What's In Blue

Posted Thu 9 Feb 2012

Sudan Sanctions Committee (Darfur) and South Sudan Consultations

The Council’s engagement with Sudan and South Sudan issues continues tomorrow (10 February) during consultations. During tomorrow’s sanctions consultations, it seems that Council members will discuss the final report of the Sudan sanctions committee’s panel of experts. During the South Sudan consultations, it appears that the focus will be on the humanitarian and security situation in South Sudan. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, is set to brief Council members on her recent visit to South Sudan.

Sudan Sanctions Committee
Regarding the consultations on the sanctions committee, it seems that the chair of the committee, Ambassador Néstor Osorio of Colombia, will report to the Council on the initial discussions that the committee has had on the panel of experts’ final report. The report has been circulated to Council members, but has not yet been made publicly available. (Resolution 1982, which last year extended the panel’s mandate until 19 February 2012, requests the panel “to provide a final report no later than 30 days prior to termination of its mandate to the Council with findings and recommendations.”)

It seems several Council members are interested in how the newly-constituted panel has assessed the impact of the sanctions regime. (The panel members were all appointed in late 2011, and only had two months for their investigations on the ground.) It appears that some of the panel’s recommendations may be considered controversial by some Council members.

It seems that there has been heightened public attention on the UN sanctions regime in Sudan ahead of tomorrow’s consultations. On 9 February, Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, suggested that new UN sanctions should not be placed on Sudan, but that existing measures should be made more effective. (On 8 February, the Sudanese government denied allegations contained in a report of Amnesty International, published yesterday, which said that Russia, China, and Belarus had supplied Sudan with a variety of weapons that have been used in Darfur in contravention of existing Council sanctions.)

The sanctions committee is likely to continue its discussions on the report’s recommendations over the month, while the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution on Friday, 17 February, renewing the mandate of the panel of experts.

South Sudan
Under-Secretary-General Amos’s briefing tomorrow afternoon will focus on the challenging humanitarian situation in South Sudan. It is likely that Council members will be particularly interested in the deteriorating security situation and its impact on the humanitarian space. Amos’s last briefing was on the humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and some Council members may be keen discuss recent developments there.

In recent months, South Sudan has been plagued by significant inter-communal violence, which has exacerbated humanitarian problems in the country, displacing tens of thousands of civilians and leaving many of them without adequate food, water, or shelter. (Tens of thousands of civilians have also fled fighting north of the border in Sudan to escape to South Sudan. Furthermore, a recent World Food Programme and Food and Agricultural Organisation joint assessment indicates that 4.7 million out of South Sudan’s 8.2 million people suffer from food insecurity.) At press time, it was unclear whether there would be a formal outcome from tomorrow afternoon’s consultations.

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