What's In Blue

Posted Wed 25 Jul 2012

Consultations on Sudan and South Sudan

Tomorrow morning (26 July) the Council is scheduled to hold consultations in accordance with resolution 2046, adopted 2 May 2012, which requested the Council be kept informed at two week intervals on the status of compliance of Sudan and South Sudan with the resolution. It seems that Haile Menkerios, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, may brief via VTC. A representative from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, likely either Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous or Assistant-Secretary-General Edmond Mulet, may also participate. (There had been interest among some Council members in hearing from Thabo Mbeki, chair of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan, which is facilitating the negotiations. However, it appears that Mbeki was not available.)

It seems that some Council members are interested in learning more about the status of negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan that have taken place in recent weeks in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar in Ethiopia. Some members are particularly keen to learn more about the 22 July proposal of South Sudan to resolve the outstanding issues separating the countries—including border demarcation, the status of Abyei, and oil wealth sharing—which Khartoum has rejected, citing the need to resolve security issues along the Sudan-South Sudan border before considering the proposal. (According to the agreement, South Sudan made an offer to restart its oil production, expressing its willingness to provide Sudan with higher fees per barrel than they had been previously offered for transit of oil through Sudan. It also offered Sudan $4.968 billion in debt forgiveness and $3.245 billion in compensation for lost revenue resulting from South Sudan’s secession, which cost Sudan 75% of its oil reserves.)

It is also clear that Council members are considering possible next steps in their approach to the negotiations. They are well aware that the 2 August deadline, imposed in resolution 2046 for the parties to resolve the fundamental differences separating them, is fast approaching and that little progress has been made at the negotiating table.

While resolution 2046 indicated that article 41 measures (which could include sanctions) could be taken as necessary in the case of non-compliance with the resolution, several members seem to believe that imposition of such measures is unlikely at the present time. While there may be interest among some members in extending the deadline for compliance with the resolution, there is also a desire to ensure that the parties take the reference to Article 41 measures seriously.

Follow us on Twitter

Sign up for What's In Blue emails