The Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations peace operation in Western Sahara for one year today, with the voting results announced by videoconference, in accordance with the temporary silence procedure* adopted for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adopting resolution 2548 (2020) by 13 votes in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Russian Federation, South Africa), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 31 October 2021. It called upon the parties to the dispute over that territory to resume negotiations without preconditions and in good faith.
The Council also rejected a second draft resolution, on the agenda item “Women, peace and security”.
By the MINURSO text, the Council emphasized the need for a realistic, practicable and enduring solution to the Western Sahara question based on compromise, as well as the importance of aligning the Mission’s strategic focus and orienting United Nations resources to that end.
Expressing its full support for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General and his incoming Personal Envoy to sustain the renewed negotiations process, the Council noted the intention of the former Personal Envoy to invite Morocco, the Frente Polisario (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro), Algeria and Mauritania to meet again in the same format. It welcomed the commitment of those parties to remain engaged throughout the process in order to ensure a successful outcome.
In calling for the resumption of negotiations, the Council asked the parties to take into account the efforts made since 2006, as well as subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. It invited Member States to lend appropriate assistance to such talks.
Reaffirming the need to fully respect military agreements previously reached with MINURSO regarding a ceasefire, the Council further called upon the parties to adhere to those agreements, implement their commitments to the former Personal Envoy and refrain from any actions that could undermine negotiations or further destabilize the situation in Western Sahara.
By other terms of the resolution, the Council requested that the Secretary-General provide regular briefings on the status of negotiations during the mandate period; apply his framework for comprehensive and integrated peacekeeping performance policies to MINURSO; and increase the number of women engaged in the Mission’s work, as well as their meaningful participation.
Vassily Nebenzia (Russian Federation), Council President for October, announced the silence-procedure voting results for the draft resolution on the agenda item “Women, peace and security”, noting that the text, having received 5 votes in favour (China, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Viet Nam) to none against, with 10 abstentions, failed to garner enough affirmative votes and was rejected.
That text would have had the Council note with deep concern persisting barriers to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent “women, peace and security” resolutions. It would have urged Member States to ensure and promote “the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all stages of peace processes” and remain committed to “increasing the number of civilian and uniformed women in peacekeeping at all levels and in key positions”.
Further, the text it would have had the Council urge Member States to facilitate women’s full, equal and meaningful inclusion and participation both in negotiating delegations and in mechanisms established to implement and monitor agreements.
The text, which would also have had the Council recognize the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, was the outcome of the Council’s open debate on the “Women, peace and security” agenda, convened on Thursday by the Russian Federation to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the landmark resolution 1325 (2000).
* Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March (China).
There aren’t only murders and mysteries on the telly, its real life and not fiction as the Syrian civil war continues rapidly without whomever force and whomever ally around Aleppo or other check-points where the Presidents force, rebels or ISIS are shooting. The bullets don’t have names, but the men and woman on the side-line and at the battle who dies does; the men and woman who loses their life for themselves or a Nobel-cause.
As much as there are forces battling inside the Iraq nation as Government Forces are attacking together with American soldiers ISIS stronghold around Mosul. There are continued fighting inside of Afghanistan. Still battles between civilians and the Indian Army inside the Kashmir state that has issues there and on the Pakistan side of Kashmir. The long battle for freedom or justice, as the Kurds are battling for in Syria, Turkey and in Iraq; being the minority in the middle of the civil war in Syria and Iraq.
That is just some places, as the deteriorating state of affairs are attacking all sort of freedoms inside Ethiopia, as the army and Aghazi squad are killing and harassing the people’s in Amhara and Oromia states. Together with the arrests of bloggers, silencing media outlets, and detaining demonstrators, burning the homes of people and inflicting violence on the citizens. This state of emergency is used as a useful tool to oppress, silence and make sure the violence and killings doesn’t get out; while the Central Government works to find reasons and solutions to ways of total control of minds and bodies in the states of demonstrations against the Addis Ababa regime.
In Burundi the central government are using the Police and army, together with the Imbonerakure that are detaining, harassing, killing and torturing civilians, silencing the opposition and the ones not loyal to the President Pierre Nkurunziza narrative of keeping power by any means. The Burundian Government has claimed that the Rwandan Government has created armies and guerrillas that wished for a coup d’état against the Nkurunziza regime. Therefore the fleeing civilians are in the wind as the Rwandan government has been wonder for a spell, if they would banish the Burundian refugees a place in the country.
While in the Democratic Republic of Congo, several guerrillas are still running wild, burning and killing villagers in the States of North and South Kivu, Katanga and so on. Where the foreign based groups that have been started in Rwanda and Uganda, continues to battle the locals for the valuable minerals; as even today a former M23 Commander Sultani Makenga who been in Uganda has crossed with a militarized group, surely from Kisoro as before to cause more havoc in the Kivu’s. The ADF-NALU, Mayi-Mayi and others doesn’t create enough death and crimes against humanity already, as the MONUSCO and FARDC haven’t the ability or will to silence them.
In South Sudan, the internal battle that started in July 2016, the resurgence of skirmishes between the SPLA/M and the SPLM/A-IO who are the TGNU and the Opposition party, which is the armies for President Salva Kiir and his former First Vice-President Riek Machar. That has since July battled each other with forces, in Western Bahr El Ghazal State, Equatoria State and Upper Nile State. There been fighting between the two in other states, but just show how big and powerful the forces are. The South Sudanese civilians are the losers who flees to Ethiopia, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, even in Congo because the Opposition we’re there has been asked to leave to other destinations. Therefore the internal power-struggle those fear of genocide, as still creating implications inside other nations.
In Somalia the Al-Shabab, the different state continues to have infighting together with the AMISOM mission. The running battles for land between Galdumug Interim Administration and the Puntland Government inside the Federal Republic of Somalia. Doesn’t really help for a peaceful session and making dialogue in the war-torn nation where Piracy and Khat been the ways of securing funds for ammunition and AKs, not for building a state and security.
Eritrea is closed and the continuation of the flow of refugees, as the internal controlling central government that forces the freedoms and liberties, as the men and woman does what they can to even enter Ethiopia, where they are badly treated. Eritrean reports are staggering as they are even supporting internal guerrillas in Ethiopia and Djibouti to unsettle their neighbours.
There are wars and running battles between government forces and rebels in Central African Republic, Mali, Mozambique and so on. This is happening in silence and without little flash, even as the ones are guerrillas like Boko Haram that are going in between Nigeria and Cameroon, to stop the Government from functioning and spreading fear of locals.
What is worrying how these actions continues, and how there are other I could mention, the issues in Libya, the Algerian complex and the Western Sahara colony of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The death that dies in silence, in the midst of homes, villages where their families have been living for decades, while big-men fight like two elephants; the grass get hurt, but the big-men be fine. The same is with all of these civil wars, the civilians are dying, the societies are deteriorating, the central government are controlled by little amount of people instead of procedure and rule of law.
The worry is how it becomes pro-longed, how the innocent dies and the power-hungry survive and the lucky get refugee somewhere else in uncertainty, like for how long can they stay, as been seen with the Kenyan Government work to get rid of Somali refugees in Dadaab Refugee camp during this calendar year, while the Somalian Federation if far from peaceful. Even as the Ethiopian troops has went home again surely to use their knowledge to chop heads in Amhara and Oromia. That is what they do now, they just doesn’t want people to know about it.
We shouldn’t allow this actions to happen, this killings, this violence and the silence of freedom, liberty and justice to our fellow peers, we should act upon it, question our power-to-be and the men who rules over these armies, the ones creating the havoc and the ones who are behind the crimes against humanity. Those are the ones that earning money on the wars and the ones that doesn’t want the words on the acts; those are the worst ones in it all as they are accomplices to destruction of lives and societies as we speak. Peace.
Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Western Sahara.
NEW YORK, United States of America, August 29, 2016 – The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the tense situation that has developed in the narrow Buffer Strip in southwestern Western Sahara between the Moroccan berm and the Mauritanian border as a result of changes in the status quo and the introduction of armed units from Morocco and the Polisario in close proximity to each other.
The Secretary-General calls on both parties to suspend any action that alters that status quo and to withdraw all armed elements so as to prevent any further escalation and permit MINURSO to hold discussions with both parties on the situation. The Secretary-General stresses the importance for both parties to adhere to their obligations as per the Military Agreement number 1, and the need to respect the letter and the spirit of the ceasefire agreement.
As the unrest and crisis in Burundi continues even if they have Peacekeepers in Central African Republic and Somalia. The Opposition and the Government still keeps on with killings and oppressive behavior from the Government Armed Forces from the Police and the Army. The Opposition even tries to do plots to take down people of higher rankings as they have even attacked and gone after ministers and army generals. That is why the United Nation Security Council on the 1st of April 2016 finally have come to resolution on the conflict as the Inclusive Inter-Burundian Dialogue that have been stalled after the Ugandan President Museveni was out of the picture. There since been little or no-talks between the powerful actors in the country.
Even with stories of counter-insurgencies from Rwanda and trained militias to topple the President Nkurunziza shows the viability and how the positions are played at the moment. But here are the most specific and most important parts of the UN resolution 2279 (2016) of the Security Council:
“Stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of Burundi for ensuring security in its territory and protecting its population with respect for the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law, as applicable” (…)”Urges the Government of Burundi and all parties to reject any kind of violence and condemn any public statement inciting violence or hatred and demands that all sides in Burundi refrain from any action that would threaten peace and stability in the country” (…)”Urges the Government of Burundi to respect, protect and guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in line with the country’s international obligations, to adhere to the rule of law, to bring to justice and hold accountable all those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law or violations and abuses of human rights, as applicable, including sexual violence and violations against children” (…)”Welcomes the steps made by the Government of Burundi to withdraw some media bans, cancel some arrest warrants and release a significant number of detainees, and urges the Government of Burundi to urgently fulfil the remaining commitments announced by the Government of Burundi on 23 February 2016 and to extend such measures to other media outlets and political detainees” (…)”Welcomes the consent of the Burundian authorities to increase to 200 the number of human rights observers (100) and military experts (100) of the AU, calls for their full and speedy deployment in Burundi, notes that 30 human rights observers and 15 military observers have been deployed so far, and urges the Government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders to provide them with full cooperation in order to facilitate the implementation of their mandate” (…)”Calls on States in the region to contribute to a solution to the crisis in Burundi, and to refrain from supporting the activities of armed movements in any way, and recalls in this regard commitments of the States in the region under the Framework Agreement on the Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region and the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees” (UN Resolution 2279, 2016).
Most of this is expected from the United Nation Security Council and their values and the wishes of security of the people of Burundi; which is the reason for why the resolution occurs. The issue I have with it, is not that the Resolution finally get Blue-Helmets on the ground and they are supposed to help to gain peace. But when you see the amount of people, experts and military men from the Peacekeepers it is very little. As little as it seems to be a gimmick and then the world society “we did something” but initially that something was very little.
And the Burundian Government will sure make sure their mandate is minor or small so they can conduct their affairs as much as they please only to formally do the implementation that are into the standards of the signed statues and the agreements done to international laws. So they don’t have grievances with anybody or anyone from the United Nation or the International donors to the Burundian Regime.
That the UN Peacekeepers will have the total of 100 Military Experts as Peacekeepers, that is a tiny base; they will not have the mandate or structure to do much in Burundi. It is more than the 15 Military Experts that are there now, so it is as adjustment. The Human Rights Monitoring will not be able to force anything, but to report to the UN and AU on the matters and issues on the ground. For me what is important is to remember the dire state that was in Rwanda before 1994. As this is similar and also had a Peacekeeping mission. But looking at the similarities when coming to the mission; the Burundian Peacekeepers can’t do much about nothing.
Important dates and issues with Rwandan Peacekeeping Mission:
“On 22 June 1993, the Security Council, by its resolution 846 (1993), authorized the establishment of UNOMUR on the Uganda side of the common border, for an initial period of six months, subject to review every six months. The Council decided that the verification would focus primarily on transit or transport, by roads or tracks which could accommodate vehicles, of lethal weapons and ammunition across the border, as well as any other material which could be of military use” (…)”As requested by resolution 846 (1993), the United Nations undertook consultations with the Government of Uganda with a view to concluding a status of mission agreement for UNOMUR. The agreement was finalized and entered into force on 16 August 1993. This opened the way to deployment of an advance party which arrived in the mission area on 18 August. UNOMUR established its headquarters in Kabale, Uganda, about 20 kilometres north of the border with Rwanda. By the end of September 1993, the Mission had reached its authorized strength of 81 military observers and was fully operational” (…)”. Reporting to the Security Council on 15 December 1993 on the activities of the Mission, the Secretary-General noted that UNOMUR was “a factor of stability in the area and that it was playing a useful role as a confidence-building mechanism”. Upon his recommendation, the Council, by its resolution 891 (1993) of 20 December 1993, extended UNOMUR’s mandate by six months. The Council expressed its appreciation to the Government of Uganda for its cooperation and support for UNOMUR and also underlined the importance of a cooperative attitude on the part of the civilian and military authorities in the mission area” (UNOMOR Background).
We all who followed the Situation in the Rwandan Genocide knew what happened after this and that the mission of United Nations Peacekeepers was not incapable of doing anything with the dire situation in Rwanda that was already in 1993 and what escalated in 1994. Those 81 Military Observers did not have the manpower or the mandate to sufficiently do anything in the country.
As we are today in April 2016, 12 years after 1994, in the neighbor country of Burundi who also have history of civil war and violence, that ended in the Arusha Peace Accord of 2000 and gave way to over a decade of peace. Still, it was not sufficient or enough.
So the 15 Military Experts or Observers cannot deal with anything especially since their mandate is not yet there; as the negotiations with the Burundian government are under way, the Burundian government wants as little or no meddling in their internal affairs; and with that in mind they have stifled the ability to have international peacekeepers in the country. Even if the UN Mission in Burundi with their 100 Peacekeepers, how much more power will they compared to the counterparts in Rwanda in 1993-1994? I doubt the Burundian Government will give up sovereignty and let them play national Police and Army over them. As they have Army Forces in Peacekeeping mission themselves in Somalia and Central African Republic.
Burundian President Nkurunziza said this in late December 2015: “Everybody should respect the borders of Burundi. If the troops are in violation of this decision, they will have attacked Burundi, and each Burundian must stand up to fight them” (…)”The country will have been attacked, and we will fight them” (…)”You cannot send troops to a country if the United Nations Security Council has not accepted it… the UN resolution says the international community should respect the independence of Burundi” (Daily Monitor, 2015).
Now yesterday the new Resolution said they would extend the Military Experts (Observers) which counters the words and arguments used by the President in December 2015. That an Resolution from the United Nation would change the matter, even the resolution is so vague and non-descriptive as it even in dialogue with the Burundian Government:
“…urges the Government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders to provide them with full cooperation in order to facilitate the implementation of their mandate” (UN Resolution 2279, 2016).
This gives way to Burundian Government to do as they see fit in their sovereign territory while the Peacekeeping mission of United Nations will have little power or mandate to address, because we already knows that President Nkurunziza have little interest in having a powerful mandate to the United Nations Peacekeeping mission as he already wanted to attack the African Union planned Peacekeeping mission in the Country.
The 100 people of the UN Peacekeeping mission will in this state, and with this sort of arrangement and resolution gives lots of responsibility towards the Burundian Government, and will certainly not made in way that is adjusted to the concerns of the United Nation Security Council.
This resolution gives little or no direct mandate to the United Nations Mission and gives way for negotiations for the Burundian Government. Therefore the start of it is flawed and leaves possibilities of being a minor sting of pride for President Nkurunziza; as much as it was for President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda in 1993; to have a peacekeeping mission in his country. But if it has limited power or even reach, and with little manpower as it have, the worry for the Burundian government not necessary have to be there. Because the United Nation Mission can’t or doesn’t have the ability to stop anything; just peeping and monitoring at best; as much as the Human Rights workers that are parts of the Mission. The Military experts will be lame ducks, while waiting for a secure mandate. A mandate that the Government of Burundi not wanting to give them, as that will take away their sovereignity as a state and nation. Peace.
Daily Monitor – ‘Nkurunziza warns he would fight AU peacekeepers’ (30.12.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/World/Nkurunziza-warns-fight-AU-peacekeepers-/-/688340/3015170/-/k7p15vz/-/index.html
United Nation – ‘Uganda-Rwanda-UNOMOR Background’