Reviewing the review: wishful thinking and the future of UNAMID
In late February, the United Nations secretariat published the special report of the Secretary-General on the review of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (S/2014/138), the UN mission more commonly known as UNAMID.
Skip to the end of the document:
51. After one year, the Security Council would be faced with three scenarios:
(a) The political and security situation has not changed and the Mission has not improved its effectiveness, and a thorough assessment of the way forward requiring hard decisions on the future of UNAMID will be necessary;
(b) The political and security situation has not changed but the Mission has nevertheless measurably improved its effectiveness, and streamlining continues within the civilian and uniformed components based on effectiveness;
(c) The political and security situation has improved and the Mission has improved its effectiveness, in which case consideration should be given to strengthening, accordingly, the peacebuilding and support to early recovery mandate of the Mission.
One, obvious scenario is missing from the UN analysis: a worsening political and security situation in Darfur. Continue reading →
Rich though they are, Qataris do not like losing money. Investing in Sudan is no different: it requires a return. On April 2, Qatar’s emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani spent a few hours in Khartoum; at the end of the visit Sudan’s minister of finance announced $1 billion would be deposited by Qatar in the Central Bank of Sudan, to shore up foreign exchange reserves.
To explain the emir’s visit and the money as primarily a Qatari effort to find a friend amidst regional isolation, and/or as support to an ideologically akin state is unsatisfactory. Paramount are simpler Qatari interests: economic diversification, food security, maintaining an independent foreign policy and making money.
Current events in South Sudan (and Addis Ababa) continue to grab the headlines, and preoccupy the attention of most analysts, including this author. But that should not imply there have been no recent notable events north of the border. Here are three, mostly un or underreported developments in Sudan, and some thoughts on their implications. Continue reading →
Originally published by African Arguments on June 5, 2013.
The second honeymoon of Darfur’s Doha peace process lasted just over a month. On April 6, Mohammad Bashar, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement-Sudan (hence referred to as JEM-Bashar) signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD; English, Arabic) in the ballroom of the Doha Ritz-Carlton hotel.
In Doha, Bashar told delegates he was looking forward to going home. On May 12 he was dead, killed on the Sudan-Chad borderlands at the hands of his former comrades in the mainstream Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Continue reading →