Don’t Be Cheap On Southern Sudan, UN. Cost-cutting Will Cost Lives…


On 9th of July, 2011 Southern Sudan will celebrate its birth as the world’s newest country. The coming secession is the final chapter in what was one of Africa’s longest-running civil wars. For twenty-two years, southern liberation fighters battled for independence, leading to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. That agreement allowed for a six-year interim period culminating in a vote on secession, which Southerners voted for by an overwhelming majority earlier this year.

South Sudan Flag After Referendum

A report from the Security Council Organization on Southern Sudan states:

On 20 June, 2011 the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed an agreement on temporary arrangements for the administration and security of the Abyei area. The agreement provides for the withdrawal of military forces—both Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Southern Sudan’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)—immediately following the deployment of an Interim Security Force for Abyei (ISFA) composed of a brigade of Ethiopian troops. The agreement also indicates that an Abyei police service shall be established to deal with particular issues related to nomadic migration.

The agreement also established the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC), which is to be composed of four members, with each party nominating two representatives. On 27 June, 2011 the Security Council also adopted resolution 1990 authorizing for six months a mission called the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) that shall comprise a maximum of 4,200 military personnel, 50 police and appropriate civilian support with the following mandate:

  • monitor and verify the redeployment of armed groups from Abyei Area, as defined by the Permanent Court of Arbitration;
  • participate in relevant Abyei Area bodies as stipulated in the agreement;
  • assist in de-mining;
  • facilitate humanitarian access;
  • strengthen the capacity of the Abyei Police Service; and
  • provide security for oil infrastructure

The UN Security Council will vote tomorrow on a new mission to South Sudan. The current United Nations Missions in Sudan (UNMIS) has to leave North Sudan by July 9, 2011 when the Republic of South Sudan finally comes into being.  All the various agencies working in Sudan have in the last few days tried to put up a case for a new revitalized force which would have a mandate to enforce peace given the current security situation in Border States as well as Abyei and South Kordofan.

Also from a report by Oxfam International indicates:

Inadequate numbers of peacekeepers for the next mission in South Sudan risk endangering thousands of lives and future stability.

From my colleague Ugandan blogger,  Rosebell’s Blog; I learned about how violence has escalated in the past couple of  weeks in Abyei, Southern Kordofan and across southern Sudan which has forced over 180,000 people to flee their homes.  The UN has called on the Security Council to send a strengthened Mission to the border as the situation is very tense and the country needs all the support it can to protect its population.  The UN asked for 7000 troops but reports indicate talks are going very badly as the UK, US and France are trying to trim the size of the Mission, its budget and its staff.

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Is the UN’s Approval For A “No-fly zone” On Libya An Euphemism For War?


Cross-linked at Future Challenges Organization‘s blog

Heads of States, World Leaders, NGO’s & Civil Organizations around the world are vigorously debating the recommend-ability of establishing a No-Fly Zone resolution to stop the violence unfolding in Libya.

One might want to ask. What is a “No-Fly Zone“? In short and simple explanation:

A no-fly zone (or no-flight zone) is a territory over which aircraft are not permitted to fly. Such zones are usually set up in a military context, somewhat like a demilitarized zone in the sky. (Wikipedia)

If you cast your mind back, somewhere in the mid-90, Rwanda faced a similar situation where Former President Bill Clinton later expressed regret for not acting to save innocent Rwandan lives. Looking at the whole MENA (Middle East & North Africa) revolution today, the stakes in Libya today are more appropriately underscored by the tragedy in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War some 20-years ago.

 

United Nations Security Council Resolution

Earlier yesterday, the United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution authorizing a No-Fly Zone over Libya and other military actions against Libya as the President Obama administration worked to ready plans to enforce this action with help from the Arab and European allies.

UNSCR was backed by 10 countries, enough to pass it this law, while 5 other countries – including Russia, China and Germany – chose to abstain. None of the UN Security Council members voted against the Resolution.

In addition to a no-fly zone, the measure opens the door to any actions short of a ground invasion to halt attacks that could result in civilian fatalities.

The U.S. government has faced criticism for not moving more aggressively to help the rebels trying to topple Qaddafi, but has finally obtained international support for this effort. The measure passed just as Colonel Qaddafi warned residents of Benghazi, Libya, the rebel capital, that an attack was imminent.

The United States, France and Britain pushed for speedy approval because Muammar al-Qaddafi‘s forces are advancing toward opposition-held Benghazi. The Libyan leader vowed Thursday night to oust the rebels from their eastern stronghold.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said if the resolution was approved (now approved), France would support military action against Qaddafi and his forces within hours. The U.S. said it was preparing for action.

According to Susan Rice; U.S. Ambassador to the UN;

“This resolution was designed to do two important things; Protect civilians as well as strengthen the pressure on the Qaddafi regime through a substantial tightening of sanctions.”

Also, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said; a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya

“requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and the pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defense systems.”

Questions worth pondering over for comments and opinions:

What does this new resolution mean for the innocent Libyan people? Is this the step in the right direction? How long will this resolution last? Why did some countries abstain from the voting process? What is the future of Qaddafi & his forces? Would this force him to resign?

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