What's In Blue

Posted Wed 25 Jul 2012

Darfur Resolution Negotiations

The Security Council is negotiating a resolution renewing the mandate of the AU/UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) before its expiration on Tuesday, 31 July. The adoption of the resolution is scheduled for tomorrow morning (26 July), but it is unclear whether the draft text will be finalised in time.

A significant point of contention appears to be inclusion of language in the draft requesting UNAMID to report on Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) activity in Darfur. It is possible that differences of opinion on this issue among some of the permanent members of the Council may have contributed to the circulation of the draft to all the elected members only on 23 July, just three days prior to the scheduled adoption.

It appears that some members of the Council do not believe that there is credible evidence of LRA presence in Darfur. There was also no mention of the LRA in the 16 July report by the Secretary-General on UNAMID (S/2012/548). Other members appear to be more confident that the LRA has been in Darfur.

On the issue of restructuring the force level of the mission in line with the Secretary-General’s recommendations, there seems to be agreement among most members. (The 16 July report suggested decreasing the strength of the military component from 19,555 to 16,200 and that of the police component from 3,772 individual police officers to 2,312 and from 19 formed police units to 17.)

The Council was briefed by the AU-UN Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Ibrahim Gambari, yesterday (24 July). During the briefing, Gambari noted that while some progress has been made in implementing the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), especially relating to political appointments and the establishment of institutions outlined in the DDPD, much work remained to be done and implementation deadlines had been adjusted. He added that one challenge is that the acute financial constraints facing the Government of Sudan make it difficult to implement provisions of the DDPD at the present time. He also said that the Darfur Regional Authority had launched the Darfur Joint Assessment Mission, “which is intended to identify and assess the needs for economic recovery, development and poverty eradication” in the region and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Addressing the Council after Gambari, Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman (Sudan) rejected any mention of the LRA in the draft resolution as he claimed there were no LRA elements in Darfur. He further warned that inclusion of language of the LRA in the text could jeopardise Sudan’s cooperation with UNAMID.

Some members of the Council also seem to be interested in ensuring the resolution accurately depicts the security situation on the ground. While some members believe that there has been an improvement, others are less convinced given the many incidents of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the rebel movements cited in the Secretary-General’s report.

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