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Conflict in the Sudans: Tracking Compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046

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Conflict in the Sudans: Tracking Compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046

Posted by Mollie Zapata and Jenn Christian on May 16, 2012

Conflict in the Sudans: Tracking Compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046

On May 2, the United Nations Security Council enacted a resolution addressing recent violence that has flared along the poorly defined international border separating Sudan and South Sudan, as well as the nearly year-long conflict between Sudanese government forces and the Sudan Revolutionary Front, or SRF. It was an important move, and a significant one given the political gridlock the Security Council often faces when considering issues related to the two Sudans.

But the value of the Security Council’s action will hinge on compliance and consequences, and in the two weeks since the resolution was adopted, the parties have traded accusations of ongoing violations.

In an effort to track Sudan, South Sudan, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North's, or SPLM-N's, compliance with those conditions on which the resolution places corresponding deadlines, the Enough Project has produced a new timeline. The timeline identifies the deadlines for conditions provided for in Resolution 2046 and chronicles indicators of actors’ compliance, or lack thereof, with each of those conditions in color-coded categories along the timeline (below).

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046 requires the governments of Sudan and South Sudan, as well as the SPLM-N, to meet a number of conditions or face the imposition of sanctions under Article 41 of the U.N. Charter. The resolution places deadlines on the actors’ compliance with certain conditions, while leaving other conditions without corresponding deadlines.

View timeline infographic full-screen.

To track the actors’ compliance with those conditions on which the resolution does not attach a corresponding deadline, the Enough Project has produced a new table. The table identifies the conditions from Resolution 2046 with which deadlines are not associated and then lists indicators of actors’ compliance, or lack thereof, with each of those conditions.


  Conditions in UNSC Resolution 2046 without Corresponding Deadlines   Indicators of Implementation or Lack Thereof  

Unconditional withdrawal of Sudanese and South Sudanese armed forces to their respective sides of the border (Operative Para. 1(ii))

  None to date.  

Sudan and South Sudan cease the harboring of and providing support to rebel groups in the other state (Operative Para. 1(iv))


4 May 2012: President Bashir accuses the leader of the SPLM-N rebellion in South Kordofan, Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu, of being “a mere façade of the foreign powers” that fund the SPLM-N’s activities, an implicit reference to South Sudan’s suspected support of SPLM-N forces.

10 May 2012: President Bashir proclaims, “"If they [South Sudan] want to change the regime in Khartoum, we will work to change the regime in Juba. If they want to attrite us, we will attrite them. And if they want to support our rebels, we will support theirs."


Sudan and South Sudan activate an ad hoc committee under the JPSM to receive and investigate complaints and allegations made by one party against the other (Operative Para. 1(v))

  None to date.  
  Sudan and South Sudan must immediately cease all hostile propaganda and inflammatory statements (Operative Para. 1(vi))  

9 May 2012: Chairperson of the Security Committee of South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly announces that South Sudan will again attack Heglig if SAF forces continue to attack South Sudanese territory.

11 May 2012: President Bashir proclaims "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" policy in any future attacks by South Sudan against Sudan. President Bashir went on to say, "We have fertilized the soil with their [South Sudan’s] dead," and SAF forces "will defend the country and chop off any hand stretching to take it."


Immediate cessation of attacks against property or religious and cultural symbols belonging to nationals of the other state (Operative Para. 1(vi))

  None to date.  

Sudan and South Sudan extend full protection of nationals of the other state in line with international principles and consistent with the Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters initialed in March 2012 (Operative Para. 1(vi))


14 May 2012: Humanitarian airlifts begin to evacuate an estimated 12,000 South Sudanese previously stranded in Kosti, Sudan to Juba, via Khartoum. The airlifts are organized by the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, and supported by the governments of Sudan and South Sudan.

18 May 2012: The International Organization of Migration, or IOM, continues airlifts of stranded South Sudanese out of Sudan. Flights have been increased from two to four a day and IOM plans to further expand the number of flights to six per day.


GoS and SPLM-N extend full cooperation with the AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD to reach a negotiated settlement (Operative Para. 3)


8 May 2012: The SPLM-N calls for “a comprehensive peaceful settlement” to conflict in Sudan.

9 May 2012: The leadership council of the NCP, chaired by President Bashir, states that it does not agree to elements of UNSC resolution 2046 regarding negotiations with the SPLM-N.

10 May 2012: Commander in chief of SRF forces and SPLM-N chairman, Abdel-Aziz Adam El Hilu, says that "the root cause of conflict in Sudan can never be addressed through selective dialogue. It is requires comprehensive understanding and settlement."

14 May 2012: Sudan’s parliament rejects negotiations with the SPLM-N.


GoS and SPLM-N acceptance of the tripartite agreement for humanitarian access to Blue Nile and South Kordofan (Operative Para. 4)


8 May 2012: SPLM-N reiterates its acceptance of the Tripartite Proposal and expresses its willingness to initiate a “humanitarian cessation of hostilities” to allow for the Proposal’s implementation.

14 May 2012: Sudan’s parliament rejects the Tripartite Proposal.


Protection and promotion of human rights in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law by all parties (Operative Para. 7)


11 May 2012: Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemns Sudan’s "indiscriminate" aerial bombings of South Sudan, saying, "I am saddened and outraged to learn that such attacks which place civilians at great risk – and have already killed and injured some and caused many thousands of others to flee – have been taking place again in recent days." Pillay further declares, "Deliberate or reckless attacks on civilian areas can, depending on the circumstances, amount to an international crime."



In the coming days and weeks, the Enough Project will continue to monitor Sudan, South Sudan, and the SPLM-N’s compliance with Resolution 2046 and update our timeline and table accordingly.

Should any actor fail to comply with the conditions identified in the resolution, the U.N. Security Council should not hesitate to consider the imposition of sanctions. Bringing to bare the threat of sanctions made in Resolution 2046, when appropriate, is a critical way in which the international community can apply diplomatic pressure on Sudan, South Sudan, and the SPLM-N to work constructively towards addressing the conflicts within and between the two Sudans that currently undermine regional peace and security. Particularly given the government of Sudan’s demonstrated pattern of disavowing agreements to which it assents and abrogating international obligations placed upon it, the U.N. Security Council’s continued vigilance and action is essential.

Go here for the most recent Compliance Tracker updates.

Photo: Sudanese soldiers raise weapons and a flag during a visit by President Bashir to the disputed area of Heglig (AP)