posted on WED 25 APR 2012 6:39 PMDarfur Briefing and Consultations
Tomorrow morning (26 April), the Council is scheduled to receive a briefing on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2012/231) on the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) followed by consultations. It seems that Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, will brief. Ladsous is likely to speak about the Framework for AU and UN Facilitation of the Darfur Peace Process, which was released in March. (The Framework outlines support for the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), engagement between the government of Sudan and rebel groups that have not signed the DDPD, and ways of supporting dialogue and consultation on the peace process with the people of Darfur.)
Another area Ladsous is likely to focus on is the proposed reduction and reconfiguration of UNAMID forces, discussed in the report. At press time a formal outcome to the meeting was not anticipated. (In the report, the Secretary-General expressed his intention to move forward with reducing 4,200 military personnel, 280 police from formed units, and 1,460 individual police, and it is likely that the Council will reduce UNAMID’s mandated force level when the mission comes up for renewal in July.)
Some Council members remain concerned at the ongoing security and humanitarian challenges in the region. (The report, for example, noted that food insecurity continued to be a problem in certain parts of Darfur and that 3,032 displaced persons had arrived at the Zam Zam camp as of 19 March, fleeing inter-communal conflict that erupted in February.) A related area of concern remains the security of UNAMID peacekeepers, as reflected by the Council’s 24 April press statement, condemning the 20 April attack in Western Darfur in which four UNAMID peacekeepers were injured, one of whom subsequently died.
There also appears to be growing concern among several Council members about the linkages between the situation in Darfur and broader Sudan-South Sudan issues. Recent media reports indicate that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the largest rebel group in Darfur, had been fighting alongside South Sudan’s army in Heglig earlier this month.
It is possible that some Council members may want to discuss other Sudan-South Sudan issues during the consultations, given the sharp deterioration in relations between the two countries in recent weeks.
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