13/01/2006
Security Council
SC/8607

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5344th Meeting (AM)


COMPREHENSIVE PEACE AGREEMENT IN SUDAN STANDS FIRM, BUT MORE


INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT NEEDED, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD


Council Hears Briefings by Secretary-General’s

Special Representative, African Union Special Envoy


A year after its signing, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) stood firm, Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in that country and Head of the United Nations Mission there said in his briefing to the Security Council this morning.


He said that, while the tragic death of John Garang, leader of the south, less than a month after he had been sworn in as the new Vice President of Sudan, had caused consternation and delays, neither party had found a reason to deviate from the Agreement.  The parties realized that they depended on each other and that they had to move forward.  The implementation of the Agreement, though slow, remained on track and was moving forward.


In one year, two new Constitutions had been adopted, one for Sudan as a whole and one for Southern Sudan, he continued.  Two new governments had been formed and all institutions that had to be established on the basis of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had been set up.  While some had hardly met and others faced political disputes, the spirit of the agreement stood tall.  The redeployment of the Sudanese Army away from the south had started, and the target of 30 per cent redeployment within a year had more or less been accomplished.  The United Nations had instructed the forces on both sides to provide notification of all movements seven days in advance and so far there had been only minor violations of those instructions.


He said that the Ceasefire Joint Military Committee (CJMC), the only United Nations-led institution, had been the most successful one.  Having started convening shortly after the adoption of resolution 1590 (2005) mandating the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to monitor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, it had met 15 times and been able to reach consensus on most issues regarding the interpretation and implementation of the ceasefire paragraphs of the agreement.  The talks between the SPLM and other armed groups in Southern Sudan were proceeding well, which could pave the way for the integration of all combatants, either into one of the armies or into civil society.


Of course, a lot still remained to be done, he noted.  The peace process had to become more inclusive, incorporating other political parties and civil society, and security laws had to be brought into line with the Constitution.  The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the combatants was yet to commence and while the return of displaced persons and refugees had started, there was a lack of resources to support it.  Rehabilitation and development of the southern agriculture, economy, towns and villages was yet to start, and the capacity of the new Government of Southern Sudan was still limited.  Without more international support, the expectations of the people in the south would not be met.


The sense of optimism in the south was thus low and the people there had become suspicious, he said.  Many were losing belief in the north’s sincerity about giving the South a chance to develop beyond peace.  The parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had agreed that 50 per cent of the oil revenues and the resulting income would accrue to the south, but there was no transparency.  People in the south were becoming less and less confident that the essential element of the Agreement on wealth sharing would become a reality.  Matching the cynicism in the south were suspicions in the north that the SPLM did not really want to give unity a chance in the referendum, to be held six years after the signing of the Agreement.


Close to the Eritrean border in the east, a confrontation could arise as soon as the SPLM withdrew to the south, as they had committed themselves to doing in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, he said.  The Government and the eastern rebel movements had agreed to start discussions leading to peace talks facilitated by the United Nations in the third quarter of last year, but the United Nations had been sidelined thereafter.  The parties had agreed to Libya as a facilitator, but the talks were yet to start, even though the redeployment deadline of 9 January had passed.  Finally, the attacks by the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on civilians and humanitarian workers were paralyzing activities in a considerable part of the south.  That directly threatened the potential peace dividends.


The Council also heard a briefing by Salim Ahmed Salim, Special Envoy of the African Union for the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur, who said that the negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria, had been characterized by an unacceptable level of inflexibility, suspicion, lack of confidence and deep distrust.  In many instances, a deliberate policy of stalling by the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement, in the expectation of some dramatic developments in the country and externally, could be detected.  The movements did not appear to view the negotiations as a strategic arena, but rather as a tactical arena while the battlefield remained the strategic arena.


He stressed that the parties should be left in no doubt that if their approach to the Abuja talks continued to delay progress towards a settlement, the Security Council would hold them responsible for prolonging the suffering of their people.  In such an eventuality, the threat and application of carefully targeted sanctions should be credible and evident and should enjoy the strong support of a united Security Council.


The role of the neighbouring countries, especially, Chad, Libya and Eritrea, should be recognized and commended, he said.  At the same time, there was a strong need for greater cohesion, transparency and coordination between the regional countries, facilitating the peace process and the Mediation.  Other external conditions must be consolidated and accelerated if a peace agreement was to be achieved, a particularly urgent concern being the current state of relations between Chad and Sudan.  There were reasons to be concerned over the fact that an escalation in the crisis between Chad and Sudan could render any potential political settlement to the conflict in Darfur extremely problematic, especially in the short term.


He stressed that it was important for the international partners and the African Union to speak with one concerted voice in their engagements with the parties.  Additionally, the international partners needed to enhance the level of their representation in Abuja and to facilitate high-profile visits by political leaders to encourage the parties to reach an early agreement.  Also, the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) should be strengthened, supported and well-funded to assume its mandate along the lines recommended by the recent Joint Assessment Mission that had undertaken a comprehensive review of that deployment.  It was vital that, for the duration of the Mission’s role in Darfur, nothing should be done to undermine it.  That was both in the interest of the efforts to end the conflict, and in the long-term interest of future African Union peace support operations.


The meeting began at 10:20 a.m. and ended at 11:05 a.m.


Background


The Security Council met this morning for a comprehensive briefing on the situation in the Sudan, based on two reports of the Secretary-General on the matter.


The Secretary-General’s report on the Sudan (document S/2005/821) contains a regular update on the progress in implementing the one-year-old Comprehensive Peace Agreement, respect for the ceasefire and the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS). It also provides an assessment of the overall situation in the country.


The Secretary-General states that the way ahead in the Sudan presents a number of difficult obstacles. While the overall economic outlook for the country has improved somewhat, insecurity in Southern Sudan and Darfur threatens to undermine the international effort to help move those areas from relief to recovery. Equally, a political agreement continues to elude the parties to the Darfur and eastern Sudan conflicts. It needs to be reiterated that all current peace processes are interlinked and mutually reinforce each other.


In the final analysis, peace in the Sudan is indivisible and cannot flourish in one part of the country if it is fledging in another, the Secretary-General concludes. The parties to the Abuja peace talks must seize this occasion to negotiate earnestly and in good faith. The Eastern Front must similarly negotiate with the Government of National Unity a political solution to the conflict in its region without further delay. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP) must continue to work together, and must strive for inclusiveness and transparency, so that a genuine and effective Government of National Unity provides national leadership and deals effectively with the numerous potential spoilers that have the capacity to derail the quest for peace.


In its turn, the international community is expected to honour its pledges and commitments, while key partners must work together to bring maximum political leverage and practical and financial support to bear on all aspects of the peace processes. While all donors must play their part and contribute to the common objective of helping the people of the Sudan secure the peace that they so much deserve, the ultimate responsibility for movement forward rests with the Sudanese parties and their leaders, who are responsible to their populations for the faithful implementation of their stated commitments.


In his monthly report on the situation in the Sudan’s western Darfur region (document S/2005/825), the Secretary-General says that, despite the “consistent and forceful” Security Council response to the crisis, there has been a marked deterioration of the situation since September, including an increase in ethnic clashes, destabilizing elements crossing in from Chad and continuing banditry.


For more than a year, the report notes, the Council has sought an end to the violence, the disarming of the Janjaweed militia, a halt to impunity and a political solution. The Council has also imposed an arms embargo, assets freeze and travel bans on belligerents in Darfur, and has referred the situation there to the International Criminal Court.


Since the Secretary-General’s first report in August 2004, however, the Sudanese Government has taken no major steps to bring to justice or even identify any of the militia leaders or perpetrators of the attacks, the current report says, pointing out that Southern Darfur experienced its highest rate of violence last month. “I strongly urge the Government of the Sudan once again to take decisive steps to address these manifest failures,” the Secretary-General says.


Though countless lives have been saved through a massive, United Nations-led humanitarian relief effort, those most exposed to violence and gross violations of human rights continue to live in fear and terror, the report states. “Large-scale attacks against civilians continue, women and girls are being raped by armed groups; yet more villages are being burned and thousands more are being driven from their homes,” Mr. Annan says.


The Security Council has extended through March the mandate of its Committee monitoring the targeted measures and designating individuals subject to sanctions. “As the Security Council has stated repeatedly, ultimately only a political solution can end the violence and allow some 2 million internally displaced persons and refugees to return home,” the Secretary-General writes.


Given these stakes, the current round of the peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, is “critical and must be decisive”, despite serious difficulties encountered in the lead-up to the talks as a result of the division within the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), he says. That split came about as a result of an internal leadership struggle between two rival SLM leaders, Abdul Wahid al-Nur of the Fur people and Minni Arko Minawi of the Zaghawa people.


Mr. Annan also calls on donors to help fund efforts to meet the “massive humanitarian needs” of the people of Darfur.


Briefing by Secretary-General’s Representative


JAN PRONK, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission there, said that one year after its signing, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) stood firm. Its implementation, though slow, remained on track and was moving forward. The tragic death of John Garang, the leader of the south, less than a month after he had been sworn in as the new Vice President of Sudan, had caused consternation and delays, but neither party had found a reason to deviate from the agreement. The parties realized that they depended on each other and that they had to move forward.


In one year, two new Constitutions had been adopted, one for the Sudan as a whole and one for Southern Sudan, he continued. Two new Governments had been formed. All institutions that had to be established on the basis of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had been established. Some had hardly met, while others faced political disputes. However, the spirit of the Agreement stood tall. The redeployment of the Sudanese Army away from the south had started. The target of 30 per cent redeployment within one year had more or less been accomplished. The United Nations had instructed the forces on both sides to provide notification of all movements seven days in advance, and so far there had been only minor violations of those instructions.


As a matter of fact, the Ceasefire Joint Military Committee (CJMC), the only United Nations-led institution, had been the most successful one. Having started convening shortly after the adoption of resolution 1590 mandating UNMIS to monitor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, it had met 15 times and had been able to reach consensus on most issues regarding the interpretation and implementation of the ceasefire paragraphs of the Agreement. The talks between SPLM and Other armed groups in Southern Sudan were proceeding well. That could pave the way for the integration of all combatants, either in one of the armies or into the civil society.


Of course, a lot still needed to be done, he said. The peace process had to become more inclusive, incorporating other political parties and civil society. The security laws had to be brought in line with the Constitution. The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the combatants was yet to commence. Return of displaced persons and refugees had started, but there was a lack of resources to support it. Rehabilitation and development of the southern agriculture, economy, towns and villages was yet to start. The capacity of the new Government of Southern Sudan was still limited.


More international support was needed, he continued. Without it, the expectations of the people in the south would not be met. “There is peace, indeed -- where is the peace dividend?” he asked. Conflict emerged out of tribal disputes, but also with people returning to their villages. UNMIS, through timely and integrated reaction, had been able to diffuse some of the conflicts with the cooperation of the authorities. However, there would be more. One of the concerns was Abyei, where the Miseria and Dinka on the ground had learnt to live together, but the uncertainty about the future status of the region continued to pose a threat.


In the east, close to the Eritrean border, a confrontation could arise as soon as the SPLM withdrew to the south, as they had committed themselves in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, he said. The Government and the eastern rebel movements had agreed to start discussions, leading to peace talks facilitated by the United Nations in the third quarter of last year, but thereafter the United Nations had been sidelined. Parties had agreed to Libya as a facilitator, but the talks were yet to start, even though the redeployment deadline of 9 January had passed. Finally, the attacks of the Uganda-based Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on civilians and humanitarian workers were paralyzing activities in a considerable part of the south. That directly threatened the potential peace dividends.


The sense of optimism in the south was thus low, he said. The people there had also become suspicious. Many were losing belief in the north’s sincerity of giving the South a chance to develop beyond peace. The parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had agreed that 50 per cent of the oil revenues and the resulting income would accrue to the south, but there was no transparency. People in the south were becoming less and less confident that the essential element of the Agreement on wealth sharing would become a reality. The international community and its institutions -- all countries investing in the Sudan and buying from it -- had a political and economic interest in the full and fair implementation of the Agreement on oil.  The upcoming meeting of the Sudan Consortium in March, led by the World Bank, would be a good opportunity to discuss those issues.


Matching the cynicism in the south were suspicions in the north that the SPLM did not really want to give unity a chance in the referendum six years after the peace agreement. Making unity the attractive option was part of the mandate given to the Mission. “We try to do so by focusing in particular on poverty reduction, on sustaining peace, minority rights, human rights and constitutional rights,” he stressed. “When, six years after the peace agreement, people are less poor, have more rights and live in peace throughout the country, in a still united Sudan, they may consider it attractive to stay together as one nation, albeit with two systems.”  The SPLM leadership would be wise to show that they had not decided otherwise, opting for separation, whatever the development in the next five years. However, the Government in the north should do everything to make that attractive. It could do so by guaranteeing a fair share of power, resources and income to the people of the south, for expenditure and investment in water, schools, jobs, agriculture, housing and health care for all those people who had been deprived of those decades along.


Unequal distribution of power and wealth was also one of the causes of the war in Darfur, he added. The continuation of violence, killings, rapes and human rights violations was not only a tragedy for the people of Darfur, they also constituted a violation of the requirements set out in Council resolutions. Moreover, they were a threat to the sustainability of peace in the south.


Noting that the deadline set in Abuja for the reaching of an agreement on Darfur before the end of 2005 had not been met, he said the parties had failed.  The passing of 31 December had been ignored and had gone unnoticed.  One could not avoid the impression that the parties had lost all sense of urgency and did not really care about deadlines.  One wondered whether the negotiators really cared about the fate of the 3 million war-affected people, of whom more than 2 million lived in camps for displaced persons and refugees.


The parties would have to commit themselves to reach an agreement during the present seventh round of talks, he said.  They could learn from the way in which the north-south peace agreement had been reached in Nairobi.  Before everything else, a sustained and lasting ceasefire had been agreed upon, making it possible to continue negotiations for a fair distribution of power and wealth, which was the core of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  That should also happen in Darfur.  Only when the fighting had stopped could the parties, together with others who had not taken up arms, but had a real stake in the development of their part of the Sudan -- tribal leaders, civil society, representatives of displaced people, intellectuals and others –- reach a fair, inclusive and sustainable agreement on governance, power, wealth, land, water and economic development.


Any agreement in Abuja or in El Fasher would only be sustainable if the international community assisted in guaranteeing security, he said.  The African Union had done an admirable job, but the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) had been provided with inadequate resources and means to prevent attacks.  The death of young African soldiers who had gone to Darfur to help save the lives of innocent civilians, but had themselves become targets, was to be deplored.  The situation in Darfur was chaotic.


He said the perpetrators of 2003 and 2004 had achieved their goal.  Many areas had been cleansed, and they had free passage in the countryside.  Millions of villagers sitting in camps were too afraid to leave, and terror continued.  At least once a month, groups of 500 to 1,000 militia, on camel and horseback, attacked villages, killing dozens of people and terrorizing the others.  Since the last briefing to the Council, the villages of Aro Sharrow, Tama and Abu Sorouj should be added to Tawila, Labado, Hamada and Khora Abache, which all stood witness to cruel atrocities, terror, killings and rapes.  Only international guarantees such as those provided by the African Union could help.


The force necessary to provide such guarantees should be much bigger than the present one, he said.  It should not be on call, but in place, present wherever people may be attacked.  It should be strong, able to defend itself, able to deter attacks on civilians and able to disarm militias and the Janjaweed, who should have been disarmed by the Government in the first place.  That had not been done, despite demands laid down in Security Council resolutions.  The force should stay long enough to provide confidence, and its financing should be guaranteed all along.  It should have a broad mandate to deter non-compliance, and be an integral element of a unified approach, with humanitarian, political, police, legal, human rights, reconstruction and economic development instruments.  It should be supported by sanctions on troop movements not in accordance with any peace agreement, on arms deliveries, on those who had caused atrocities, on commanders and political leaders responsible for the carnage of 2003 and 2004, and those who had refused to stop the atrocities of 2005.


Briefing by African Union Envoy


SALIM AHMED SALIM, Special Envoy of the African Union for the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur, underscored the unparalleled commitment of the African Union to the attainment of lasting peace in Darfur, through a negotiated settlement. Indeed, he did not recollect any other time, whether in the history of the Organization of African Unity or the African Union, where a deployment of the magnitude that had been launched in Darfur had ever taken place under the aegis of the continental organization. Darfur represented an exemplary and new case of the African Union taking the lead as a regional organization to tackle a complex humanitarian emergency. The African response to the tragedy unfolding in Darfur also symbolized Africa’s collective determination to respond effectively against an attitude of indifference to problems in Africa. He expressed appreciation for the strong support that the Council and the international community at large had extended to the African initiatives.


“We are now in the seventh round of the talks,” he continued. There had been collective hope that in the sixth round last September, progress would have been made on the issues of security arrangements and power and wealth sharing. That expectation had not been realized, on account of the division in the armed opposition -- the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) -- where the threat of fragmentation was more serious. The seventh round had been in continuous session since 28 November in Abuja, arising from the stated commitment of the parties to make it a decisive one. Prior to the convening of the latest round, concerted efforts had been deployed to resolve procedural issues that were impacting negatively on the progress of the talks, including the fragmentation of the armed movements, JEM and SLM/A, and especially internal leadership division in the SLM/A.


Following the initiatives by the African Union, the United States, Chad, Libya, Eritrea and the United Nations, the problem had been contained, at least for the time being, he said. Consequently, the SLM/A had been able to participate in the negotiations during the current round as one movement, with emerging joint positions (along with the JEM), on many issues on the agenda. The net effect had been that, even though the arrangement for a single delegation was still experiencing some tension, the task of the mediation had been greatly expedited, as negotiations had begun in earnest in all three commissions for power sharing, wealth sharing and security arrangements. The absence of total unity in the ranks of the movements had resulted in the hardliners holding the process hostage. The results had, therefore, been very mixed.


Substantial progress had been made in the consideration of the agenda of the Wealth Sharing Commission, he continued, where negotiations were being conducted in a professional and serene atmosphere. The parties were demonstrating a high degree of cooperation, both among themselves and with the mediation. Most of the delegates were highly qualified professionals in relevant technical fields. So far, the Commission had considered eight out of the 10 items on its agenda. Agreement had been reached on about 90 per cent of the issues.


Unfortunately, the level of progress in the other two commissions had remained frustratingly low, and the discussions were extremely difficult. In the Power Sharing Commission, the gap between the positions of the parties remained extremely divergent, especially on the status of Darfur; the demand of the movements for the post of Second Vice President; the demand for Darfurians to control the capital of Khartoum; and the demand by the movements to return to the Darfur border of 1 January 1956. Other unresolved issues included power sharing in and at the national level during the interim period.


The negotiations in the Security Arrangements Commission had been more problematic, as would be expected, he said. Security was at the heart of the problems in Darfur. It had taken the parties over a month even to agree on a five-point agenda for the negotiations. The delay was partly due to the stated desire of the parties -- mainly the movements -- to put their detailed positions on the agenda and to negotiate those positions with the mediators.  Those problems had been compounded by deep mistrust of the movements, arising from their perception of the unwillingness or inability of the Government to negotiate in good faith or even implement agreements reached.  In effect, the movements were negotiating on the basis of their worst fears, as against their best hopes.


In light of the engagements with the parties, the mediation had been able to identify the major issues that would have to be resolved before any realistic security arrangements for Darfur could be agreed upon, he continued. Those included enhancing the existing Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement, which was not being faithfully implemented by the parties. It related to such issues as disclosure, mapping, assembly and redeployment of forces, creation of the buffer zone for humanitarian assistance, safe supply routes for non-military supplies and the enhancement of the Ceasefire and Joint Commissions.  Another issue was negotiations for a permanent cessation of hostilities and comprehensive ceasefire agreement.  That would incorporate the disarmament of the Janjaweed and other tribal militia, as well as the status of forces both of the Government and the movements and final security arrangements for Darfur.


He said that the negotiations so far had been characterized by an unacceptable level of inflexibility in the positions of the parties, suspicion, absence of even the minimum level of confidence and deep distrust.  In many instances, a deliberate policy of stalling by the movements in the expectation of some dramatic developments, in the country and externally, could be detected.  The movements did not appear to view the negotiations as a strategic arena.  The battlefield remained the strategic arena and the negotiations were a tactical arena.  That did not mean that the negotiations were unimportant, but rather that they were not yet sufficiently important to the movements.  They might be waiting for a deal in the Power Sharing Commission before negotiating in earnest on security arrangements.  That would be a logical negotiating posture since, in general, military force was a means to political objectives and security was an outcome of political arrangements.


The Mediation estimated that the Darfur process was still some weeks away from a settlement, he said.  The parties needed to show more flexibility and willingness to compromise, if a settlement was to be achieved.   Some of the extraordinarily high expectations and demands of the parties, especially the movements’, had to be addressed and reduced to more realistic positions.  The issue and place of the Naivasha Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Darfur peace process posed a unique challenge.  Interestingly, the movements had adopted an eclectic approach to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, refusing on the one hand to accept its validity as a reference for resolving the Sudan’s problems, including the conflict of Darfur, and, on the other hand, wanting to pick and choose those aspects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that would accord them the same arrangements as had been secured by the Southerners, unmindful of the differences between the two situations.


He stressed the need to make all possible efforts to ensure the effectiveness of the mechanisms established to implement the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement, notably the Ceasefire Commission and the Joint Commission.  Consideration should be given to reorganizing and revitalizing the commissions, with appropriate and credible sanctions for any of the parties that persisted in violating the provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement.  The parties should be left in no doubt that, if their approach to the Abuja talks continued to delay progress towards a settlement, the Security Council would hold them responsible for prolonging the suffering of their people.  In such an eventuality, the threat and application of carefully targeted sanctions should be credible and evident, and should enjoy the strong support of a united Security Council.


The role of the neighbouring countries, especially, Chad, Libya and Eritrea, should be recognized and commended, he said.  At the same time, there was a strong need for stronger cohesion, transparency and coordination between the regional countries, facilitating the peace process and the Mediation.  Other external conditions must be consolidated and accelerated if a peace agreement was to be achieved, a particularly urgent concern being the current state of relations between Chad and the Sudan.  Chad serving as Co-Mediator of the Abuja talks was in the best interest of the process as evidenced by its initiatives and contributions.  However, there were reasons to be concerned over the fact that an escalation in the crisis between Chad and the Sudan could render any potential political settlement to the conflict in Darfur extremely problematic, especially in the short term.


He said the international partners in the process had continued to play a constructive role in the Abuja negotiations, which should be welcomed, commended and strengthened.  Cohesion and greater coordination between the African Union Mediation and the international partners remained most desirable, and more so now than ever before, as an important component and sine qua non for successful negotiation.  It was most important for the international partners and the African Union to speak with one concerted voice in their engagements with the parties.  Additionally, the international partners needed to enhance the level of their representation in Abuja, and to facilitate high-profile visits by political leaders to encourage the parties to reach an early agreement.


Noting that the funding situation of the talks remained extremely precarious, he said that peace processes were expensive by their very nature.  While appreciating the contributions made by some countries to support the Abuja talks, it was clear that the current level of funding must be increased substantially to accommodate the extended and final phase, and to relieve the African Union of a major constraint.  As a matter of priority, the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) should be strengthened, supported and well-funded to assume its mandate along the lines recommended by the recent Joint Assessment Mission that had undertaken a comprehensive review of that deployment.  It was vital that, for the duration of the African Mission’s role in Darfur, nothing should be done to undermine it.  That was both in the interest of the efforts to end the conflict and in the long-term interest of future African Union peace support operations.  A major financing constraint was the quite justified feeling on the part of those supporting the operation financially, that there was a need for greater burden sharing.  Yet, it was not impossible to devise a way in which that could be addressed.


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