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After S. Sudan Letter, UN Stalled on Chapter 7, Heglig & Sanctions, No SOFA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- When the UN Security Council ended another Sudan session after 6 pm on Friday, at least three issues remained without agreement.

  These included how to refer to the damage to the oil facilities at Heglig, whether to have the resolution be under UN Charter Chapter 7 as the African Union had requested, and whether to delete or modify the reference to Article 41 in Operative Paragraph 9, as requested in a letter Sudan delivered to Council members Friday morning.

  Asked why there was resistance to using Chapter 7 as the AU communique requested, one Council member told Inner City Press, "this resolution is essentially about Chapter 6 mediation, and Chapter 8 regional organizations. Why put it under Chapter 7? So you can later invade?"

  The last phrase seemed hyperbole. Some note that Sudan's letter did not object to Chapter 7, only to Article 41.

Inner City Press obtained Sudan's letter and put it online, here.

South Sudan also submitted a letter, and got it distributed by the US President of the Council, unlike Sudan, some noted. Inner City Press has just obtained the South Sudan letter and puts it online here.

  South Sudan's letter, from Representative Agnes Oswaha, among other things makes clear that the UN has STILL not signed a Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA for its Abyei mission, even after the lack of a SOFA played a role in the inability to med-evac out four Ethiopian peacekeepers hit and killed by landmines.
    DPKO's Herve Ladsous has repeatedly said the needed SOFA was immanent but, as with so much, it still has not happened.

From South Sudan's letter:

There are only a few areas where South Sudan believes the Resolution could be strengthened and made more precise.

We welcome Preambular Paragraph 11. It could be strengthened by adding reference to a "political and negotiated solution including all relevant Sudanese parties..." As has been recognized by many countries, while South Sudan can play a role in facilitating a negotiated peace in the Two Areas, it is still very important that Sudan sit with Sudanese parties to discuss their legitimate grievances, which predate even the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

2) We believe Operative Paragraph 1 (iv) could more precisely read "cease ANY [not "the'] harboring of, or support to, rebel groups against the Other State."

3) It would be more precise as well as helpful in advancing implementation of prior agreements if Operative Paragraphs l(vi) and 2(ii) of the resolution refer to the ful! name of the initialed nationality agreement -- the "Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters." This also would provide the opening to refer to -- and call for the implementation of-- the recently initialed border agreement in Operative Paraÿaph 2(iii). We respectfully propose that Operative Paragraph 2(iii) now read "resolution of the stares of the disputed and claimed border areas and the demarcation of the border, "including the demarcation of the already defined border areas, consistent with the Agreement between the Republic of Sudan and Republic of South Sudan on the Demarcation of the Boundary initialed in March 2012..."

4) South Sudan further welcomes Operative Paragraph 2 which calls for the resumption of "negotiations, under the auspices of the AUHIP and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD." (emphasis added). This is consistent with the call South Sudan has issued previously to immediately resume negotiations, reflect more on the current facilitation mechanism, and increase the high level international support given to the same. South Sudan welcomes the support and presence of IGAD in tile negotiations and would be pleased to see other provisions increasing the transparency of the negotiations and access to the negotiations for other States and institutions. That said, in light of this additional support to be provided by IGAD -- as was also called for by the AU in Paragraph 13 of the PSC's Communique -- and the role that the PSC has given to the Chair of the AU Commission with respect to these matters (including a monthly reporting role, as mentioned in paragraphs 18-20 of the Communique), South Sudan believes that the second part of Operative Paragraph 5 could read as follows: "requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the AUHIP, the Chair of IGAD and the Chairman of the AU Commission, to report within four months of the date of this resolution to the Security Council on the status of the negotiations, including detailed proposals on al! outstanding issues;". In this way the Security Council will be assured a report that draws upon many observations and perspectives.

5) Regarding Operative Paragraph 6, while South Sudan is most appreciative of the efforts of the AUHIP and has called for an immediate return to the negotiations, the terms of reference for the AUHIP technically provide that it is a facilitator and not a mediator mad as such, for accuracy, the wording should be "facilitation efforts" and not "mediation efforts".

6) With respect to Operative Paragraph 8, South Sudan would like to see the following addition: "expresses its intention to evaluate the mandate of UNISFA in the context of compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the decisions set forth in tiffs resolution, and with the fulfillment of their commitments as set out in the June 20, June 29, and July 30, 2011 Agreements, as well as the adequacy of the number of its forces to carry out its mandated functions." South Sudan believes that this would expressly give the UN, in consultation with the relevant parties, an opportunity to clearly assess if the number of troops that were mandated to monitor the entire international border (a small number when compared with those present in Abyei) will be enough in light of the current circumstances, even with the good faith inplementation of this resolution and the prior security agreements reached between the parties. This is not to suggest that a new force be created, but only to suggest that the Council must examine in depth the question as to whether the existing UNISFA force has the resources to carry out its mandated duties.

7) In this context, we also respectfully suggest that the Security Council consider adding a paragraph with respect to the requirement of the two Governments to finally approve the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) for the UNISFA forces, South Sudan has long been ready to sign such an agreement but there has been an unnecessary delay. Concluding the SOFA will facilitate the important work of UNISFA.

  But again, the UN has STILL not signed a Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA for its Abyei mission, even after the lack of a SOFA played a role in the inability to med-evac out four Ethiopian peacekeepers hit and killed by landmines.

  DPKO's Herve "The Drone" Ladsous has repeatedly said the needed SOFA was immanent but, as with so much, it still has not happened. Watch this site.

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