WASHINGTON, D.C. – Delegations from north Sudan’s National Congress Party, or NCP, and south Sudan’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, or SPLM, will meet here tomorrow at a conference organized by Special Envoy to Sudan Major General Scott Gration to address disputes over the stalled implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA. Save Darfur Coalition President Jerry Fowler, Enough Project Executive Director John Norris, and Genocide Intervention Network Executive Director Sam Bell issued the following statement:
“The Sudan advocacy community is encouraged by the U.S. government’s initiative to bring together NCP and SPLM representatives to assess the status of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. For too long, the international community has been slow in responding to the sputtering pace of CPA implementation and the NCP’s attempts to undermine the agreement. The conference shows a welcome renewed commitment from the United States to lead the international community in re-engaging with the CPA.
“We expect tomorrow’s conference to address several issues that are critical to peace in Sudan. Parties to the CPA should also focus on long-term policy objectives that, after the referendum, will help prevent a violent collapse of the Sudanese state.
“In particular, we hope that the conference will make progress on the following:
Key unimplemented CPA provisions, including:
Abyei: Abyei has been the site of multiple violations of the CPA-mandated ceasefire and is hotly contested.
North/South border demarcation: Delayed demarcation of the border between northern and southern Sudan is further amplifying the pressures between the NCP and the SPLM. Decisions on the border are bound to provoke strong reactions, but are critical to the successful implementation of the CPA.
Joint Integrated Units, or JIUs: Created by the CPA to encourage cooperation between the northern and southern armed forces, JIUs have been badly and belatedly implemented. In many cases, their presence has led to increased violence.
Ensuring elections in a safe environment without additional delays. Elections are not a silver bullet and will not guarantee democratic governance. However, they should be supported as an opportunity to press for greater political freedom and participation no matter the outcome. Specifically, the international community should push for revisions to key Sudanese legislation pertaining to elections, including the National Elections Act, Press and Media Law, and the National Security Act.
Negotiations between the NCP and SPLM on a long-term wealth sharing agreement. Discussions of access to land for populations with diverse needs and livelihoods and planning for mutually beneficial development of oilfields in the contested border region could ease tensions over border demarcation and generate momentum for further cooperation.
“CPA implementation should be reprioritized as part of a comprehensive approach to ending Sudan’s conflicts. This approach must also recognize that Sudan’s complex conflicts have a common core: flawed governance by a center that exploits and marginalizes an underdeveloped periphery.
“The successful implementation of the CPA is essential to achieving peace in Sudan, but it cannot stand alone. The original intent of this agreement was to provide a transformative framework for peace and democracy for all of Sudan. It is our hope that the revitalizing of the CPA at this conference will also bolster parallel efforts to reach a peaceful settlement in Darfur.”
To set up an interview with Enough Executive Director John Norris or Co-founder John Prendergast on the administration’s crucial Sudan meetings this week, email Associate Director of Press Relations Eileen White Read at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 202-741-6376.
Visit the Enough Project’s blog, Enough Said, for updates on this issue. Follow the Enough Project on Twitter, http://twitter.com/enoughproject.
About the coalition: The Save Darfur Coalition - an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations - raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. The coalition's member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org.
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough's strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a "3P" crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. Visit www.enoughproject.org.
About Genocide Intervention Network - Genocide Intervention Network is working to build the first permanent anti-genocide constituency, mobilizing the political will to stop genocide when it occurs. Accessible online at www.GenocideIntervention.net, Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals with the tools to stop genocide.
The myriad challenges and risks facing Sudan in the next 19 months cannot be addressed and mitigated unless the international community adopts a new approach to the crucial final stages of CPA implementation. Robust, coordinated, and high-level engagement is essential from all, not just a few, of the CPA’s “guarantors”—those states and organizations that witnessed the signing of the CPA and agreed to support its implementation. The United States and other key guarantors should play a lead role in driving this multilateral, multi-track approach, since the scale of the challenges over the coming months merit the engagement of all of the international actors who committed four years ago to supporting implementation of the CPA. The Washington conference is a positive start, but should be followed-up with efforts that penalize failure to implement key provisions of the agreement.
ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration's comments yesterday that Darfur is experiencing only the "remnants of genocide," thus implying the troubled region's worst violence is in the past, have exposed a deep disagreement on the matter within the Obama administration.
Just two days earlier US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice described the situation as "genocide" and at a press conference in Germany earlier this month President Obama used the phrase "ongoing genocide."