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Sudan: Diplomatic Denialism?
Sep 6, 2006 (060906)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
"This is no way to run a peacekeeping operation. Morale is low, we
cannot pay our troops and the [Sudanese] government makes sure we
are unable to do our job." - Senior African Union official
As the Sudanese governments launches a intensified military
campaign in north Darfur and civilian casualties rise, the United
Nations Security Council has finally passed a resolution mandating
a large UN peacekeeping force that can incorporate and take over
responsibilities from the current African Union force. But with
Sudan adamantly refusing the UN "invitation" to give consent to the
force, this small step towards international action may turn out to
be no more than a face-saving diplomatic maneuver.
Technically, the resolution only "invites" rather than "requires"
Sudanese government consent. And the option remains of "re-hatting"
the AU force under the UN label without adding new troops, putting
the burden of action on Sudan to alienate African countries by
expelling them. U.S. diplomats have stated they are confident
Khartoum will eventually agree, but neither Sudanese government
statements nor its actions give any indication that it is feeling
serious pressure to do so. On September 5, State Department
spokesman Sean McCormack limited himself to saying the U.S. found
the situation "troubling."
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains reports and excerpts from recent
statements and actions by the African Union and the United Nations
on Darfur. An additional consultation is scheduled for New York on
September 18, and groups in several countries have called for
mobilization for a "Day for Darfur" (http://www.dayfordarfur.org).
For current news and commentary on Sudan, visit
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on Sudan, see
++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++
Khartoum Issues Deadline to African Union
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
September 5, 2006
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
The Sudanese government has asked the African Union (AU) to decide
within a week, whether it will keep its troops in Sudan's Darfur
region, or leave the country.
The mandate of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) is due to
expire on 30 September. The Sudanese government has refused to
accept an extension of the mandate if the AU force then becomes
part of a United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur.
In a meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday, the
AU Peace and Security Council decided not to extend its mission in
Darfur beyond 30 September, unless consultations between the UN and
the government of Sudan resulted in a new agreement about a
transfer from the AU to a UN force.
"If the Sudanese government and the UN decide on a transition, the
AU will review its mandate in Darfur," AU spokesman Noureddine
Mezni told IRIN on Tuesday.
Sudanese Presidential Adviser, Mustafa Osman Ismail, told reporters
in Khartoum that his government was not against the African troops
in Darfur as such, but that it objected to the African troops
becoming an advance party for other international forces.
"The African Peace and Security Council pressed ahead with its
demand of ending the role of the African Union's troops in Darfur
and hand over their mission to the UN without consultation with the
government of Sudan," is how the State Minister at Sudan's Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, Ali Ahmed Karti, explained Sudan's position on
Despite this one-week deadline set by the Sudanese government, the
AU peace council decided to convene at ministerial level in New
York on 18 September on the margins of the United Nations General
Assembly, to review the situation in Darfur and consider its
"In the meantime, there will be a lot of consultations with all the
stakeholders," AU spokesman Mezni said. "Let us see and wait - and
hope we can reach an agreement."
Last week, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for
a gradual transition from the under-funded and under-equipped AU
mission, to a stronger UN protection force.
The UN is not expected to be able to deploy a complete peacekeeping
operation before the end of the year, one political analyst said,
so an extension of the AU's mandate now is crucial to bridge the
three-month gap that would allow the UN to prepare its deployment.
The three year conflict in Darfur has left over 200,000 people
dead, and displaced more than 2 million. Since the signing of a 5
May Darfur Peace Agreement between the Sudanese government and one
of three main rebel groups, fighting has escalated between
signatories and rebel groups that refused to sign the peace deal.
Peace and Security Council
Press Statement on Developments in Darfur
Addis Ababa, 4 September 2006
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU),
meeting on 4 September 2006, was briefed by the Commission on the
most recent developments regarding the situation in Darfur. Council
also received a briefing from the representative of the Sudan.
Council reiterated its earlier decisions on the situation in
Darfur, including decisions PSC/MIN/Comm(XLVI) of 10 March 2006,
PSC/MIN/Comm/1(LI) of 15 May 2006 and PSC/MIN/Comm(LVIII) of 27
June 2006 on the issue of transition. In the decision of 27 June
2006, Council reaffirmed its earlier decisions on ending the
mandate of AMIS by 30 September 2006 and on the transition from
AMIS to a UN peacekeeping operation, and expressed its readiness to
review the mandate of the Mission in the event that the
consultations between the Government of the Sudan and the United
Nations conclude on an agreement for a transition to a UN
Council agreed to convene at ministerial level, in New York, on 18
September 2006, on the margins of the United Nations General
Assembly, to review the situation in Darfur and consider the
mandate of AMIS, in light of its decision of 27 June 2006. In the
meantime, consultations on the matter will continue among all
Council expressed concern at the prevailing security situation on
the ground, particularly attacks against AMIS personnel and assets.
Council demanded that all the parties scrupulously abide by the
ceasefire and ensure the safety and security of AMIS.
Council further demanded that the parties refrain from any action
likely to undermine the peace process and the efforts being made to
implement the Darfur Peace Agreement.
Finally, Council reiterated its profound appreciation to AMIS
personnel and leadership for the commendable work done in Darfur,
in spite of the many challenges confronting the Mission on the
ground. Council encouraged AMIS to vigorously pursue its efforts in
support of lasting peace and reconciliation in Darfur.
Security Council votes to set up UN peacekeeping force in Darfur
31 August 2006 - The Security Council agreed today to deploy a
United Nations peacekeeping force of more than 17,000 troops in
Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region by the end of the year to try to
end the spiralling violence and displacement there that has led
senior UN officials to warn of an imminent humanitarian
Twelve Council members voted in favour of a resolution to expand
the mandate of the existing UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) from
southern Sudan to cover Darfur as well. China, Russia and Qatar
abstained in the vote.
Resolution 1706 "invites the consent" of the Sudanese Government to
the deployment, although Khartoum has said on several occasions
that it is opposed to any kind of UN force taking over the role of
the African Union's (AU) current operation - known by the acronym
AMIS - in Darfur.
Under the resolution, UNMIS will have up to 17,300 additional
troops and as many as 3,300 civilian police officers, and must take
over AMIS' duties by no later than 31 December.
Before AMIS hands over to the expanded UNMIS, the UN has been
authorized to provide air, engineering, logistics, communications
and other support to AMIS.
After the vote in the Council, Ambassador John Bolton of the United
States, one of the sponsors of the resolution, said it was
imperative to act now to stop the violence, where scores of
thousands of people have been killed and 2 million others forced to
flee their homes since 2003.
United Nations Security Council
SC/8821 31 August 2006
Security Council expands mandate of UN mission in Sudan to include
Darfur, adopting resolution 1706 by vote of 12 in favour, with 3
Invites Consent of Sudanese Government; Authorizes Use of 'All
Necessary Means' To Protect United Nations Personnel, Civilians
under Threat of Physical Violence
The Security Council decided this morning to expand the mandate of
the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) to include its
deployment to Darfur, without prejudice to its existing mandate and
operations, in order to support the early and effective
implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.
As it adopted resolution 1706 (2006) by a vote of 12 in favour with
3 abstentions (China, Qatar, Russian Federation), the Council
invited the consent of the Sudanese Government of National Unity
for that deployment, and called on Member States to ensure an
expeditious deployment. It requested the Secretary-General to
arrange the rapid deployment of additional capabilities to enable
UNMIS to deploy in Darfur.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council
authorized UNMIS to use all necessary means as it deemed within its
capabilities: to protect United Nations personnel, facilities,
installations and equipment; to ensure the security and freedom of
movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers,
assessment and evaluation commission personnel; to prevent
disruption of the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement by
armed groups, without prejudice to the responsibility of the
Government of the Sudan; to protect civilians under threat of
physical violence; and to seize or collect arms or related material
whose presence in Darfur was in violation of the Agreements and the
measures imposed by resolution 1556, and to dispose of such arms
and related material as appropriate. ... ...
The Council decided also that UNMIS would be strengthened by up to
17,300 military personnel and by an appropriate civilian component
including up to 3,300 civilian police personnel and up to 16 Formed
Police Units. It expressed its determination to keep the Mission's
strength and structure under regular review, taking into account
the evolution of the situation on the ground.
By further terms of the text, the Council requested the
Secretary-General to consult jointly with the African Union, in
close and continuing consultation with the parties to the Darfur
Peace Agreement, including the Government of National Unity, on a
plan and timetable for a transition from the African Mission in the
Sudan to a United Nations operation in Darfur.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Argentina, Denmark, France,
Ghana, Greece, Slovakia, United Kingdom, United Republic of
Tanzania and the United States.
In a statement after the vote, the representative of the United
Kingdom said the tragedy in Darfur had gone on far too long and the
transition to a United Nations operation was the only viable
solution to the crisis. Based on conversations with Council
members, even those countries that had abstained did not
fundamentally disagree with the issues of the text -- it was more
about the timing. The United Nations force remained the only
vehicle to bring peace and stability to Darfur.
She said the Sudanese plan would be a military solution imposed by
one of the parties to the conflict, in violation of the Peace
Agreement itself. The resolution adopted today sent a clear message
from the Council regarding the need for a well-equipped third party
to ensure the protection of civilians. Not that the text did not
attach importance to the consent of the Government of the Sudan,
which bore the primary responsibility to protect its own citizens.
The Council was appealing to the Government in the strongest
possible terms to allow the United Nations to provide assistance.
The Council wished to help the Sudan, not to threaten it; to
assist, and not undermine the country.
Also speaking after the vote, the representative of the United
States stressed the imperative need to stop the violence in Darfur,
noting that every day of delay only extended the genocide. The
strong Council resolution offered the best hope to end the tragedy
in Darfur, and it was important to secure its immediate and full
implementation. The United States expected the full cooperation and
support of the Government of the Sudan for the new United Nations
Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), speaking in his
national capacity, said that as many as 16 countries were already
taking part in the African Union mission, and his country was proud
to be one of them. Although the text adopted today was not a magic
wand, its adoption was timely and gave the Sudan an opportunity be
part of the solution to the Darfur crisis. On the other hand,
however, the Government bore the responsibility to protect the
victims of war in the Sudan, and for that reason, Ghana had
reservations about explicit language in the text regarding the
Government's agreement to the deployment of an international force.
Excerpts from text of Resolution 1706...
Determining that the situation in the Sudan continues to constitute
a threat to international peace and security,
1. Decides, without prejudice to its existing mandate and
operations as provided for in resolution 1590 (2005) and in order
to support the early and effective implementation of the Darfur
Peace Agreement, that UNMIS' mandate shall be expanded as specified
in paragraphs 8, 9 and 12 below, that it shall deploy to Darfur,
and therefore invites the consent of the Government of National
Unity for this deployment, and urges Member States to provide the
capability for an expeditious deployment;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to arrange the rapid deployment
of additional capabilities for UNMIS, in order that it may deploy
in Darfur, in accordance with the recommendation contained in his
report dated 28 July 2006;
5. Requests the Secretary-General to consult jointly with the
African Union, in close and continuing consultation with the
parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement, including the Government of
National Unity, on a plan and timetable for transition from AMIS to
a United Nations operation in Darfur; ... upon the expiration of
AMIS' mandate but in any event no later than 31 December 2006;
12. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations:
(a) Decides that UNMIS is authorized to use all necessary means, in
the areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its
- to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations
and equipment, to ensure the security and freedom of movement of
United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, assessment and
evaluation commission personnel, to prevent disruption of the
implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement by armed groups,
without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the
Sudan, to protect civilians under threat of physical violence,
- in order to support early and effective implementation of the
Darfur Peace Agreement, to prevent attacks and threats against
- to seize or collect, as appropriate, arms or related material
whose presence in Darfur is in violation of the Agreements and the
measures imposed by paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556, and to
dispose of such arms and related material as appropriate;
Meeting to consider the deteriorating situation in Darfur, the
Security Council was expected to vote on a draft resolution
authorizing a United Nations force in the impoverished and
strife-torn region, despite the fact that President Omar al-Bashir
of the Sudan had presented his own plan (document S/2006/665) by
which his Government would pacify Darfur with its own troops
working in tandem with the African Union.
For their discussions, Council members have before them the
Secretary-General's report on Darfur (document S/2006/591), in
which he says a United Nations peacekeeping force of as many as
18,600 troops may be needed in Darfur to ensure that all sides in
the war-ravaged region comply with the recently signed peace
As a result of the ongoing violence throughout Darfur, in
particular the recent clashes in Northern Darfur, access to
populations in need is decreasing, the report says. At the same
time, violence against humanitarians is at an all-time high, and
the number of security incidents directed towards relief workers
has been steadily rising since March. ...
Alternatively, there may be an attempt to implement the Agreement
through force, including the forced return of internally displaced
persons. If this should be allowed to happen, Darfur could descend
into an even bloodier round of conflict that would be catastrophic
for the people of the region. "No party should use the Darfur Peace
Agreement as a pretext for more violence", he warns.
With all this in mind, the Secretary-General explains that any
military force would have to be "large, agile and robust" as it
seeks to bring peace and stability to the region. ...
The mission's main focus would be on protecting civilians,
especially the vast population of internally displaced persons
living in camps across Darfur's three states, and he warns that the
region's harsh terrain and lack of usable roads, especially during
the annual wet season, poses particular problems. A peacekeeping
mission would also need a significant component of police, he says,
especially in helping to manage internally displaced persons'
camps. Up to 3,300 police officers would be necessary in the
start-up phase, with more probably required later.
The Secretary-General urges Khartoum to accept a United Nations
peacekeeping mission in Darfur, arguing that peace in southern
Sudan, where a separate, decades-long conflict ended only recently
and UNMIS is now in place, will otherwise be placed in jeopardy.
"Peace in the Sudan is indivisible. Peace cannot take root in one
part of the country while another part remains chronically unstable
and prone to extreme violence",
Wang Guangya (China) said that the African Union, at the request of
the Sudanese Government, had put in enormous efforts to help
stabilize the situation in Darfur. China had all along highly
commended and supported its endeavour. According to the African
Union decision, after consulting and upon agreement by the
Government of National Unity, the United Nations would take over
AMIS function of carrying out the mission in the region. China was
in favour of replacing AMIS with a United Nations operation. That
was a good idea and a realistic option, and it would help to
improve the situation on the ground, serving the interests of all
parties. He, therefore, supported, with the consent of the
Government of National Unity, the deployment of United Nations
troops in Darfur as soon as feasible. He also agreed that the
Security Council needed to make the necessary decision at an early
date, so as to effectively fulfil the responsibilities set forth in
the Charter and assist the Government of National Unity in
achieving comprehensive and lasting peace and stability in Darfur.
A transition to a United Nations mission was a good and pragmatic
option, but the mission could only be deployed when the consent of
the Government was obtained. ...
He said that China accepted almost all the contents of the
resolution, but it had consistently urged the co-sponsors to
clearly put in - with the consent of the Government of National
Unity - a fixed and standardized term on deploying United Nations
missions. It had also urged the co-sponsors to carefully reconsider
the timing of the vote. Regrettably, the co-sponsors had failed to
earnestly heed China's sincere efforts. Under those circumstances,
China had abstained in the vote.
Vitaly I. Churkin (Russian Federation) said that, during the
negotiations on the text, his delegation had done everything
possible to reach a peaceful and diplomatic settlement of the
crisis. It was important for the resolution to clearly state an
imperative need for the Sudanese Government's agreement to the
United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur in accordance with
decisions of the Security Council and the African Union.... Until
that agreement was received, his delegation had decided to abstain
in the voting, although it did not object to the content of the
resolution. He supported a mission on the basis of the Abuja
Augustine P. Mahiga (United Republic of Tanzania) said that his
country welcomed and supported the resolution, as it had always
believed that, because of its ramifications for international peace
and security, the crisis in the Sudan was not only a concern of the
Sudan and Africa, but of the international community as a whole.
The Security Council should be actively seized with a search for a
peaceful solution to that crisis. The African Union had taken more
than its fair share of the responsibility in the search for a
peaceful resolution of the crisis. It had discharged its
obligations superbly, but by its own admission, it was overwhelmed
by the magnitude and complexity of the task. ...
Speaking in his national capacity, the President of the Council,
Nana Effah-Apenteng ( Ghana), said he took pride in the adoption of
the resolution. ...
Although the text adopted today was not a magic wand, its passage
was timely and gave the Sudan an opportunity to take part in the
resolution of the crisis, he continued. It still left open the door
for effective cooperation between the Government, the United
Nations, the African Union and other actors. On the other hand, if
the Government of the Sudan failed to cooperate, it would be in
clear breach of the Darfur Peace Agreement and relevant resolutions
of the Security Council. Today's vote also reaffirmed one of the
principles of the African Union, which recognized the Union's right
to intervene in the affairs of a member State if it failed to
protect its own citizens. The Government had the responsibility to
protect the victims of war in the Sudan, and for that reason, his
delegation had had reservations about the inclusion of explicit
language in the text for the Government to give its agreement to
the deployment of an international force.
In conclusion, he once again called on the Government to heed the
voices of the international community.
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