posted on WED 23 APR 2014 1:08 PM
AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID): Briefing and Consultations

Tomorrow morning (24 April), the Council is scheduled to receive a briefing, followed by consultations, on the most recent quarterly report (S/2014/279) of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and Joint AU-UN Special Representative and Chief Mediator Mohamed Ibn Chambas (via VTC) are expected to brief. At press time, no outcome was anticipated.

The deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur is an ongoing concern for Council members. Violence has accelerated in recent months, displacing roughly 250,000 people since February. The introduction earlier this year into Darfur of the government aligned Rapid Support Force (RSF), a militia numbering 5,000 to 6,000, has exacerbated the security environment and adds a new element to the conflict that several Council members find alarming. The members of the RSF were reportedly recruited from among ethnic groups in Darfur by Sudan and trained in Khartoum. Before arriving in Darfur, they had been deployed to fight the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North rebel group in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

When the Council was briefed by Chambas under “Any Other Business” on 3 April, he discussed the appearance of the RSF in Darfur. Council members may be interested in an update on the activities of the RSF and what can be done to mitigate the influence of this militia, especially given that “attacks attributed to the RSF [have] included the targeting of civilians, the destruction and burning of villages, looting of property, and stealing of livestock”, according to the most recent Secretary-General’s report.

Another issue that may be raised tomorrow is developments with respect to the national dialogue in Sudan. The Council welcomed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s 27 January announcement of the national dialogue process in resolution 2148. Chambas has tried to encourage rebel leaders in Darfur to engage with the process. On 8 March, he and Thabo Mbeki, chair of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel, discussed how to harmonise their mediation efforts with respect to the national dialogue, while meeting with Darfur-based rebel leaders Minni Minawi and Gibril Ibrahim. However, Minawi and Ibrahim have not joined the national dialogue. Their rebel groups-the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi and the Justice and Equality Movement-Gibril Ibrahim—are members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a broad coalition of rebel groups active throughout Sudan, that believe that the regime has no intention to move towards genuine democracy and that it continues to commit war crimes.

With regard to the national dialogue, Council members may be interested in getting Chambas’ perspective on the current position of the Darfur-based rebel groups, whether there is any flexibility in their position, and what strategies can be pursued to narrow the differences between them and the government of Sudan. Likewise, they might have questions about Chambas’ efforts to establish with the AU High-Level Implementation Panel a common structure for political discussions with respect to the national dialogue process.

On a related note, Council members may ask Chambas questions about developments with regard to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). It seems that implementation of the DDPD continues to make limited progress, largely, according to the Secretary-General’s report, because of “insecurity, lack of financial resources, and limited technical capacity.”

Another issue that may be raised tomorrow is the recent streamlining of the police component of the mission. Council members are generally supportive of this effort, so long as it does not compromise the effectiveness of the mission; in this regard, some Council members may be interested in assurances that the reduction in police has had a positive impact on UNAMID’s operations. Likewise, there may be interest in learning about efforts to ensure that police currently serving in the mission are properly trained and equipped, a concern that several Council members have shared for some time.

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posted on WED 23 APR 2014 11:41 AM
South Sudan Consultations

This afternoon the Council is expected to receive a briefing in consultations on the situation in South Sudan. Although not confirmed at press time, it appeared that Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic would be the briefers. The meeting is expected to focus on the recent attacks against civilians in Bor (Jonglei state) and Bentiu (Unity State). While the Council issued a press statement on 18 April expressing outrage at these… Read more »

posted on TUE 22 APR 2014 6:48 PM
Consultations on Mali: The Time for Inclusive Dialogue

Tomorrow morning (23 April), the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing, followed by consultations, by Albert Gerard Koenders, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). At press time, the penholder (France) had circulated a press statement expressing concern over the lack of progress on the peace talks in Mali that is expected to be adopted during the meeting.… Read more »

posted on TUE 22 APR 2014 2:54 PM
Informal Interactive Dialogue on the AU Mission in Somalia

Tomorrow afternoon, 23 April, Council members are scheduled to hold an informal interactive dialogue on the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). (Informal interactive dialogues are unofficial meetings held at a venue other than Council chambers or consultation room where participation is nonetheless restricted to Council members and invited officials.) The anticipated participants include: Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia Nicholas Kay, AU Special Representative for Somalia Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and a Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) representative.… Read more »

posted on TUE 22 APR 2014 12:09 PM
Syria Chemical Weapons Consultations

Tomorrow (23 April), Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Sigrid Kaag will brief Council members in consultations via video teleconference on the implementation of resolution 2118, which required the verification and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. Tomorrow’s meeting was requested by the US. It appears that some Council members are keen to use this briefing, which will be held in addition to the regular monthly briefing, to… Read more »

posted on THU 17 APR 2014 5:20 PM
Security Council Retreat

The annual Security Council retreat with the Secretary-General will be held early next week—21 and 22 April—in Greentree, New York. The Secretary-General and senior staff of the UN Secretariat will meet with the Permanent Representatives of the 15 Council members. The annual retreat affords Council members a rare opportunity to engage in collective brainstorming on specific issues alongside the Secretariat.… Read more »

posted on THU 17 APR 2014 4:35 PM
Briefing on Homs, Syria

Later today, Council members are set to be briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco in consultations on the situation in Homs. It seems that France requested the briefing, expected to be held at 5:30 pm, following the intensified bombing of Homs. The focus will be on Homs specifically, rather than the larger humanitarian situation which will be covered during a briefing by Amos on 30 April following the second monthly… Read more »

posted on WED 16 APR 2014 8:35 PM
Briefing on Myanmar

Tomorrow morning (17 April), the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, will brief Council members during informal consultations under “any other business”. It appears that the UK requested a briefing on the situation in Myanmar as it has been almost exactly a year since this issue was discussed. (Nambiar last briefed Council members on 16 April 2013). Nambiar came back from a visit to Myanmar last week and is expected to provide a general update on the situation.… Read more »

posted on WED 16 APR 2014 4:23 PM
Arria-Formula Meeting with the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

Tomorrow afternoon (17 April), Australia, France and the US have convened an Arria formula meeting with the members of the commission of inquiry on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) established by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 21 March: Michael Kirby (chair, Australia), Sonja Biserko (Serbia) and Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia), who also serves as the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK. Kirby will brief on the findings and recommendations of the commission’s… Read more »

posted on WED 16 APR 2014 1:20 PM
Meeting on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine

This afternoon, the Council will hold a public meeting on the situation in Ukraine at the request of Lithuania. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović will brief on the human rights situation. Council members are likely to be interested in getting a first-hand account of the human rights situation from Šimonović, as he has spent more time in Ukraine since the start of the conflict than any other senior UN official.… Read more »