30 March 2006
Security Council Extends Mandate of Panel of Experts on Sudan Until 29 September, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1665 (2006)
Also Requests Panel to Provide Midterm Briefing within 90 Days
NEW YORK, 29 March (UN Headquarters) -- Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council decided this afternoon to extend until 29 September 2006 the mandate of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan originally appointed under resolution 1591 (2005) and extended by resolution 1651 (2005).
By its unanimous adoption of resolution 1665 (2006), the Council requested the Panel of Experts to provide, no later than 90 days after the adoption of today's text, a midterm briefing on its work to the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 3 (a) of resolution 1591 (2005), and a final report to the Council on its findings and recommendations no later than 30 days prior to the end of its mandate.
The Council urged all States, relevant United Nations bodies, the African Union and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, particularly by supplying any information at their disposal on implementation of the measures imposed by resolution 1591 (2005) and resolution 1556 (2004).
The meeting began at 1:00 p.m. and adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1665 (2006) reads, as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Sudan, in particular resolutions 1651 (2005) of 21 December 2005, 1591 (2005) of 29 March 2005, and 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004 and statements of its President concerning Sudan,
"Stressing again its firm commitment to the cause of peace throughout Sudan, including through the African Union-led inter-Sudanese peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria ("Abuja Talks"), full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 9 January 2005, and an end to the violence and atrocities in Darfur,
"Urging all parties at the Abuja Talks to reach without further delay an agreement that will establish a basis for peace, reconciliation, stability and justice in Sudan,
"Commending the efforts of, and reiterating its full support for, the African Union, the Secretary-General, and the leaders of the region to promote peace and stability in Darfur,
"Taking note of the observations and recommendations contained in the 9 December 2005 report (S/2006/65) of the Panel of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 3 (b) of resolution 1591 (2005) and extended by paragraph 1 of resolution 1651 (2005), anticipating the receipt of the Panel's second report currently under consideration by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 3 (a) of resolution 1591 (2005), and expressing its intent to study the Panel's recommendations further and to consider appropriate next steps,
"Emphasizing the need to respect the provisions of the Charter concerning privileges and immunities, and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, as applicable to United Nations operations and persons engaged in such operations,
"Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan, and recalling the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and cooperation in the relations among States in the region,
"Determining that the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Decides to extend until 29 September 2006 the mandate of the Panel of Experts originally appointed pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) and extended by resolution 1651 (2005), and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures;
"2. Requests the Panel of Experts to provide no later than 90 days after adoption of this resolution a midterm briefing on its work to the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 3 (a) of resolution 1591 (2005), and a final report no later than 30 days prior to termination of its mandate to the Council with its findings and recommendations;
"3. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies, the African Union and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on implementation of the measures imposed by resolution 1591 (2005) and resolution 1556 (2004);
"4. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
The Security Council had before it the final report of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan (document S/2006/65), which was established pursuant to its resolution 1591 of 29 March 2005. By that text, in light of the failure of all parties to the conflict in Darfur to fulfil their commitments, the Council imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on those impeding the peace process, committing human rights violations and violating measures set out in previous resolutions. To designate such individuals and to monitor the implementation of the sanctions, the Council established a Committee consisting of all Council members. A four-member Panel of Experts was set up to assist the Committee in monitoring implementation of those measures.
"It is clear that arms, especially small arms and ammunition, continue to enter Darfur", the experts conclude. Since the Council imposed an arms embargo on all non-governmental groups by its resolution 1556 (2004), the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have continued to receive arms, ammunition and/or equipment from Chad, Eritrea, Libya, non-governmental groups and other sources. In addition, there have been numerous reports that the rebel groups receive financial, political and other material support from neighbouring countries. It also appears that the Council's intent to deny arms to the so-called Janjaweed militia was circumvented by the fact that many of the militias were already formally part of the Government security organs or were incorporated into those organs, especially the Popular Defence Force (PDF), the border intelligence guard, the central reserve police, the popular police and the nomadic police, after the adoption of resolution 1556 (2004).
The report concludes that the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), and to a lesser extent JEM, have committed consistent, wilful and systematic violations of the N'Djamena Ceasefire Agreement. In addition, the Government of the Sudan has abjectly failed to fulfil its agreed commitments to identify, neutralize and disarm armed militia groups under its control or influence. The Panel has found that the Government continues to support certain militia groups and, indeed, has on occasion engaged in coordinated military operations with armed militias. Several individuals have been identified as having committed acts intended to impede the work of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), including perpetrating hostile acts against AMIS personnel.
Having found that the Government of the Sudan continues to violate the provisions of the arms embargo through movement of arms into Darfur from other parts of the Sudan and deployment of additional attack helicopters to Darfur, the experts recommend strengthening that embargo. Among possible options, the Panel proposes retention of the present embargo while complementing it with the installation of a verification/inventory component; extension of the arms embargo to the entire territory of the Sudan; and extension of the embargo to the entire territory while providing appropriate exemptions for the Government of southern Sudan and the Government of the Sudan.
The Panel also found evidence of widespread violations of international humanitarian law in Darfur during the period from 29 March to 5 December 2005. The parties to the N'Djamena Ceasefire Agreement and other belligerents operating in Darfur, in particular the non-State militia groups, have undertaken military operations with scant regard for the principles of distinction, proportionality or military imperative. While all parties (SLA, JEM, the Government of the Sudan and militia groups) have violated the rules and norms of armed conflict, the SLA, the Government and the militia groups have shown the least regard for the welfare of civilians.
The experts propose that the Committee and the Security Council adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to violations of the N'Djamena Ceasefire Agreement. Any future ceasefire violation reports, verified by the Joint Commission, should be used as the basis for direct action by the Committee against the leadership of the violating party and against the local commanders that committed the offending act. In view of the abject failure of the Government of the Sudan to identify, neutralize and disarm the armed militia groups in Darfur, the Council should consider subjecting individuals, identified by the Panel as failing to disarm the militias, to the targeted measures under resolution 1591 (2005). Additional measures should be considered against select members of the Government of the Sudan as provided for under Article 41 of the Charter.
By the time the Panel was finalizing its final report, the Committee had not yet designated any individual against whom the financial sanctions and the travel ban would be applied. For that reason, the Panel was unable to fulfil its mandate of assisting the Committee in monitoring the implementation of those sanctions. The experts recommend that the Committee consider designating individuals against whom the sanctions should be applied. The Panel has identified a number of individuals who impede the peace process and commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights law and has included their names in a confidential annex to the report.
The Security Council should also consider options for establishing a standing civilian protection monitoring capacity to investigate and report directly to the Council on the acts that may constitute violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Darfur. To ensure that the Government does not employ military air assets for offensive purposes in the future, the report also addresses the possibility of establishing a prohibition on the operation by the Government of the Sudan of all military aircraft in Darfur, except in cases where the use of such aircraft is approved in advance by the Committee. Another option in that respect relates to the designation of those who request/authorize the use of air assets for offensive purposes as subject to the provisions of paragraphs 3 (d) and 3 (e) of resolution 1591 (2005).
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