that African members of the Council are likely to want language supporting the recent AU decisions. It also seems, however, that a number of other members – including the P3 – prefer that the DPP and the Doha process proceed in a sequential manner. Some members were waiting for the Secretary-General’s report on the DPP before finalising their positions on this issue but it appears that the report did not provide unequivocal guidance on whether the conditions are ready for the DPP to begin.
The South Sudan sections of the presidential statement are likely to be easier to agree on as Council members are generally in agreement on the need to to stress the importance of resolving the outstanding issues in the implementation of the CPA including the status of Abyei. Most members feel that it is a good time to remind the parties that the Council is still following this issue closely.