In a new publication released today, “Holding Sudan Accountable: A Draft U.N. Security Council Resolution,” Enough Project’s Jennifer Christian calls on the U.N. Security Council to take strong measures against the government of Sudan for its failure to permit international humanitarian aid into the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan’s behavior contradicts the terms of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046 and a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, that Khartoum signed with the U.N., the African Union, and the League of Arab States, collectively the “Tripartite Partners.”
For over a year, the government of Sudan has continuously denied humanitarian access to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where nearly 700,000 civilians are internally displaced or severely affected by the ongoing conflict between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N. Indeed, the government of Sudan has demonstrated over the past year that it has little intention to take seriously international efforts to negotiate humanitarian access into South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The government has, as well, categorically failed to protect civilians within its territory, thereby shifting the burden to protect those vulnerable populations onto the international community pursuant to the responsibility to protect doctrine, or R2P.
Enough’s draft U.N. Security Council resolution, which follows the precedent set by the Security Council’s reaction to conflicts in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, cites the government of Sudan’s continued denial of humanitarian access to South Kordofan and Blue Nile as “a threat to international peace and security.” The draft demands that the government of Sudan immediately implement the MOU that it signed with the Tripartite Partners. Should the government fail to do so within a defined period of time, the draft calls on U.N. member states, “individually or through regional organizations or agencies, to immediately take all measures necessary to facilitate, in coordination with the U.N., the African Union, and the League of Arab States, the delivery by relevant humanitarian organizations of humanitarian assistance to South Kordofan and Blue Nile states without the consent of the Government of Sudan.” Finally, in response to Khartoum’s non-compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2046, the proposed draft resolution contemplates the imposition of sanctions by the U.N. Security Council against individuals who have been involved in denying aid delivery to the two states.
As the United Nations General Assembly—which convened in New York for its 67th meeting on September 18—considers how to promote peace and security and resolve continuing global challenges, the perpetual humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states must be given attention. The ongoing crisis “demands strong and immediate action on the part of the international community,” a responsibility the UNGA would do well to address.
In a September 21 press release, the Security Council “reiterated their grave concern about the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States,” advising the involved parties to honor the MOU and allow aid to reach at-risk populations. The proposed sanctions outlined in the draft resolution, should they be adopted by the Security Council, would reaffirm the U.N.’s commitment to humanitarian intervention and civilian protection in cases of continued abuse and crisis.
Read Enough’s full draft U.N. Security Council resolution: “Holding Sudan Accountable”
Photo: Refugees fled fighting in Blue Nile and sought safety in Ethiopia (Enough / Amanda Hsiao)