What's In Blue

Posted Fri 18 Nov 2011

Negotiations on a Sudan and South Sudan Presidential Statement

Council members are currently negotiating a presidential statement on Sudan circulated by the US last Friday. Apparently the impetus for the draft presidential statement was the bombings in Upper Nile and Unity states which had taken place earlier in the week. It appears that there is also a Russian press statement on the table largely focused on the detention in September of an UNMISS helicopter with its crew. It seems that the Russian draft press statement condemns South Sudan for violating the status of forces agreement while the US draft presidential statement condemns the bombings and calls on parties to strengthen efforts to address differences through negotiation. It seems that there are efforts being made to incorporate the elements in the press statement into the presidential statement.

Early reactions to the presidential statement from some Council members were that a more balanced statement was needed. Apparently the US has been holding bilateral negotiations with some Council members to come up with a more balanced text. It appears that today (18 November), Council members at expert level had discussions on a new draft. Negotiations are expected to continue on Monday

On Thursday, 10 November, Council members were briefed on Sudan and South Sudan in closed consultations by Haile Menkerios, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Menkerios highlighted the tensions between the parties in Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan as well as the possible friction arising from unresolved Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) issues.

On Friday(11 November), the Council resumed the Sudan and South Sudan briefing in public where it heard from Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Hilde Johnson, head of UNMISS. The permanent representatives from Sudan and South Sudan also spoke. During consultations it appears that some members indicated a desire for more information to verify and clarify the nature of the alleged incursions in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity states.

On Tuesday, 15 November, Council members were briefed again by Ladsous and Johnson with participation from the Sudan and South Sudan permanent representatives. This briefing focused on both the Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNMISS and the military incursions.