Security Council

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Security Council demands Darfur rebels negotiate peace under Doha Document

July 30, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called on rebel groups in Sudan’s western region to end the violence and hold peace talks with the national government under the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

PNG - 147.1 kbPresidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen (L-R) and LJM leader Al-Tijani El-Sissi hold the text of the DDPD after the signing in Doha on the 14 July (Photo: UNAMID)

The 15-member body on Tuesday renewed the mandate of the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) for a further 13 months, until 31 August 2014. It also demanded that the UN chief prepare a review of UNAMID’s mandate by before 28 February 2014 in light of major changes and developments in the situation in Darfur since its establishment in January 2008.

The UNSC has seemingly preferred to back the decision of the AU earlier this month which called on the international community to support the DDPD and to disregard calls by rebel groups for a comprehensive process leading to regime change.

In a communique issued on 19 July, the UNSC said that a holistic approach to bringing democratic transition in Sudan can be achieved once the ongoing conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas are settled in an inclusive manner with the support of an AU panel chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

A resolution unanimously adopted on Tuesday called on all parties to the Darfur conflict “including in particular all the non-signatory armed groups, engage immediately and without preconditions to make every effort to reach a permanent ceasefire and a comprehensive peace settlement on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur”.

The resolution, which was drafted by Rwanda, Togo and the United Kingdom, urged for the cessation of all acts of violence in Darfur and welcomed the efforts of UNAMID chief and joint mediator Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who made contact with the rebel groups last May in order to revitalise the peace process.

Chambas is also expected to meet rebel leaders next August to pursue consultations on ways to achieve peace in Darfur.

The Sudanese government and Tijani El Sissi’s Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) signed the DDPD on 14 July 2011 after two years of failed talks with rebel groups in the region, including the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which rejected the peace framework. However, a JEM splinter faction later joined the process and signed an agreement with Khartoum in April of this year.

JEM has rejected the AUSC’s recent decision to support the DDPD and called on the body to reconsider its position, adding that its current stance raises doubts about its neutrality and seriousness in the search for a real solution to the conflict in Sudan.

JEM, the two main factions of the LJM and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) – which is fighting the Sudanese government in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states – have called for a comprehensive process that involves opposition parties aiming to institute a new regional administration with larger autonomy and the re-establishment of a democratic and secular system throughout Sudan.

The rebels say that though they have the support of different international actors – particularly the United States and Canada – there has been no official position or proposed plans for change forthcoming from these countries concerning the matter.

Addressing the UNSC meeting, the Sudanese ambassador to the UN, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, welcomed the resolution to renew UNAMID’s mandate and hailed its support for the DDPD.

Alluding to the alleged support that rebel groups receive from South Sudan and other countries in East Africa, Osman pointed out that direct and indirect support for non-signatory armed movements must end.

Osman further demanded that his government be involved in the review process of UNAMID’s mandate.

He praised the condemnation of the “killing of Mohamed Bashar and other members of his movement by JEM-Gibril forces” and pledged that his government would cooperate with the UNSC to investigate those responsible for the death of seven Tanzanian peacekeepers in South Darfur.


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UN chief, Security Council strongly condemn attack on Turkish staff building in Somalia


29 July 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the members of the Security Council have strongly condemned the suicide attack on an office housing Turkish embassy staff in Mogadishu, which resulted in one death and left several other people wounded.

The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the 27 July 2013 terrorist attack on the office housing Turkish personnel in Mogadishu, according to a statement by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in New York.

He also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the people of Turkey and its Government, as well as to the Somali people.

His thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed and injured, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said.

In the statement, Mr. Ban added that terrorist attacks of this nature should not deter Somalia’s partners or weaken their resolve to stand by the people and Government of Somalia as they work courageously to build peace in their country.

The members of the Security Council, strongly condemning the attack against one of the main buildings of the Turkish embassy in Mogadishu, also condemned recurring acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives, which endanger or take innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work if such representatives and officials.

In their statement, the Council members reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the UN Charter and all obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators of this act to justice, the statement said, and added that the Council members reaffirmed their support for the political process and for peace and stability in Somalia.

Also condemning the attack, Nicholas Kay, Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for Somalia and head of the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNSOM) noted that this attack is one of several that the Islamic insurgent group Al Shabaab has carried out during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.

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Attacks on Unamid in Darfur ‘may constitute war crimes’: ICC Prosecutor

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda, has cautioned that a “the intentional directing of attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes”.

Bensouda was adding her voice to the international chorus of outrage at the attack last Saturday on a Unamid patrol in which seven Tanzanian peacekeepers died and 17 other personnel were injured.

As the UN has emphasised, the incident was one of the most serious attacks against the AU-UN peacekeepers since their deployment; the third in just three weeks.

In a statement, Bensouda “reminds all parties to the conflict that the ICC has jurisdiction in Darfur pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1593 and that the intentional directing of attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes”.

Bensouda warns that her office “will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those alleged to have committed such crimes should the national authorities fail to”.

She echoed appeals from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and all echelons within the UN and the international community for the Government of Sudan “to carry out a prompt and full investigation and to hold all those responsible to account”.

The latest incident brings the total number of Unamid peacekeepers killed since 2007 to 54.

Bensouda’s efforts to bring ICC indictees to justice has been frustrated by a resolution by the AU for its member countries “not to cooperate with the ICC”.

This has thus far allowed, for example, Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir – who is wanted on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and is subject to international arrest warrants – to travel to several African countries, including Chad, Djibouti and most recently, Nigeria, without ICC warrants being carried out.

This has met with severe criticism from the ICC.

Photo: Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda briefs the Security Council on Wednesday 5 June, on the situation in Darfur, Sudan (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)


‘Tanzanian peacekeepers killed by Sudan government militia’: witnesses (17 July 2013)

Sudan’s President Al Bashir leaves AU health summit early as ICC calls for his arrest (16 July 2013)

Tanzania to seek ‘stronger mandate’ for Darfur peacekeepers (15 July 2013)

UN ‘outrage’ at attack on Unamid patrol in South Darfur (14 July 2013)

Seven Unamid peacekeepers killed, 17 injured in South Darfur ambush (14 July 2013)

ICC prosecutor reproaches UN for ‘inaction and paralysis’ on Darfur (5 June 2013)

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