SUDAN WATCH: Sudan will consult with respective political parties to discuss findings of UN military assessment mission next week

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sudan will consult with respective political parties to discuss findings of UN military assessment mission next week


Photo: Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (R) talks during a meeting with Britain's UN ambassador, Sir Emyr Jones Parry (L) in the capital Khartoum June 6, 2006. A UN Security Council delegation headed by Parry, arrived in Sudan for the first time on Monday to try to persuade the Khartoum government that a UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur was not tantamount to an invasion. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Excerpt from Reuters report by Evelyn Leopold [I'm surprised to see it has a misleading title "Sudan postpones decision on UN force for Darfur". The UN's military assessment team has only just arrived in the Sudan not yet delivered its assessment report. How can anyone in the Sudanese government agree to a UN force for Darfur when they don't know what is proposed or mandate?]
Britain's UN ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, leader of the delegation, said at the news conference, "The message we brought was that the council was holding out a hand to Sudan" alleviate the massive humanitarian crisis.

"There is no question of an intervention force," he said. He estimated that a UN operation would not be in place until the end of the year but the transition could begin well before that. The Security Council has to authorise the mission.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jamal Ibrahim said the government would take up the issue after the United Nations and the African Union conduct a military assessment mission this week and discuss their finding with the government. After that respective political parties would be consulted.

"So I think we are going on in the right direction," Ibrahim said after the council met Foreign Minister Lam Akol, a member of the former rebel Southern Sudan Liberation Movement, considered more sympathetic to the world body than other members of the government.

The final decision, diplomats said, would be up to President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who was involved in Tuesday's meetings with the council members but who has remained noncommittal. "He will take this one step at a time," said one envoy. [edit]

Sudanese newspapers reflect fears a UN force would enter under enforcement provisions in Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and have free military reign. Chapter 7 is used for parts of nearly all peacekeeping operations for protecting civilians and for self-defence.

According to Jones Parry, Chapter 7 "is not an open ended use of force (and) is not targeted at government but those who want to undermine the (peace) agreement."

Russia's deputy ambassador Konstantin Dolgov, said of Chapter 7, "Once again, we have to take into consideration the views of the Sudanese government", indicating council discussions would be heated when a mandate is devised.
Note, Reuters' Evelyn Leopold has updated her June 6 report with a new title: Sudan president opposes UN force in Darfur -diplomats


Photo: Britain's UN ambassador Sir Emyr Jones Parry addresses the media after a meeting with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir in the capital Khartoum, June 06, 2006. (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

UPDATE June 6, 2006 AP report reprinted at Sudan Tribune - excerpt:
The government's opposition was fueled last month when a council resolution to spur planning for a handover was adopted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which allows military action, sparking fears of UN intervention in Sudan. The Sudanese were also frustrated that the resolution didn't pay tribute to the government for signing a peace agreement on May 5 with the largest rebel group in Darfur.

Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Konstantin Dolgov, told reporters there was strong Sudanese opposition to putting a peacekeeping force in Darfur under Chapter 7, "and we have to respect this position, because we have to have consent and agreement of the government."

US Deputy Ambassador Jackie Sanders said there was some opposition and some misunderstanding, "and as we went through, they became less concerned or less afraid of what it meant."
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As a comparison to combative sounding reports by some Western journalists here's what Eritrea Daily Khartoum (KUNA) reported 6 June 2006 [Note, unlike Western media reports, it mentions "alongside the African Union"]
Sudan, UNSC discuss UN role in preserving peace in Darfur

Sudanese President Umar Al-Bashir and a delegation from the UN Security Council (UNSC) discussed Tuesday the UN role in preserving peace in Darfur.

In a press statement after the meeting, delegation's head and British Ambassador to the UN Sir Emyr Jones-Parry said discussed matters included arrangements relevant to the organization's participation in the peace process alongside the African Union (AU) to ensure utmost success, adding that the visit aims to affirm overall support for Sudan and international agencies operating in Darfur.

On his part, Sudan's Foreign Minister Lam Akol said Al-Bashir expressed willingness to fully cooperate with the UN to implement all relevant peace accords.

Akol termed the delegation's visit as successful and productive through having direct dialogue between Sudan and the UN, which opens more paths for collaboration.

The meeting, he added, affirmed the formation of the tripartite committee with the membership of the UN, AU and Sudan's government, noting that the committee will visit Darfur to determine its needs.

The delegation arrived in Sudan on Monday to persuade the government with the necessity of deploying international forces in Darfur.
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June 6, 2006 AFP report - Sudan says it will deal with UN Darfur force 'step by step' - The UN's special envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk said it was vital to get Nur on board because the recalcitrant rebel leader from the Fur tribe represents 80 percent of those in Darfur camps. But Pronk hailed a reported let-up in rebel attacks saying "the parties didn't fight after May 5." "In May, there were attacks by (Janjaweed) militia and last week it stopped. I don't know how long it will last but it's a positive sign."


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