By Afro-Middle East Centre
The recent African Union decision adding a more ‘robust’ peace enforcement component to the current 12 000 strong UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) risks further militarising an ostensibly political conflict over resources and patronage. Further, even if implemented, the proposed force will be difficult to sustain in light of the complex and overlapping nature of the conflict and the differing agendas of outside actors. The ‘temporary’ replacement of now former vice president Riek Machar with Taban Deng through an internal coup in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLMIO) underscores the complexity and fluidity of South Sudanese politics and alliances.
The decision, at the just-concluded AU heads of state summit in Rwanda, follows a proposal by the East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for the AU to request that the UN expands its mission in South Sudan to include peace enforcement modelled on the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in eastern Congo. The proposal came in the wake of a collapsing power-sharing agreement between the two main protagonists in South Sudan, President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar, in early July when conflict erupted between their security details in Juba.
Since its establishment in 2011, South Sudan has experienced continual conflict; first was the clash imposed on it by its northern neighbour, Sudan, over oil revenue and borders in 2012; more recently – between December 2013 and August 2015 – militia allied to Machar and Kiir clashed. That conflict was halted through a power-sharing agreement reached in August 2015, in terms of which the rivals would retain their prior positions as president and vice president, and would integrate parts of their militia. The deal only came into force in April this year when Machar was restored as vice president and entered Juba with 1 400 troops as part of the pact. The agreement was fraught from inception. It assumed that there were only two belligerents, Kiir and Machar, and failed to integrate other groups such as the Shilluk clan (South Sudan’s third largest tribe after the Dinka and Nuer), and address more localised concerns between tribes over land and revenue distribution. Further, it failed to adequately consider the roles played by outside forces such as Uganda in propping up Kiir, skewing the balance of forces and disincentivising compliance. Moreover, it failed to adequately consider South Sudan’s fractious history and lack of institutional capacity as engendering a situation wherein securitisation is prioritised and instrumentalised by political actors. Thus, even before the agreement was concluded, Kiir expressed dissatisfaction, arguing that it was a foreign imposition, and because militia loyal to him held the balance of power. Further, no effort was made toward reversing his decision to redraw South Sudan’s provincial borders, increasing the number of provinces from ten to twenty-eight in order to benefit tribes and militias loyal to him. Deng’s power play – possibly engineered by Kiir – changes little because South Sudanese politics is still governed by force, and Deng’s support and influence in this area is less than Machar’s.
The proposed intervention force will be hamstrung by a number of factors. First, distinguishing the main belligerent in an arena wherein there is a multiplicity of groups – often with local grievances – will complicate and stall armed intervention measures. This is especially true in light of Machar’s ‘temporary’ replacement. Will UNMISS distinguish between Machar’s well-armed support and that of Deng, who is even distrusted by Kiir?
Moreover, the brigade is to comprise forces from Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan, all with differing interests in the conflict, which currently support different actors, maintain antagonisms toward each other in the quest for sub-regional hegemony, and – in the case of Uganda – has already deployed thousands of troops to support Kiir.
Further, South Sudan’s lack of central institutional governing capacity and fractious nature will complicate territorial handovers and administration efforts. The neutrality of the force will also be questioned, impeding its legitimacy. This is mainly because UNMISS has often coordinated activities with Kiir’s forces, even when these had been accused of being partly responsible for intensifying the most recent conflict. Notably, UNMISS’s mandate included working with Kiir’s government in the pursuit of state building following South Sudan’s independence, and, at the conflict’s inception, the force was outnumbered and outgunned, and forced to rely on the government for its survival.
Last, the global economic slowdown will mean that funding the expansion will be challenging. Already, some EU members have reduced their contributions to peacekeeping missions by over twenty per cent. This is significant, as the brigade will not only comprise a few thousand troops, but will require advanced weaponry and airpower to confront government forces. Even in the DRC, where the FIB has been viewed as a template for the South Sudan mission, problems are currently plaguing the mission.
The AU resolution thus will escalate the militarisation of a complex political matter. A properly enforced arms embargo could contain the situation better, and allow time to conceptualise and implement a more inclusive power-sharing agreement through IGAD, especially since South Sudan is landlocked and reliant on its neighbours, and because the USA and China can pressure the Ugandan and Sudanese governments to comply. Moreover, this would require less funding and be easier to implement. In the meanwhile, conflicts continue in Jonglei, Equatoria and other states, while the international community is fixated on the capital Juba, and on the notion that there are two clearly distinguishable belligerents.
By Afro-Middle East Centre
The recently-signed agreement between sections from Libya’s warring factions will likely have little impact as most Libyan political players and militia groups oppose it, and because local initiatives and views were ignored during its conceptualisation. The deal could increase fragmentation in the already gridlocked Libyan political situation, and provide more space for the growth of the Islamic state group (IS). Further, foreign intervention, under the guise of supporting the new ‘Government of National Accord’ (GNA), is becoming an increasingly distinct possibility, and was key in informing the international community’s support for the deal.
The agreement, signed in the Moroccan resort of Skheirat, ends a year-long negotiation process. The negotiations followed the reconvening of the General National Congress (GNC) in Libya in August 2014 in opposition to the internationally-recognised House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern city of Tobruk. The deal envisages the creation of a seventeen-member government, led by the little known Faez Serraj as prime minister, and deputies representing the provinces of Fezzan, Tripoli and Benghazi, who will be based in Tripoli. The internationally recognised House of Representatives (HoR) will play a legislative role, while the GNC will play an advisory role. Only members from both institutions who had signed the deal will, however, be regarded as being members of the two bodies.
Initially a bottom-up process which sought to incorporate civil society and lower level political actors such as mayors and town councillors into a process of finding solutions, the ‘negotiations’ have become a diktat from foreign powers. Diplomats have threatened sanctions for ‘spoilers’, refused to recognise the results of internal negotiations between the GNC and HoR, and stated that the agreement is unalterable. Further, the credibility of the UN has been tarnished by its partiality in the negotiations process. At the core of this heavy-handed attitude is the fears of foreign powers, particularly the USA and European Union, of migration and the growth of IS. Libya is viewed as a transit hub for African migrants seeking to enter the EU through Malta, a fear amplified by IS’s consolidation in the port city of Sirte. Western states regard Libya as a growing alternate IS base, and thus see intervention as inevitable. Already US and French aircraft have carried out operations in Libya, and Britain and Italy are likely to deploy ground troops in the country. These states therefore seek the formation of a Libyan government which will sanction and coordinate such intervention. It is expected a UN resolution will soon be passed, declaring the new entity as the only recognised Libyan government.
The agreement has therefore been criticised by the leaders of both the GNC and HoR as a foreign imposition. Less than half of the members of both institutions (eighty of 180 HoR members, and fifty of 136 GNC members) have signed the agreement – in their personal capacities, critics claim. Further, on the 6 December, the GNC and HoR signed a declaration of intent in Tunis, which envisages the creation of two ten-member bodies to form a unity government and draft a new constitution. This would pave the way for the holding of elections in two years. The UN’s special envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, dismissed this local process by saying the ‘train had already left the station’, asserting that the UN deal was the only one that would be considered, and imploring all factions to sign it. Consequently, the UN deal is unlikely to be respected by the GNC and HoR, and it is difficult to see the new ‘government’ operating out of Tripoli. Further, militia leaders were not involved in the negotiations, and are even less supportive of the agreement than the GNC and HoR. Thus, foreign security will likely be required to protect the new government, weakening its already diminished legitimacy and adding another centre of power into the current civil war. The power of the GNC and HoR will thus be denuded, allowing IS to gain more ground, especially as it begins to create institutions to govern areas it controls, and locals become disillusioned with the failure of the mainstream political actors abilities to govern and provide services.
The current situation is a throwback to what Libya faced in April 2011, when the UN and NATO continued to advocate regime change even after the Gadhafi regime had accepted the African Union’s road map which would have allowed for the development of a local political solution. The failure to involve local, influential actors in the process is a big reason the country currently finds itself in a situation of political gridlock and spiralling insecurity. The UN seems to have failed to learn these lessons. However, the agreement can still be saved if the UN is more flexible and willing to incorporate the local process, which on 14 December saw the heads of the GNC and HoR meet for the first time in an attempt to broker a solution. The UN would also need to stave off calls for foreign intervention and airstrikes – at least until a legitimate political solution incorporating all major players is concluded.
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification by
General Assembly resolution 3068 (XXVIII)
of 30 November 1973
entry into force 18 July 1976, in accordance with article XV
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Recalling the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, in which all Members pledged themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour or national origin,
Considering the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, in which the General Assembly stated that the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and that, in the interests of human dignity, progress and justice, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices of segregation and discrimination associated therewith,
Observing that, in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, States particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction,
Observing that, in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid constitute a crime under international law,
Observing that, in the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, "inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid" are qualified as crimes against humanity, Observing that the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted a number of resolutions in which the policies and practices of apartheid are condemned as a crime against humanity,
Observing that the Security Council has emphasized that apartheid and its continued intensification and expansion seriously disturb and threaten international peace and security, Convinced that an International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid would make it possible to take more effective measures at the international and national levels with a view to the suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid, Have agreed as follows:
1. The States Parties to the present Convention declare that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security.
2. The States Parties to the present Convention declare criminal those organizations, institutions and individuals committing the crime of apartheid.
For the purpose of the present Convention, the term "the crime of apartheid", which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:
(a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:
(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;
(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;
(b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;
(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;
(d) Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof;
(e) Exploitation of the labour of the members of a racial group or groups, in particular by submitting them to forced labour;
(f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.
International criminal responsibility shall apply, irrespective of the motive involved, to individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State, whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other State, whenever they:
(a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of the acts mentioned in article II of the present Convention;
(b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of the crime of apartheid.
The States Parties to the present Convention undertake:
(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime;
(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some other State or are stateless persons.
Persons charged with the acts enumerated in article II of the present Convention may be tried by a competent tribunal of any State Party to the Convention which may acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused or by an international penal tribunal having jurisdiction with respect to those States Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.
The States Parties to the present Convention undertake to accept and carry out in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations the decisions taken by the Security Council aimed at the prevention, suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid, and to co-operate in the implementation of decisions adopted by other competent organs of the United Nations with a view to achieving the purposes of the Convention.
1. The States Parties to the present Convention undertake to submit periodic reports to the group established under article IX on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures that they have adopted and that give effect to the provisions of the Convention.
2. Copies of the reports shall be transmitted through the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Special Committee on Apartheid.
Any State Party to the present Convention may call upon any competent organ of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as it considers appropriate for the prevention and suppression of the crime of apartheid.
1. The Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights shall appoint a group consisting of three members of the Commission on Human Rights, who are also representatives of States Parties to the present Convention, to consider reports submitted by States Parties in accordance with article VII.
2. If, among the members of the Commission on Human Rights, there are no representatives of States Parties to the present Convention or if there are fewer than three such representatives, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall, after consulting all States Parties to the Convention, designate a representative of the State Party or representatives of the States Parties which are not members of the Commission on Human Rights to take part in the work of the group established in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article, until such time as representatives of the States Parties to the Convention are elected to the Commission on Human Rights.
3. The group may meet for a period of not more than five days, either before the opening or after the closing of the session of the Commission on Human Rights, to consider the reports submitted in accordance with article VII.
1 . The States Parties to the present Convention empower the Commission on Human Rights:
(a) To request United Nations organs, when transmitting copies of petitions under article 15 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to draw its attention to complaints concerning acts which are enumerated in article II of the present Convention;
(b) To prepare, on the basis of reports from competent organs of the United Nations and periodic reports from States Parties to the present Convention, a list of individuals, organizations, institutions and representatives of States which are alleged to be responsible for the crimes enumerated in article II of the Convention, as well as those against whom legal proceedings have been undertaken by States Parties to the Convention;
(c) To request information from the competent United Nations organs concerning measures taken by the authorities responsible for the administration of Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories, and all other Territories to which General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 applies, with regard to such individuals alleged to be responsible for crimes under article II of the Convention who are believed to be under their territorial and administrative jurisdiction.
2. Pending the achievement of the objectives of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), the provisions of the present Convention shall in no way limit the right of petition granted to those peoples by other international instruments or by the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
1. Acts enumerated in article II of the present Convention shall not be considered political crimes for the purpose of extradition.
2. The States Parties to the present Convention undertake in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their legislation and with the treaties in force.
Disputes between States Parties arising out of the interpretation, application or implementation of the present Convention which have not been settled by negotiation shall, at the request of the States parties to the dispute, be brought before the International Court of Justice, save where the parties to the dispute have agreed on some other form of settlement.
The present Convention is open for signature by all States. Any State which does not sign the Convention before its entry into force may accede to it.
1. The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
1. A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any State Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles XIII and XIV;
(b) The date of entry into force of the present Convention under article XV;
(c) Denunciations under article XVI;
(d) Notifications under article XVII.
1. The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Convention to all States.
22 November 1967
Resolution 242 (1967)
of 22 November 1967
The Security Council,
Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,
Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,
Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,
1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
2. Affirms further the necessity
(a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
(b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
(c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;
4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.
Adopted unanimously at the 1382nd meeting.
14 June 1967
Resolution 237 (1967)
of 14 June 1967
The Security Council,
Considering the urgent need to spare the civil populations and the prisoners of the war in the area of conflict in the Middle East additional sufferings,
Considering that essential and inalienable human rights should be respected even during the vicissitudes of war,
Considering that all the obligations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949 1/ should be complied with by the parties involved in the conflict,
1. Calls upon the Government of Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of the areas where military operations have taken place and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities;
2. Recommends to the Governments concerned the scrupulous respect of the humanitarian principles governing the treatment of prisoners of war and the protection of civilian persons in time of war contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949;2/
3. Requests the Secretary-General to follow the effective implementation of this resolution and to report to the Security Council.
Adopted unanimously at the 1361st meeting.
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75 (1950), No. 972.
2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75 (1950), No. 970-973.