Africa to be focus of Security Council this month – President
Briefing reporters at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Ambassador Pascal Gayama of the Republic of the Congo (ROC) said that the 15-member body will discuss the political aspect of the Darfur crisis next Thursday. That meeting will take place after the Council earlier this week adopted a landmark resolution authorizing the creation of a hybrid African Union (AU)-UN operation to quell the violence in the Sudanese region.
The UN and AU Special Envoys for Darfur, Jan Eliasson and Salim Ahmed Salim, will also host three days of talks in Arusha, Tanzania, beginning tomorrow with those rebel groups and militias that have not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement.
“We expect a lot from that because, as you know, the solution to the Darfur situation is not a military one,” Mr. Gayama said. “It is political.”
Additionally, the Council will take up Somalia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and – while not on the formal work programme – Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).
The President also announced the convening of an open debate in the Council on the prevention and settlement of conflict in Africa to “come up with new ideas on what is to be done given that there are many factors and elements involved in prevention.”
Also on the body’s agenda are the impending expiration of the mandates of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Later this month, the Council will hold an open debate on the Middle East to assess the situation which “is greatly changing there this month,” Mr. Gayama said.
Overall, he said “this is a month that should be lighter for everyone given the fact that there’s the General Assembly, the major political event, in September.”