What's In Blue

Posted Thu 19 May 2011

Security Council Mission to Africa

Council members will begin their mission to Africa tomorrow. (The Council itself remains formally at Headquarters in New York and would meet here if required on any issue.) Members will be visiting Nairobi, Juba, Abyei, Khartoum and Addis Ababa. Members will hold consultations with the AU’s Peace and Security Council in Addis. The Nairobi visit will focus on Somalia. The Sudan locations are expected to give the Council a chance to focus on the implications of South Sudan’s independence on 9 July and need for discussions on a new mission there.

Rather unusually, two of the legs of the trip are being led jointly. The US and Russia lead for the time in Sudan. The UK and South Africa lead jointly during the visit to Nairobi. The Addis Ababa segment is being led by France (as the president of the Council for May.)

The terms of reference for the Sudan visit indicate that a key purpose of the visit to Sudan is to show the Council’s commitment and support for the full implementation of the CPA and the continued negotiations between the CPA parties. Members will also assess the preparations for independence in Southern Sudan and seem likely to emphasise the importance of continued cooperation between the CPA parties after South Sudan’s independence. The importance of CPA parties reaching an agreement on Abyei’s post-CPA status will be a high profile issue. The visit will also allow them to meet with key players in UNMIS, UNAMID and the AU-UN led peace process, as well as engage with UNMIS leadership on planning for the successor mission. .

The terms of reference for the Nairobi visit on 24 and 25 May are based on the Council’s most recent presidential statements on Somalia. The discussions on Somalia will focus on the need for a comprehensive strategy for peace and stability and reaffirm the Council’s support for the Djibouti Agreement, AMISOM and the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, particularly in facilitating the consultative process among Somalis to reach agreement on post-transitional arrangements. There will be a particular focus on the need for the Transitional Federal Institutions to engage fully and constructively in the consultative process, refrain from unilateral action and demonstrate tangible results on the completion of core transitional tasks. It appears that Council members will also be reiterating the importance of increased participation of women in the peace process and urging the implementation of all conclusions of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in Somalia. Other areas of focus include the difficult humanitarian situation, piracy and implementation of the Somalia and Eritrea arms embargoes.