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P-5 Interests in Sudan & Darfur Reviewed, With Ambassadors in Nairobi Airport

By Matthew Russell Lee

NAIROBI, October 5 -- As the UN Security Council and its five Permanent Members mill around the Nairobi airport before belateding being whisked to a VIP lounge to wait for their flight to Uganda then Juba, the historic role of each P-5 member in Sudan seems worth surveying.

The British, of course, colonized Sudan until its independence in 1956. In Darfur, for example, the British sought local leaders, even defining which tribes were large enough to name their own nazir and have a formal tribal homeland. Arabs in Darfur who didn't make the cut more recently spawned Janjaweed and much destruction.

While the US has been more interested in the North - South, Muslim - Christian conflict, it's worth noting that the CIA as well as France backed Chad in 1987 in driving Gaddafi's Arabist forces back into Darfur, which also played its role in the more recent conflict there.

Now, France is the host to Darfur rebel leader Abdel Wahid Nur, as Inner City Press asked French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner about last week.

China's business relations with Khartoum are well known; why China did not use its Security Council veto to block the referral of Darfur, and ultimately Omar al Bashir, to the International Criminal Court is still not known. Some say China wanted to have additional leverage over Bashir. But now the indictment seemingly cannot be put off.

On October 4 in New York before he and Inner City Press left for the airport, Ugandan Permanent Representative Ruhakana Rugunda said that his country favors suspending the indictment for a year, under Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, but that there is not Council unanimity for this. It wouldn't require a unanimous vote, but any of the P-5 could stop it.

Just as one of the Western P-5 Permanent Representatives told the Press last month that it is impossible to imagine any of the Western P-5s taking a photo with Bashir, it is similarly difficult to imagine them -- much less all three of them -- voting to suspend Bashir's indictment for genocide and war crimes.

Seemingly the least implicated P-5 member is Russia. Their Cold War involvements in Africa notwithstanding, Russia's involvement today seems limited to dominating air transport. But this has led to at least two recent incidents of Russian pilots and crews being kidnapped and beaten in Darfur. While when Inner City Press asked him about it, Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin minimized these incidents, they may explain his personal participation on the trip.

Footnote: when the plane carrying the Security Council Ambassadors reached Nairobi, less planning than might have been expected had been done. The Ambassadors “sneaked” through a gate for another group's flight.

In future installments we hope to review the business interests of the P-5 members, and the wider interests of the Elected (or Temporary) Ten. Watch this site, and follow on Twitter @InnerCityPress

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On Sudan, Voting Materials Delayed Blamed on US, Silence on Darfur Questioned

By Matthew Russell Lee

LONDON, October 5 -- While Khartoum's backsliding is the storyline of the UN Security Council's trip now to Sudan, some of the delay in starting registration is due to decisions by the US and UN, sources tell Inner City Press.

  The registration materials are, as widely reported, being printed in South Africa. But why? The US promoted procurement practices and IFES, either because committed to transparency or to keep Khartoum from creating mischief in this way. But the move has resulted in delay. The materials won't be ready until late October. Then they have to be transported all over South Sudan.

  In fact, less than half of the polling places will be in South Sudan: 1600. Fully 2000 will be in the North of overseas. No one knows how many Southerns are living in the North. One fear is that the North will over-register them, or create names without voters behind them, to make it impossible to reach the 60% turn out necessary in order to have the secession vote count.

  There are questions too about the cost of the elections. Experts tell Inner City Press that the rule of thumb, if there is one, for post-conflict votes is form $1o to $ 15 per voter. Assuming an electorate of 4 to 5 million, this vote should cost $75 million tops. But it is now budgeted for $360 million. Where will the money go?

  Most troubling is the failure not only of the UN but now also the US to speak out about the rising rate of death in Darfur.

Rugunda in a previous life in Juba, LRA talks: back to the future?

  There is a sense that the suffering in Darfur was raised to gain leverage over Omar al Bashir, and is now being ignored or traded in, for the seemingly more important North - South referendum. It will be hard to rebut this. Watch this space.

Footnote: in John F. Kennedy airport, Inner City Press ran into the Permanent Representatives of Mexico, Turkey and Bosnia, preparing for the flight. Ambassador Heller of Mexico said even he hadn't yet read the full terms of reference of the Security Council's trip, which Inner City Press had just obtained and put online. The trip is being run by two countries, and maybe one and a half. They will have to own also the results.

And, we note, Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin is on the trip. Who was it, now that we think of it, who kidnapped and beat those Russian pilots in Darfur? Watch this site.

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On Way to Sudan, UN Council Praises Chad, Talks Contingencies, Terms of Reference

By Matthew Russell Lee

JFK AIRPORT, NY, October 4 -- As UN Security Council Ambassadors take over on a marathon set of flights from New York to Nairobi then Uganda and Sudan, the final Terms of Reference for their trip speak of the need for “contingency planning... in view of the upcoming referenda” in Sudan. Click here for the Terms of Reference, as obtained by Inner City Press, and see below.

Earlier on Monday in Khartoum, Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha spoke darkly of the referendum being delayed in oil rich Abyei. At Monday noon briefing at the UN in New York, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky if there is any UN response to Taha's statements. Nesirky as usual had no comment.

  Additions were made to the Terms of Reference, such as included human rights and children and armed conflict. It is not clear why the initial draft, largely the work of the US and the UK, needed such amendments.

To the 9th of the 13 Sudan paragraphs, “the recruitment of children by armed groups” was added. Not explicitly added is the issue of UN-African Union Darfur chief Ibrahim Gambari negotiating to hand over five supporters of rebel Abdel Wahid Nur to the government.

  At least one Permanent Five member of the Council, having read Gambari's leaked documents on Inner City Press, has sent them to “the capital” and hopes the issue can be pursued in Darfur. Mais bien sur.

In the penultimate paragraph, the Council's Sudan Terms of Reference “welcome improved relations between the Governments of Sudan and Chad,” even though this led to the closure of the peacekeeping mission in Chad and Central Africa Republic, and drove Justice and Equality Movement rebel leader not only out of Chad but also out of the Doha peace process. Will the Council meet or at least speak with JEM's Khalil Ibrahim?

Susan Rice & team in past, belated TOR and JEM not shown

  Here are the Terms of Reference, as obtained by Inner City Press:

Terms of Reference for Sudan

Led by Ambassadors Susan Rice (United States) and Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

1. To reaffirm the Security Council's commitment to and the international community's support for the Sudanese Parties' full and timely implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to encourage a peaceful, comprehensive, and inclusive resolution for the situation in Darfur. To reaffirm the Security Council's support for the Sudanese Parties in working to make unity attractive and respecting the right to self-determination of the people of South Sudan through credible, peaceful, free and timely referenda on 9 January 2011 that reflect the will of the Sudanese People of these areas and to hold popular consultations, in accordance with the terms of the CPA, and for all parties and states to respect the outcome.

2. To emphasize the importance of the partnership between the UN and the African Union for the international support to the Sudanese peace processes. To express support for the work of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel and the engagement of other regional and international partners of Sudan.

3. To stress that full and successful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is essential to sustainable peace and stability throughout the Sudan, including Darfur, and in the region and to encourage increased cooperation between the National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in carrying out their responsibilities to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including through successful and timely completion of negotiations on post-referendum arrangements.

4. To assess ongoing preparations for the referenda, and to reiterate that, regardless of the results, both parties to the CPA will need to work cooperatively to resolve critical issues and that the United Nations will continue to play an important role in supporting and promoting this dialogue, including through the recently designated UN High-Level Panel for the Referenda to be led by President Benjamin Mkapa.

5. To reiterate the Security Council's support for the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), to assess its performance and review the assistance provided by the mission, within its current mandate and capabilities, to the implementation of the CPA and the contingency planning being developed by the mission in view of the upcoming referenda, as well as the planning developed for its post-referenda presence in the Sudan, and to underline the importance of full and unhindered access for the mission, to all sites within its area of responsibility.

6. To emphasise the importance of addressing the challenges faced by South Sudan, including insecurity, humanitarian and development needs and capacity building, irrespective of the outcome of the referendum.

7. To emphasise the importance of continuing efforts to support the people of Sudan, democratic governance, rule of law, accountability, equality, respect for human rights, justice and establishment of the conditions for conflict-affected communities to build strong, sustainable livelihoods.

8. To stress the responsibility of all central and local authorities of Sudan for the safety of members of peacekeeping missions, humanitarian workers, and all working under local contracts.

9. To express the Security Council's deep concern about the upsurge in violence in Darfur; the number of civilian casualties and victims of sexual and gender-based violence; the recruitment of children by armed groups; the illegal arms flow into Darfur; and the continued restrictions on humanitarian access. To underline its concern for the security of civilians, humanitarian aid workers and peacekeepers in Darfur and to reiterate the vital importance of the protection of civilians and maintaining full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers to the population in need of assistance.

10. To reiterate the Security Council's support for the AU-UN led peace process and the work of the Joint Chief Mediator, Mr Bassole, including the principles guiding the negotiations, and the urgent need for achieving substantive progress. To urge all rebel groups to join the Doha peace process without preconditions or further delay and to call on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and engage constructively in negotiations with a view to finding a lasting peace in Darfur.

11. To reiterate the Council's support for UNAMID and its personnel and to reiterate its call on the Government of the Sudan and all relevant parties to co-operate fully with the mission; to assess UNAMID's performance and review the challenges it faces in carrying out its mandate, giving priority to the protection of civilians and the facilitation of humanitarian delivery, as well as the priority given to UNAMID's continuing efforts to promote the engagement of all Darfurian stakeholders in support of and to complement the AU-UN political process in Darfur.

12. To welcome improved relations between the Governments of Sudan and Chad following the agreement of 15 January 2010 to normalise their bilateral relations and the establishment of a joint border monitoring mechanism, and to encourage continued co-operation and strengthening of relations.

13. To underline the need to ensure that Security Council resolutions are implemented.

Terms of Reference for Kampala

Led by Ambassador Ruhakana Rugunda (Uganda)

1. To reiterate the Security Council's support to the improvement of relations among the countries of the region and to encourage them to strengthen cooperation in all fields.

2. To emphasize the Security Council's support for action against armed groups in the region, particularly the Lord's Resistance Army.

3. To reiterate the Security Council's support for the Djibouti Peace Process and support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the stabilization of Somalia

4. To stress the Security Council's firm commitment to the cause of peace in the Sudan, the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and successful negotiation of a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement for Darfur.

5. To examine the important contribution by the Regional Service Center in Entebbe, to the work of UN Missions in the region.

Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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