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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.

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For Sudan With UN Council Trip, a Plan B if No Referendum, Bashir OK Unclear

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 4, 2010 -- A mere four hours before the UN Security Council's trip to Africa and Sudan, the Council's “terms of reference” were still not ready.

  Council President for October Ruhakana Rugunda was asked by the Press what the Council is seeking to accomplish, in Sudan and Uganda, his country. “The terms of reference are still being finalized,” he answered.

  Inner City Press, which is going on and covering the trip, spent Monday morning inquiring into and reporting on these terms of reference. A Council member complaining that the United States and United Kingdom kept control of all of the planning of the trip and its goals said that “at least” some additional items were being added.

  While Ambassador Rugunda declined to confirm, Inner City Press is informed that the Council is looking into a “Plan B” if the referenda scheduled for January 9, 2011 for South Sudan and Abyei are not held.

  Also significant, until non Permanent members of the Council belatedly were consulted, human rights in Darfur and children and armed conflict were not among the trip's organizers' terms of reference.

  Ruganda was asked by the Press about Sudan's President Omar al Bashir, who is indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and war crimes. Ruganda answered, as other Security Council diplomats have of late while adding their hope that Bashir will be in Libya, that “the Council has not asked to meet with President al Bashir, and he has not offered to meet with the Council.”

Inner City Press asked if al Bashir had personally been informed of and agreed to this trip, and to this construction. His senior adviser Rabie Adbelati Obeid has been quoted that al Bashir has not approved the trip. Rugunda responded that the trip has been discussed with “the authorities,” but declined to specify with whom.

Rugunda and Rice, two legs of trip, Bashir and Terms of Reference not shown

Rugunda mentioned the Lord's Resistance Army rebels, who began in Uganda but are now as far afield as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and, as may related to the Council's trip, South Sudan. Will the Council raise the issue while in Juba? Watch this site.

Footnote: While Rugunda will lead the Uganda leg of the trip, the Sudan legs will be led by Susan Rice of the US and Mark Lyall Grant of the UK. France's Permanent Representative Gerard Araud is not going on the trip; nor are the Permanent Representatives of Russia, Nigeria and Austria.

  Requests have been made not to publicize some of the logistics of and even some of the participants on the trip. But to still have not made public the terms of reference of the trip, less than six hours before the plane takes off from John F. Kennedy airport? We will report and Tweet on the trip, follow on Twitter on @InnerCityPress

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 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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