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Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) (S/2016/805) [EN/AR]

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Letter dated 22 September 2016 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan addressed to the President of the Security Council

I have the honour to refer to my previous letter dated 28 December 2015, by which I transmitted the final report of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) as requested by the Security Council in paragraph 2 of its resolution 2200 (2015).

Following consultations among the members of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan, I should be grateful if the present letter and the final report were issued as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño
Chair
Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan

Letter dated 4 December 2015 from the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) addressed to the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan

The members of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) have the honour to transmit herewith the report of the Panel, prepared in accordance with resolution 2200 (2015).

(Signed) Abhai Kumar Srivastav
Coordinator/expert (finance)
Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005)

(Signed) Dakshinie Ruwanthika Gunaratne
Expert (international humanitarian law)

(Signed) Issa Maraut
Expert (regional)

(Signed) Guido Potters
Expert (aviation)

(Signed) Adrian Wilkinson
Expert (arms)

Final report of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005)

Summary

Following its appointment on 12 March 2015, the Panel of Experts on the Sudan spent some six months investigating the situation on the ground in Darfur between May and November 2015. Members travelled widely to determine whether the relevant resolutions of the Security Council were being implemented and to identify and investigate violations.

In general, the Panel welcomes the improved cooperation by the Government of the Sudan, which has indicated a willingness to provide more information to the Panel. Nevertheless, the level of detail is often insufficient to allow the Panel to independently corroborate or verify the information. The new system for obtaining Darfur travel permits now works well, but the Government continues to maintain a policy of initially issuing only single-entry visas.

The Panel encountered three access denials by the local authorities that constrained its investigations. The Government is also denying the Panel access to a government official implicated in its investigations, thus denying that individual an opportunity to reply.

Progress in reducing violations of the arms embargo

The Panel identified the presence in Darfur of small arms ammunition manufactured after 2005, which had not been reported under previous mandates, but it could not identify the supply chain. The transfer of the ammunition into Darfur is certainly a violation of the arms embargo by entities that have yet to be identified.

It is certain that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) violated the arms embargo by entering Darfur, on or about 23 April 2015, with a significant quantity of weapons and ammunition of all types. It is also certain that South Sudan violated the sanctions regime by failing to take the measures necessary to prevent technical training of JEM in South Sudan and by failing to prevent JEM from transferring weapons into Darfur.

Clear evidence was obtained of the current possession by the Sudanese Air Force of cluster munitions. It is certain that at least four RBK-500 cluster bombs were deployed on the weapon loading area at the Nyala forward operating base of the Air Force.

The Panel finds it almost certain that a Typhoon armoured personnel carrier has been deployed to Darfur for the first time by the Government and has identified the supply chain in that regard. The United Arab Emirates has not provided the Panel with evidence that it fully complied with the requirement under paragraph 10 of resolution 1945 (2010) to ensure that appropriate end-use certification was in place.

The Panel identified the sale of intrusion software with an electronic intelligence capability to the Government and determined that it was classifiable as military equipment. The supplier of the equipment, Hacking Team, certainly obstructed the work of the Panel, thus failing to comply with resolution 2200 (2015).

Offensive military overflights, including aerial bombardments, and aviation assets

During its current mandate, the Panel observed a decrease in the number of reported air strikes. The Panel finds that An-26 aircraft based in El Fasher made aerial bombardment flights during the mandate and almost certainly were responsible for most air strikes.

The Panel identified a reduction in the number of Sudanese Air Force air assets present in Darfur during its current mandate. In April 2015, two MiG-29 aircraft were temporarily based in Nyala, coinciding with the JEM campaign into South Darfur from South Sudan. Su-25 aircraft, ever present in Darfur since 2008, have not been seen since at least June 2015. Mi-24 helicopters never previously seen in Darfur were identified by the Panel in Darfur in the second half of 2015. These are all violations of the arms embargo because the aircraft are routinely transferred into Darfur without the prior approval of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) concerning the Sudan.

An investigation into the procurement chain for An-26 aircraft, used as improvised bombers by the Sudanese Air Force, identified that the Sudan had acquired three such aircraft between 2009 and 2010. A private company used invalid end-user documentation and supplied the ex-military aircraft to a Sudanese front company.

The Panel has seen a drastic rise in the number of government supply flights, which were almost certainly used to provide logistical support to the Rapid Support Forces in Darfur. The number of traditional Sudanese Air Force supply flights to the Sudanese Armed Forces has declined.

Violations of international humanitarian law and human rights

The Panel conducted investigations into targeted attacks against the civilian population and civilian objects, the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas and sexual violence committed during the conflict. Responsibility for the violations is attributed to the Government. The Panel continued to investigate the attack on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur in Kabkabiya on 24 May 2014 (see S/2015/31).

The Panel also investigated the recruitment of child soldiers and their use in Darfur, violations in relation to persons deprived of their liberty, including those hors de combat and civilians, and violations of international humanitarian law relating to the protection of civilians from the effects of conflict attributed to non-signatory armed groups.

The Panel identifies the certain involvement of the Sudanese Air Force, the Rapid Support Forces and proxy forces of the Rapid Support Forces and JEM in international humanitarian law violations.

Financing of armed groups

The Panel is certain that a particular armed group controls the Jebel Amir artisanal gold mines and imposes illegal levies. The Panel is almost certain that the group has the potential to earn $54 million per year from levies imposed on prospectors and support businesses ($28 million), direct prospecting of mines ($17 million) and illegal export of the mined gold ($9 million). The Panel is almost certain that other armed groups, which impose illegal levies on prospectors, also control most artisanal mines in Darfur.

From trade data analysis, the Panel finds that around 48,000 kg of gold from Darfur was potentially smuggled from the Sudan to the United Arab Emirates from 2010 to 2014. Such an export level equates to an additional income of $123 million to the armed groups in Darfur over the period.

The Panel is certain that the artisanal gold mined at Jebel Amir is conflict affected, as defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and is part of the gold purchased by the Central Bank of the Sudan from gold mines in Darfur. The Panel considers that the effective implementation of the Regional Certification Mechanism of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region by the Government at the earliest possible opportunity will assist in obstructing this easy and substantial supply of finance currently available to the armed groups in Darfur.

Implementation of the travel ban and asset freeze

A new instance of almost-certain non-compliance with the travel ban by Egypt has been identified in respect of travel by Sheikh Musa Hilal Abdallah Alnsiem to that country.

The Panel is certain that an entity controlled by Sheikh Musa Hilal derives a substantial revenue stream from illicit levies on gold mining at Jebel Amir. Such levies equate to the creation of new assets. The Panel finds that, by not freezing such assets in accordance with paragraph 3 (e) of resolution 1591 (2005), the Government is certainly violating the asset-freeze measure.

Political process and progress towards removing impediments to the peace process

The overall causes of the conflict and the structural factors of the violence have not changed. The population of Darfur remains fatigued and frustrated. The implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur continues to progress rather slowly, mainly owing to internal tensions within the Darfur Regional Authority. While the Operation Decisive Summer 2 security initiative has certainly weakened the military capability of the non-signatory armed groups, their leaders remain key political actors on the international scene.

The official opening ceremony of the National Dialogue, in Khartoum on 10 October 2015, changed nothing about the underlying situation. The absence of the African Union and the Chair of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel, with a boycott by the civil opposition bloc and non-signatory armed groups, was not helpful to constructive progress. The participation of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, who provided near-unconditional support to the Government’s management of the Dialogue, illustrates the split between the League and the African Union.

The inclusive peace process resumed with the opening of negotiations in Addis Ababa on 19 November 2015 between the Government and non-signatory armed groups, with the exception of the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahed Mohamed Nour. The protagonists’ positions, however, remain opposed. On 23 November 2015, the Chair of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel stated that, in response to the calls by the delegations of the rebels to give all parties more time to consult, the negotiations had had to be suspended.

Chad has continued its engagement at the regional level. The visit by the President of Uganda to Khartoum on 15 September 2015 reflected a process of rapprochement, in particular with regard to the issue of South Sudan. While Darfur remains vulnerable to the impact of radical activities in Libya, the Panel has no reliable evidence of any infiltration of radical elements from Libya that could affect its stability and security.

The regional environment appears structurally unfavourable to the non-signatory armed groups, which have now effectively lost the traditional support of neighbouring States (Chad, Uganda and the two countries affected by internal conflict: Libya and South Sudan).

The year 2015 has witnessed a welcome increase in the support of the international community for an inclusive national dialogue, in line with the fourth preambular paragraph of resolution 2200 (2015).