Darfur Briefing and Consultations
Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, is set to brief the Council tomorrow (11 January) on the AU/UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). It seems that the briefing—which will be followed by consultations—will focus on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNAMID (S/2011/814), particularly the peace process and the security situation on the ground in Darfur. South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is expected to chair tomorrow’s meeting. No outcome from the meeting is anticipated.
The Secretary-General’s report notes that the human rights situation in Darfur has deteriorated since the previous reporting period, citing violence, harassment, arbitrary arrest, and detention in the region. Regarding further negotiations on the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) – —originally signed by the government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement in July 2011), the report indicates that the government will only negotiate with other rebel groups once they have renounced their call for regime change in Khartoum by “all possible means”. Moreover, the government would only be willing to negotiate the parts of the DDPD that focus on security arrangements and political appointments. (These elements are part of two chapters out of the seven in the DDPD.)
It had been anticipated that the “roadmap for peace in Darfur” would be incorporated in the latest report and serve as a focus of tomorrow’s briefing. However, it is now clear that the roadmap will be released as a separate document. At press time, the roadmap had yet to be circulated to Council members. (It seems the key elements of the roadmap will be support for the implementation of the DDPD, internal dialogue in Darfur on the DDPD, engagement with the government and rebel groups that have not signed the DDPD, and coordination among international actors in support of the peace process.)
It is possible that the Council may schedule another meeting to focus specifically on the roadmap in order to hold a substantive discussion once members have had a chance to consider its various elements.
Within the Council, members seem to have different perspectives on the right approach for nurturing the peace process in Darfur. There is, for example, a lack of consensus on the appropriate level of pressure that should be applied to persuade the rebel groups to pursue peace. Additionally, while some members seem to be wary of Khartoum’s intentions, others believe that the government of Sudan has made a credible effort to support peace in Darfur and that these efforts should be recognised and encouraged.