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Homepage > Publication Type > Open Letters > Memorandum on the UNSC Mission to Africa, 14-21 May 2009

Memorandum on the UNSC Mission to Africa, 14-21 May 2009

International Crisis Group  |   11 May 2009

The International Crisis Group warmly welcomes the 14-21 May mission of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to Africa. We support the Council’s determination to provide leadership and strong support to the resolution of the most pressing African crises, which represent dangerous threats to international peace and security and are characterized by dramatic levels of human suffering. This memo offers analysis and recommendations on the situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)/Rwanda, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda/DRC/Sudan, Chad, Sudan, and Somalia.

I. DRC/Rwanda and FDLR

The deal struck by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda in December 2008 for renewed military and political cooperation is an important step forward, but is not sufficient to bring peace to the Kivus. Their five-week joint military operation did not produce significant results against the FDLR, who began regrouping and committing retaliation attacks against the populations of North and South Kivu following withdrawal of the Rwandan troops. Integration of CNDP fighters who came over to the government’s side after Laurent Nkunda was dropped as its leader is precarious, despite the 23 March 2009 agreement it signed with Kinshasa. A genuine and comprehensive peacebuilding strategy is sorely needed in order to bring lasting benefits to the region.

As further developed in the attached Crisis Group Policy Report, the resilience of the FDLR has proved that the traditional approaches to disarmament, whether forced or voluntary, are not adequately adapted to the current reality of the insurgency nor to the requirements of civilian protection. Neither the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) nor MONUC, acting separately or jointly, have the capacity to conduct an efficient military offensive against the FDLR. Attempts to weaken the FDLR will not succeed unless they involve the neutralization of its leaders and command and control structure, and outreach to the rank-andfile membership.

A devastating aspect of the insecurity in the Kivus has been widespread sexual violence by combatants, including rape and genital mutilation used as a weapon of war. About 20,000 persons were treated for sexual violence in 2008 in the region, of whom 30 percent were children, and this represents only a fraction of the actual victims. Civil society reports show clearly that the national army and the police, as well as non-state actors, were guilty of sexual violence, but faced no risk of prosecution. Coupled with an increase in domestic abuse, these factors demonstrate a profoundly disturbing normalization of violence against women. These developments can only be addressed by holding civilian and military abusers accountable for their actions and by genuine peacebuilding that restores state authority and basic security and demilitarises social relations.

The UN Security Council should urge the DRC and Rwanda to refrain from further offensive military operations until a comprehensive strategy has been formulated that includes:

  • Joint participation of MONUC, FARDC, and Rwandan forces in future military operations;
  • Separation of the command hierarchy of the FDLR from the rank-and-file;
  • Protection of civilians from the risk of retaliation;
  • Deployment of 3,000 troop reinforcements for MONUC, as authorized by UNSC resolution 1853.

Furthermore, the UN Security Council should support the preparation of a credible and comprehensive disarmament strategy for dealing with the FDLR in North and South Kivu through the following steps:

  1. Establishment of a new integrated international FDLR disarmament, demobilization and repatriation cell to produce this strategy and coordinate its implementation. The cell would include military, intelligence, disarmament and demobilization specialists from members of the international facilitation of the 2007 Nairobi agreement between DRC and Rwanda.
  2. Suspension of Operation Kimya II — a joint FARDC-MONUC operation — and other offensive military plans until this comprehensive strategy is formulated and the refocusing of MONUC and the FARDC activities in the meantime on protection of civilians.
  3. Training and equipping of eight FARDC battalions by international partners of DRC (e.g. Africom), specifically dedicated to offensive disarmament operations against the FDLR.
  4. Planning of joint military operations against the FDLR, in which Rwandan special forces supported by eight FARDC battalions could pressure the hardcore armed leadership that refuses voluntary disarmament, while MONUC and other units of the Congolese army fill the vacuum created by those measures and proceed with disarming the rank-and-file.
  5. Reinforcement of MONUC’s DDRRR section with international intelligence specialists and an outreach team which would work with the Rwandan Reintegration and Reinsertion Commission to identify combatants from the FDLR who have family members in Rwanda, and which would devise repatriation strategies based on information from these families.
  6. Increased outreach by MONUC, the DRC and Rwanda to the FDLR rank-and-file, most of whom had nothing to do with the Rwandan genocide, including relocation outside the Kivus to those who accept voluntary disarmament.
  7. Provision by Rwanda of a definitive list of active FDLR members suspected to have taken part in the genocide or in the formulation of the FDLR’s ideology. The acceptance by Rwanda of the opening of discussions with FDLR officers not included in that list with a view to their possible repatriation, relocation in the western DRC, or relocation in a third country.
  8. Legal action in France, Belgium, Germany, the United States, Canada, Cameroon, CAR, Zambia and Kenya to curtail fund-raising and propaganda by FDLR political leaders.

II. Uganda/DRC/South Sudan and the LRA

Operation Lightning Thunder, a Ugandan-spearheaded offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northeastern DRC, is not completely over. The Ugandan Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) announced on 16 March that it had completely pulled out of the DRC, but there are reports that some Ugandan troops remain. The UPDF claims to have killed 150 rebel fighters, seven rebel commanders and freed over 400 abductees; independent verification of casualties, troop movements and other aspects of the operation remain sketchy.

The operation, launched on 14 December 2008 after repeated failures by LRA leader Joseph Kony to keep his promise to sign the Final Peace Agreement negotiated in Juba, has worsened the humanitarian situation in LRA-affected areas of northeastern Congo and South Sudan. Hundreds of civilians have died and many more displaced due, in large part, to retaliatory LRA attacks. The FARDC, UPDF and the UN peacekeeping missions in the DRC and South Sudan have failed to take the measures needed to protect civilians in the wake of Lightning Thunder.Consequently, uncontrolled self-defence groups that could pose significant security problems to their respective host countries are on the rise in the DRC and South Sudan.

Special Envoy Chissano’s endorsement of Lightning Thunder has undermined his role as mediator. This in turn has reduced the future prospects for direct talks with Kony and for successful negotiations over the release of women, children and non-combatants held by the LRA.

Negotiations over the key issues of the Juba peace process should continue, including on the grievances of people in northern Uganda over victimization by the LRA and neglect by the government, the lack of a genuine process of reconciliation based on accountability for crimes committed by the UPDF, and credible disarmament incentives for Kony and his fighters. The chief mediator of the Juba talks, South Sudanese Vice-President Riek Machar has also avoided addressing the Sudan-related dynamics of the LRA insurgency, even though Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is an old patron of the LRA and could resume using it as an instrument of destabilization in South Sudan. A further complication is that LRA delegates to the Juba process, namely David Matsanga, Justin Labeja and Ray Achama, appear to have had little, if any, influence over Kony and not to have been able to speak authoritatively on his behalf.

Until the legitimate grievances and the marginalization of northern Uganda’s communities are addressed, LRA fighters remain a possible vehicle for the expression of northerners’ frustrations. Kony may never sign a peace agreement. Whether or not he signs, however, is less relevant to avoiding new conflict in northern Uganda than ending marginalization policies and fulfilling promises by the Ugandan government.

The UN Security Council should:

  1. Encourage the parties to resume direct talks, and ask the UN to support the process, either through the existing Special Envoy or by appointing a new Special Envoy mandated to:
    • Address the outstanding elements in the Juba protocols and Final Peace Agreement;
    • Establish an independent monitoring team to investigate Lightning Thunder and report on responsibility for attacks, human rights abuses, movement of LRA fighters, and withdrawal of Ugandan troops;
    • Make it clear to Kony and others subject to ICC arrest warrants and to the Ugandan Government that only the Security Council or the ICC can halt the ICC prosecutions, and that this will only happen if the indictees and submit to trial in a national judicial process satisfying international standards.
  1. Ensure that MONUC and UNMIS troops deployed in the LRA-affected areas of the DRC and South Sudan are focused on protecting civilians.
  2. Discuss with the AU the need for protection of civilians from LRA abuses, including the possibility of an AU force deployed in support of civilian protection and negotiated disarmament.
  3. Appoint a panel of experts to investigate the external sources of support to the LRA and recommend adequate sanctions against those facilitating a continuation of the conflict.
  4. Urge the Ugandan government to:
    • Begin implementation of existing protocols of the Juba Final Agreement.
    • Ensure that there is a credible national judicial process to deal with Kony and other LRA leaders under ICC arrest warrant; and at the same time ensure that members of the UPDF who committed abuses are brought to justice.
    • Establish a strong, independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission, empowered to investigate crimes committed in northern Uganda since 1986, protect witnesses, summon army personnel of all ranks and government officials, and decide appropriate reparations for victims of both LRA and government human rights abuses.
    • Declare a moratorium on alienation of communal land for commercial or industrial purposes, until internally displaced persons are peacefully resettled.
    • Resume implementation of the poverty alleviation strategy and put in place institutional checks and balances to ensure transparency, accountability and independent oversight in the management of its funds.

III. Chad

Last week’s violent confrontations between rebel groups and government forces in Eastern Chad represents another downward spiral of the security and humanitarian crisis in eastern Chad with potentially destabilizing consequences for the entire country as well as for neighboring states. In early May, several columns of Chadian armed opposition groups based in Sudan and belonging to the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR)—a coalition of eight rebel groups—crossed the border into Chad and engaged in heavy fighting with the Chadian military. Although the rebels have been considerably weakened over the last days, fighting continues. It is uncertain whether Déby can count on the loyalty of the army in the long-run.

The root causes of the crisis in the east are mainly domestic, as identified in the attached Crisis Group report on Eastern Chad. They are consequences of President Déby’s monopolization of power; a rule marked by corruption, incompetent governance, distribution of oil revenues and land based on cronyism, and denial of political space to a peaceful opposition. Déby and his entourage have actively supported and armed numerous local militias in the east, thereby fueling local ethnic tensions and violence there. The latest round of fighting shows that the proxy war between Sudan and Chad continues, despite bilateral peace agreements signed in Dakar in 2008, and more recently in Doha. Nevertheless, the Sudanese foreign ministry denied any involvement with the latest rebel incursion and restated Khartoum’s commitment to normalize relations.

International peacekeeping efforts to deal with the situation in the east have had little impact on the ground so far. MINURCAT, which took over from a European Union Force (EUFOR) on 15 March 2009, has insufficient troops and equipment. Crucially, its mandate remains limited to protecting the camps for refugees and IDPs. To be effective, the MINURCAT’s mandate must be broadened into an integrated mission designed to address the Chadian roots of the crisis, including its political, economic, and ethnic aspects. More generally, the international community must\ engage more actively in the political resolution of the internal crisis in Chad.

The UN Security Council should:

  1. Adopt a new resolution calling for the appointment of a prominent African figure to serve as UN facilitator for a political and security process that would include two tracks:
    • Renewed negotiations with the armed opposition on the basis of the Syrte agreement in order to obtain an enforceable ceasefire; and
    • Renewed negotiations among the government and the non-armed opposition, representatives of civil society, traditional chiefs, and religious communities to broaden the agreement of 13 August 2007.
  1. Support the organization of a peace conference on the conflict in eastern Chad, which would include representatives of the central government, rebel groups, customary leaders and opposition political parties, which would deal specifically with:
    • The conflict between farmers and cattle breeders and access to land and water;
    • Traditional mediation and conflict mechanisms including diyah, the compensation for shedding blood;
    • The role of traditional chiefs;
    • The spread and circulation of weapons and regional disarmament;
    • Reconciliation and coexistence of communities;
    • Establishment of a permanent mediation council composed of key figures from the east to monitor implementation of the conference’s resolutions and mediate between the government and local chiefs.
  1. Broaden the mandate of MINURCAT so that is empowered to:
    • Help organize a peace conference for eastern Chad as outlined above;
    • Disarm, arrest and keep in remand criminals, transfer them to the Chadian judiciary at an appropriate time, and assist in their prosecution and detention;
    • Independently monitor, investigate and report on human rights abuses in eastern Chad;
    • Create and maintain weapons-free zones in key population centres outside the immediate vicinity of camps for refugees and IDPs;
    • Support the national negotiations proposed above and their implementation;
    • Monitor the implementation of a negotiated ceasefire, the cantonment of combatants and their subsequent disarmament or integration into the national army.
  1. Support the creation of a UNSC mandated monitoring and implementation mechanism for the Dakar Agreement, and explore ways to strengthen cooperation between UNAMID and MINURCAT.

IV. Sudan

Events of the past few months illustrate the fragility of the situation in Sudan and the significant risk of both a relapse of the North-South conflict and renewed military confrontation between government and rebel forces in Darfur. After the 4 March ICC indictment of President Bashir, the National Congress Party (NCP) – the dominant ruling party of the Government of National Unity – has decided to close ranks behind Bashir and consolidate its grip on power.

Implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has reached a new crisis point. On 8 May, the SPLM rejected the results of the national population and housing census. They accused the NCP of not rectifying the shortfalls of the census as highlighted by the SPLM before and during the process. The NCP reacted by accusing the SPLM of mismanaging affairs of the Government of South Sudan, noting growing budget deficits and its inability to provide social services and to pay salaries of civil servants and soldiers.

February 2010 has been set as the new date for presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Sudan, yet major political, legislative and logistical challenges remain. First, the NCP is considering holding the polls without any prior settlement or tangible progress in the Darfur peace process, which would de facto mean that Darfuris would have to vote in the IDP camps, if at all. Holding elections under such conditions would curtail the ability of people in Darfur to express themselves freely and fairly during the polls, and shut the door to any significant political negotiations with Darfur rebels. Second, the permanence of undemocratic laws curtailing freedom of movement, association, and expression is likely to lead to an electoral boycott by opposition parties. Elections should not be supported by the UN in Sudan if they become a destabilising factor, trigger escalation of the Darfur conflict, or are not accepted by all stakeholders.

The Darfur peace process is also facing extreme difficulties. As a reaction to the NCP decision to expel international relief agencies from Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and other rebel movements rejected invitations to proceed with peace talks in Doha. New U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration has negotiated the return of some of the NGOs, proposed an independent ceasefire mechanism to be negotiated by the government and rebel groups in Addis Ababa, and persuaded JEM to go back to Doha.

While political manipulations continue in Khartoum, high levels of insecurity persist in Darfur and South Sudan. Hundreds of civilians were killed in recent months because of tribal clashes over natural resources and the absence of effective government intervention. The disarmament process by the GoSS is stalled and many tribal militias are armed, and have not yet been integrated into official army structures.

President Bashir continued his defiance of the ICC arrest warrant, travelling to several countries including Qatar to attend the Arab Summit and most recently to Addis Ababa. Though the NCP maintains its position not to recognise the ICC, they would like the AU, China and others to continue supporting Article 16.

The ICC indictment of President Bashir and possible further indictments of other Sudanese leaders have so far provided little leverage against the NCP. These actions need to be combined with a political strategy to support CPA implementation and national transformation. The SPLM is now calling for a roundtable consultation among all national political parties, along with those countries that supported CPA negotiations, to review progress in the implementation of the various peace agreements signed between Khartoum and its former adversaries. This initiative should be actively supported and representatives of the Darfur rebel groups should also be invited to attend.

In its discussions with the AU in Addis Ababa, the UN Security Council should therefore:

  1. Seek the support of the African Union to pressure the NCP to restore humanitarian assistance to Darfur: denying humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflict violates international humanitarian law;
  2. Affirm its support for the ICC and insist that Sudan and other countries cooperate with it as required by the UNSC. Inform the AU that, before agreeing to any deferral, the Council would have to see irreversible progress in the peace process and good faith by the Sudanese government in terms of:
    • Making genuine efforts to produce a peaceful settlement of the Darfur crisis, including through the current negotiations in Doha; end hostilities and guarantee Darfuri participation in the coming general elections;
    • Instituting credible domestic judicial measures to ensure accountability for those responsible for crimes committed in Darfur and in Sudan’s other conflict regions;
    • Ensuring that President Bashir steps down from power and is not the NCP candidate in the upcoming 2010 presidential elections;
    • Fully implementing the CPA so as to foster democratic governance, including by rapidly demarcating the 1956 North-South border, repealing repressive laws on the media and freedom of association, and amending the legal frameworks of national security and intelligence agencies to make them accountable to other national institutions.
  1. Press Darfur rebel groups and the SPLM to demonstrate equal commitments to both a peaceful settlement in Darfur and CPA implementation.
  2. Support the holding of a national roundtable consultation between all national political parties in Sudan, to review progress in democratic transformation, as well as the implementation of the various peace agreements signed by the NCP with its former adversaries.

V. Somalia

The situation in Somalia has yet again worsened over the last week with a considerable upsurge in fighting between extremist and government troops in Mogadishu. After months of preparation, the radicals that contest the government of President Sheikh Sharif launched an assault on 7 May which has resulted in the death of over 100 civilians and the displacement of thousands, who had only recently returned to the city. The exodus of Somali refugees to Kenya continues, putting severe strains on overcrowded camps in northeastern Kenya. In view of these developments the AU called for an emergency meeting on 13 May to discuss the deteriorating situation.

The election of the moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as president of the Government of National Unity and the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops earlier this year gave a new impetus to the peace and reconciliation process and the efforts to reach out to the militants. Sharif’s Islamist credentials give him clear advantage over the secularists, but there has been little to indicate his efforts have paid off.

Militant groups opposed to Sharif are deeply fragmented and a political consensus on the way forward is difficult to achieve. An umbrella grouping of four militant factions opposed to Sharif, formed in Mogadishu two months ago, under the name Hizb al-Islam, has since broken up into two splinter factions.

Hizb al-Islam’s spiritual father and militant Islamist leader Hasan Dahir Aweys returned to Mogadishu in late April, a move many hoped would boost the reconciliation process. The terms of his return are unclear, although Arab mediators were believed to have been instrumental, principally Qatar and Sudan.

Subsequent hardline statements by Aweys increased speculation he may be coming back as a spoiler rather than a peacemaker. He has refused to engage in negotiations until AMISOM leaves, calling the AU peacekeeping force a “bacteria”.

The intra-factional splits also comes against the backdrop of what many regard as an ideological and sectarian rift within Islamist and non-Islamist groups. There is now a battle shaping up between reportedly moderate Muslims and the extremists, such as Al-Shabaab. The anti-Shabaab Islamic groups – under the umbrella name Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’a – have been spearheading a campaign of military resistance against Al-Shabaab and now control two districts in central Somalia.

Though weakened and deeply fragmented, the Al-Shabaab movement remains a formidable military foe and a serious threat to the Sharif administration though. It controls large parts of south and central Somalia where it has imposed a strict sharia regime. Sharif’s installation as president and his government’s acceptance of sharia as the law of the land has thrown militant factions into disarray and undermined their political appeal, but their brand of radical Islam and Pan-Somali nationalism still resonates with some segments of the Somali population distrustful of Sharif’s pro-Western and pro- Ethiopian leanings.

Ironically, the biggest challenge for the Islamist government of Sharif may be dealing with its Islamic nature. Although Sharif has accepted sharia law as the law of the land, there is very little discussion of the details of his “Islamisation” project. This may be a short-term maneuver to sidestep ideological differences within his government, but in the long-term this could prove counterproductive. There is pressure now on Sharif to ensure that are not given a free hand to dictate the kind of sharia that would be adopted.

Similarly, it is still unclear how far Sharif is willing to go to reach out to more radical islamists, or what modus vivendi can be arrived at. His failed attempts in February and March to engage militant leaders like Mukhtar Robow “Abu Mansur” and Yusuf Inda Adde, coupled with Aweys’s inflexibility, show the difficulties of engagement with the radicals. Bringing these powerful militant leaders into a power-sharing formula with his fragile administration is probably too dangerous, upsetting the delicate balance of power between the moderates and the radicals within the government and rendering it completely defunct.

There is no guarantee that a political settlement is achievable, but there is no good alternative to making the attempt. Key issues remain unresolved. The Djibouti process did not settle important constitutional issues or the electoral process, and only addressed the rudiments of security sector reform. Increased international support for AMISOM is important, but is not a substitute for increased engagement on the political process. UNPOS must engage more actively with the radicals. In one form or another, Islamist elements will likely play a major role in governing Somalia. Thus, the international community should use the incentive of international recognition and support for such a regime to ensure that it draws in a wide spectrum of militia elements, including Al-Shabaab elements; respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors, including Ethiopia; protects the internationally guaranteed rights of its people; and renounces any relationship with terrorists.

AMISOM’s presence in Mogadishu is now proving to be a political problem for Sharif. There is widespread Somali opposition to AMISOM, which Sharif cannot ignore. Influential clan elders and clerics want the troops out and in March gave Sharif an ultimatum to have them pulled out in 120 days. Sharif has since negotiated a more flexible timescale but some of his key allies, fearful of an Al-Shabaab offensive, are counseling caution. The matter is now divisive and a topic of heated debate within the government. A prolonged AMISOM presence may work against Sharif and embolden his critics who argue it is an extension of the Ethiopian occupation by another name. AMISOM recently got a major boost in terms of resourcing pledges from major donors at a conference in Brussels.

The UN Security Council should:

  1. Encourage UNPOS to facilitate engagement of radicals in political dialogue, set negotiation of a comprehensive ceasefire as the first step for the expanded Djibouti peace talks, and desist from pushing a power-sharing formula that freezes the current balance of forces;
  2. Support new negotiation aimed at:
    • Drafting a new constitution for Somalia within its current internationally recognised boundaries and clarifying its internal state boundaries, including addressing the implications of these changes for Somaliland and Puntland;
    • Integration of all armed forces into a common army and regional police forces, devoted to the establishment of a secure environment for completion of the transition;
    • A comprehensive plan for adopting the constitution by referendum, the holding of national elections and the progressive integration of the various territories into the constitutional framework;
    • Transitional justice processes to address impunity and national reconciliation requirements.
  1. Implement sanctions against individuals who are known spoilers of the peace process.
  2. Encourage the AUPSC to change AMISOM’s mandate so that it focuses solely on training the government security forces until a more consensual role can be negotiated with Somali parties to the conflict.
  3. Authorize a UN peacekeeping operation only when a comprehensive ceasefire has been achieved and a viable political process is in progress.
  4. Enhance efforts to implement the Ethiopian-Eritrea border settlement, in part to reduce the “proxy war” impact of this dispute on Somalia and urge both Ethiopia and Eritrea to restrain from supporting combatants in the Somalia conflict.

VI. Liberia: Security Sector

Throughout its history, Liberia’s army, police and other security agencies have mostly been sources of exploitation and abuse rather than protection for its people. The drive to reform the security sector since the war’s end in 2003 is a major chance to put this right and prevent new destabilization. Security sector reform (SSR) programs have been unprecedented in ambition but with mixed results. Army reform, entailing complete disbanding of existing forces, has made significant progress despite lack of proper oversight of private military companies (PMCs) and of consensus on strategic objectives. The bold approach to army reform was possible due to strong national consensus and the presence of a large, liberally mandated UN presence. Reform of the police and other security agencies has been much less satisfactory. Government and donors must sustain their support to maintain hard-won momentum in army reform and, once clear benchmarks are set, give a floundering police force more resources. The drawdown of the UN force, begun in the second half of 2008, underlines the urgency.

Army reform appears to be a provisional success. Liberia now has a pool of nearly 2,000 rigorously vetted and well-trained privates. Still, the new soldiers are trained only at individual and small unit levels and will not be prepared to act as unified companies, much less a brigade, until late 2010. The development of a capable managerial and leadership core within the military must be nurtured by both the Liberian government and its international partners.

More worrying, the police are still widely considered ineffective and corrupt. Both ordinary citizens and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf have blamed a recent spate of armed robberies on their poor performance. They have been recruited, vetted and trained to a far lower standard than the army. Training of the paramilitary Emergency Response Unit may address some problems, but others are a result of basic issues of poor management, lack of equipment and dismal community relations. Successful police reform can only be sustained if it is linked to an effective judiciary that enforces the rule of law fairly and effectively to protect individual rights and assure citizen security.

The police desperately need a combination of managerial expertise, strategic vision and (only then) a major increase in budget. The challenge facing the government and donors is the transition from external partner to sovereign state responsibilities. To this point, the Johnson-Sirleaf government has been largely happy to leave the reform of its army and police to others, occupied as it is with economic recovery. Domestic ownership of the reforms has become urgent, but it must not entail the overly hasty exit of international partners. Unless in particular U.S. and UN efforts to make Liberia more secure and stable are sustained over the next few years, the investment made since the end of the war could easily unravel.

The UN Security Council should urge the Government to:

  1. Clarify the division of roles between the newly reformed security bodies, define the principles and rules for their interaction, including information exchange, and define strategies to deal with the full range of security issues, including low-level criminality, organized crime and insurgency.
  2. Enter into dialogue with the UN, U.S., and ECOWAS with a view to providing comprehensive, ongoing support to the security sector, possibly including an “over the horizon” emergency guarantee, and seek a U.S. commitment to provide financial, logistical, airlift and intelligence support for any such guarantee.
  3. Take concrete action to ensure proper civilian oversight of the new military and national security policy, including building capacity in the defense ministry and creating civil-military district oversight committees involving local community and women’s organizations.
  4. Review the actions of the Special Security Service (SSS), and rein in any abusive or unprofessional behavior identified.

Additionally, the Security Council should:

  1. Maintain sufficient numbers of peacekeepers on the ground to ensure adequate security until the Liberian forces are able to take over the responsibility.
  2. Ensure that UNMIL works with international partners to coordinate and increase donor funding for police logistics, infrastructure and communications equipment, but only when clear benchmarks for its use and management are forthcoming.

 
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