What's In Blue

Posted Tue 12 Jul 2011

South Sudan and UNMIS

Tomorrow (13 July) the Council will have a high-level debate on Sudan presided over by the German foreign minister. Prior to the debate the Council is expected to adopt a resolution recommending that South Sudan be admitted as a member of the UN. A separate presidential statement drafted by the Secretariat with almost identical language to the resolution will also be issued, as is the practice when the Council recommends admission of a new member to the UN.

Yesterday the Council adopted a resolution on the withdrawal of UNMIS. Council members met on Friday (8 July) to discuss the text with the intention of adopting it that evening, the same day as the creation of the new UN mission in South Sudan. But a few members said they would not be able to adopt the text that day as they were awaiting instructions from capital. The Council contemplated a Saturday adoption but for similar reasons taking action was delayed until Monday, 11 July. The delayed decision resulted in the final text stating UNMIS will end effective 11 July, (i.e. the date of the decision) rather than 9 July (when the previous mandate expired) as the Council cannot make retrospective decisions.

The resolution requested the Secretary-General to transfer appropriate staff and supplies from UNMIS to the new mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, and to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) set up by the Council to monitor the withdrawal of troops from the disputed border areas.

It also requested the Secretary-General to consult with “the parties, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel and other partners” and present the Council with options for UN support to security arrangements in Blue Nile and South Kordofan States. However, no time-line is given for this. The Council also expressed its readiness to continue current UN operations in these states with the consent of the parties, until new security arrangements have been implemented.

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