posted on FRI 24 FEB 2012 5:07 PM
Informal interactive Dialogue on Sudan and South Sudan

On Monday afternoon (27 February), Council members are expected to hold an “informal interactive dialogue” on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan. Haile Menkerios, UN Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and Thabo Mbeki, chair of the AU High Level Implementation Panel, will address Council members during the meeting. (The Panel was formed in 2008 by the AU Peace and Security Council to investigate the Darfur crisis.)

Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, might also attend the informal meeting. (Held outside of Council chambers, the interactive dialogue is a flexible format that allows the Council to meet with actors [in this case, the AU High Level Implementation Panel] with whom it would not be able to meet in consultations inside the Council chambers.) At press time, it was unclear whether a Council outcome would result from the meeting.

It seems several Council members have been keen to engage with Mbeki for several months to learn more about the on-going efforts of the AU High Level Implementation Panel. The participation of Menkerios also affords the Council the opportunity to hear the lead UN mediator on the ground in the region. Mbeki and Menkerios may strive to demonstrate to Council members that the AU and the UN are committed to forging a collaborative approach to resolving the challenges in Sudan and South Sudan and the differences between the two countries.

It appears that the conversation will focus on the situation of Abyei, the disputed region straddling both countries, and the ongoing humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Other topics related to Sudan and South Sudan, including the ongoing oil dispute between the two countries, may enter into the conversation as well.

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