UN READY FOR 10,000 STRONG TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN SUDAN TO MONITOR PEACE AGREEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD

4 February 2005
SC/8305

UN READY FOR 10,000 STRONG TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN SUDAN TO MONITOR PEACE AGREEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD

04/02/2005
Press ReleaseSC/8305

Security Council

5119th Meeting (AM)

UN READY FOR 10,000 STRONG TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN SUDAN TO MONITOR

PEACE AGREEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL TOLD

Special Representative Says Troops Already Committed

Mean First Phase Awaits Only Mandate, Status-of-Forces Agreement

The United Nations peace support operation in the Sudan had been involved since July 2004 in consultations and briefings with the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), resulting in a logistical and operational plan to deploy just over 10,000 troops for monitoring and verification of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 9 January 2005, the Security Council was told this morning.

Briefing the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the Sudan, Jan Pronk, his Special Representative in that country and head of the United Nations peace support operation, said that those troops would include a core of 750 military observers, a 5,000-strong enabling force and a protection component of about 4,000.  The countries that had already committed troops had made it possible to initiate the first phase of the deployment as soon as a mandate and status-of-forces agreement were obtained.

He said that the signing of the peace agreement marked the start of a six-month pre-interim period, to be followed by a six-year interim period, in the middle of which national elections would be held.  At the end of the interim period, the population of South Sudan would settle the question of the region’s status in a referendum to decide between unity and secession.  The Secretary-General recommended that a future United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNAMIS) would work for a further six-month period after the referendum to help the Government ensure implementation of its result, the successful implementation of which would mark the exit point for the peace support operation.

However, failure to find solutions to the conflicts in Darfur and elsewhere in the Sudan would mean that any peace support operation limited to South Sudan would be affected by the consequences of such conflicts, he warned.  Peace in the Sudan was indivisible and both President Omar el-Bashir and SPLM Chairman John Garang had repeatedly made clear their understanding that finding those solutions was a clear objective for 2005.  The indivisibility of peace in the Sudan also had consequences for the United Nations peace support operation, and it was essential that the mandate for the future UNAMIS take account of all efforts towards peace in Darfur, so that progress could be made towards achieving a sustainable solution through a well fused and widely supported strategy.

Underscoring the risk of a return of violence in South Sudan if the causes of the conflict were not addressed, he said it would not be enough to monitor the ceasefire and help avoid breaches of the peace agreement.  To support the peace process and render peace sustainable, it would also be necessary to help eliminate possible reasons for the parties to the agreement to return to violence and to remove the incentive for others in the Sudan to use force in seeking a solution to their problems.  Infrastructure reconstruction, recovery of productive capacity, rehabilitation of social structures, reconciliation between former opponents, poverty reduction and reassurance that the population’s basic needs would be met from now on were all part of a comprehensive approach.  The aim was to replace ad hoc relief from outside by sustainable development from within.

That, he continued, would require good economic and political governance, predominance of the rule of law, reform of State institutions and a new constitution, the guaranteeing of human rights, further democratization, an all-inclusive national development policy and the meeting of the Millennium Development Goals.  As with peace, development was also indivisible.

Today’s meeting began at 10:14 a.m. and adjourned at 10:35 a.m.

Background

In his latest report on the Sudan (document 2005/57), dated 31 January 2005, the Secretary-General recommends that the Security Council authorize, under Chapter VI of the Charter, the deployment of a multidimensional United Nations peace support operation with adequate resources, including troop strength of 10,130, comprising 750 military observers, 160 staff officers, up to 5,070 enabling units, a force protection component of 4,150 and 755 civilian police.

As with all Chapter VI peacekeeping operations, the Secretary-General notes, the Secretariat has held consultations with the parties on the list of potential troop-contributing countries, but despite appeals to more than 100 Member States, only a very limited number of responses have been received.  While some crucial enabling units are still required, there are just enough commitments from troop-contributing countries to initiate a phased deployment of the operation in all sectors as planned.  Upon the Security Council’s approval of the recommendations contained in the present report, therefore, the United Nations would commence the deployment of the military and civilian personnel that have been made available.  He urges the parties to cooperate fully in accepting all aspects of mission planning, including full freedom of movement and the structure and composition of the military elements.

The Secretary-General emphasizes that substantial resources are required for relief and recovery, including the return, repatriation and resettlement of internally displaced persons and refugees, as well as for the development activities envisaged by the joint assessment mission.  A reconstruction conference, to be organized by the Government of Norway, would provide an opportunity for international resource mobilization, and individual donors are encouraged to signal their readiness to become lead donors in key areas, including the reintegration of former combatants, the restructuring of the armed forces and police capacity-building.  Member States are urged to fund fully the work plan for 2005 and to make their contributions early so as to allow for substantial recovery programming that can quickly demonstrate to the Sudanese people the dividends of peace.

While international assistance is crucial, the Sudanese alone are responsible for the success or failure of their peace process, according to the report.  The parties rightly feel a strong sense of propriety towards the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the signing of which marks a turning point in their country’s history, providing the parties and people with a long-awaited opportunity to set a course for stability, growth and development.  The peaceful resolution of conflict has positive implications for the region and beyond.

For decades, Sudanese conflicts have been both a cause and a consequence of violence and instability in neighbouring countries.  Armed groups travelled back and forth across borders; conflicts within different countries became intertwined; alliances among governments and rebel movements in the region shifted as each sought to gain advantage over others.  Inevitably, weak and vulnerable civilians suffered the most, some being repeatedly displaced and forced across borders.  Their tragedy put strains on recipient communities and complicated relations among governments.  Sudanese strife has had a profound impact beyond the region, as well, the country’s instability at times providing cover for international terrorist movements.  Moreover, the trove of natural resources in conflict areas has intensified problems, with the world’s governments frequently disagreeing on appropriate responses to these many and varied challenges.  Thus, the conflict in the Sudan distorted relations among countries near and far.

The Sudan’s long-running pernicious conflict cannot quickly or easily be dispatched to history, the report states.  The parties have given themselves six and a half years to implement their agreements and the international community, too, must be prepared to sustain a long-term commitment.  The road to lasting peace is fraught with challenges in the key areas of:  security; governance; the rule of law; the judiciary system; human rights; the disbanding, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of armed groups and militias; preparations for elections; return and reintegration; relief; recovery; and sustainable development.  Due to these political and socio-economic challenges, any effort to assist successfully in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement would require an extensive, sustained and carefully coordinated response from the United Nations and its international partners.

Ultimately, the report says, peace in the Sudan is indivisible, as are international efforts to support it, including the deployment of a United Nations operation.  Support to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is the most promising path to a resolution of other political crises facing the Sudan, most notably in Darfur.  Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement emphasizes federalism, the balance of powers, democratic representation for marginal groups and good governance, its implementation would fundamentally change the relationship between the central Government and the States.  Specifically, the Agreement provides for the devolution of power to the very areas where grievances have centred on exclusion from political access and economic benefit.

Commending the mediators of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and especially its Chief Mediator, Major-General (retired) Lazarus Sumbeiywo, and their international partners, the Secretary-General notes that IGAD’s success in the north-south peace process, as well as the African Union’s enormous current efforts in relation to Darfur, mark a positive trend towards greater African leadership in resolving the region’s conflicts.  Urging continued international political and material support for the African Union’s operational role in Darfur and its political role at the peace talks in Abuja, he says that the Troika (United States, United Kingdom, Norway) and the IGAD Partners Forum also deserve praise for taking a leading role in facilitating the signing of a series of framework protocols and agreements that were essential for the completion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Briefing by Special Representative of Secretary-General

JAN PRONK, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Sudan and head of the peace support operation, introduced the Secretary-General’s report, noting that the Council had asked the Secretary-General to submit, as soon as possible after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, recommendations on the size, structure and mandate of a United Nations operation that would be established in support of the accord’s implementation.  The parties were to be congratulated for their wisdom and statesmanship in successfully bringing the talks to a close by the end of the year in accordance with their commitment, given at the historic November 2004 Security Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.

The signing of the agreement marked the start of the six-month pre-interim period, which would be followed by a six-year interim period, in the middle of which national elections would be held, he said.  At the end of the interim period, almost six-and-a-half years from now, the population of South Sudan would be asked to settle the question of the status of that region, in a referendum to decide between unity and secession.  The Secretary-General recommended that the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNAMIS) would work for s further six-month period after the referendum to help the Government ensure implementation of its result, the successful implementation of which would mark the exit point for the peace support operation.

While the Nairobi agreements detailed the implementation of the peace agreement, some areas still remained to be agreed, he pointed out.  That process would be completed by the new presidency of the Sudan, which would be formed following the acceptance of the constitution currently being drafted and which would comprise President Bashir and Vice-Presidents Taha and Garang.  When they had signed the agreement in January 2005, the parties had put a few remaining issues, such as the size of the armies, into the hands of the presidency, which meant that a considerable amount of work remained in the months ahead.  With the initialling of the agreements on 31 December 2004 and the signature of the peace agreement on 9 January, the parties had started the clock running on a demanding timetable that laid out a road map for implementation of the agreements according to a number of fixed milestones.  By sticking to their commitment to sign on time, the parties had created a valuable political momentum that must be harnessed to keep implementation moving forward on schedule through the pre-interim period and into the interim period.

The environment for implementation both in the pre-interim and interim periods contained risks and challenges, a clear example of which was the need to provide political solutions for the problems in Darfur, he said.  But there were many more and they were bound to increase if there was delay or disappointment in slow implementation.  For that reason, measures had been prepared to support the parties in their implementation of the agreement though planning and preparations carried out under the UNAMIS mandate.  There had been a functional mission headquarters on the ground for some time, and detailed plans had been developed for the establishment of an institutional framework for the United Nations in South Sudan.   There had been consultations and briefings with the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) since July 2004 and, a logistical and operational plan had been developed to deploy just over 10,000 troops for monitoring and verification, the core of which consisted of 750 military observers.

Noting that they would have to carry out a difficult task in a wide area of 1,000 by 1,250 kilometres with very poor communications, he said that professional planning required that they would have to be assisted by an enabling force of around 5,000 and a protection force of about 4,000, all included in the total number of 10,000.  In the light of the circumstances, that was a relatively lean deployment and the countries that had already committed troops for the intended peace support operation were to be thanked for making it possible to initiate the first phase of the deployment as soon as the mandate and the status-of-forces agreement were obtained.

He warned that if solutions were not found to the conflicts in Darfur and elsewhere in the Sudan, any peace support operation limited to south Sudan would be affected by the consequences of such conflicts.  Peace in the Sudan was indivisible and both President Bashir and Chairman Garang had repeatedly made clear that they understood that finding solutions for Darfur and similar conflicts in other parts of the Sudan was now a clear objective for 2005.  That underlined the importance of the national conference provided for in the peace agreement.  The indivisibility of peace in the Sudan also had consequences for the United Nations peace support operation.  It was essential that the mandate for the future UNAMIS take account of all those efforts towards reaching peace in Darfur so that progress could be seen towards a sustainable solution through a well fused and widely supported strategy.

He said that one of the risks mentioned earlier was that violence could return if the causes of the conflict were not addressed.  To support the peace process and to render peace sustainable, it would not be enough to monitor the ceasefire and help avoid breaches of the agreement.  It would also be necessary to help take away possible reasons for the parties to the agreement to return to violence, as well as to remove the incentive for others in the Sudan to seek a solution of their problems through force.  Hence, it was important that the peace process was as comprehensive as possible.  Reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure, recovery of productive capacity, rehabilitation of social structures, reconciliation between former opponents, reduction of poverty, reassurance that the basic needs of the population from now on would be met -- all that was part of a comprehensive approach, aiming to replace ad hoc relief from outside by sustainable development from within.

That, he continued, would require good economic and political governance, predominance of the rule of law, reform of State institutions and a new constitution, the guaranteeing of human rights, further democratization, an all-inclusive national development policy and the meeting of the Millennium Development Goals.  Not only peace, but also development, was indivisible.  In a country where one in four children died before the age of five, there was not much chance for survival, let alone for the realization of people’s expectations beyond a ceasefire and a peace agreement.  That was an enormous challenge for a nation that was rebuilding itself, 50 years after having become independent, following a long period of colonial rule.  The people of the Sudan had to do all that basically by themselves.  “It is their nation, their peace, their future”, he said.  But they would have to be helped from outside, and that was what they expected.  “We will have to meet that expectation.”

Therefore, to render peace sustainable, the Government and people of the Sudan would have to choose a comprehensive approach, he said.  That meant addressing all causes of conflict in a holistic and balanced way, avoiding new distortions.  The peace support operation would have to follow the same pattern -– comprehensive and balanced.  It was not the task of the United Nations to carry out functions that could better be fulfilled by the Sudanese themselves.  A comprehensive approach did not require a completely new structure for the United Nations mission.  On the contrary, many United Nations institutions, agencies, funds and programmes present in the Sudan had developed a lot of expertise and built an impressive capacity that should be used to its fullest extent, in a unified manner.

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For information media. Not an official record.