The Obama administration stepped up its efforts yesterday to salvage a four-year-old peace accord for Sudan, convening officials from 32 countries and international organizations amid fears that Africa's longest-running civil war could resume.
The conference came after years in which the world's attention was focused on a separate Sudanese conflict, in the western region of Darfur. In the meantime, implementation of the agreement ending the country's north-south fight has lagged.
WASHINGTON, Jun 23 (IPS) - The United States Tuesday urged the government of Sudan and former rebels in the south to re-invigorate their 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), as 30 Sudanese political leaders met with 170 observers from 32 countries and international organisations here to discuss the faltering CPA, which expires in 2011.
"We are facing some very important milestones in the near future ... they will set the foundation, for better or for worse, of the very future of Sudan," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg said in welcoming the delegates assembled at the Park Hyatt Hotel.
For the first half of this year, more people have been killed in South Sudan than in Darfur, Enough Project notes in an excellent new report. It’s another reminder that the focus has to be on “Save Sudan” rather than just “Save Darfur.”
STRATEGY PAPER: Sudan: The countdown
READ the strategy paper.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama administration is bringing together key signatories and representatives from more than 30 countries and organizations in Washington this week in an effort to reinvigorate Sudan’s troubled Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA, which ended a more than 20-year civil war in Sudan. A new strategy paper by the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress previews what will be discussed at the administration’s meeting and provides policy recommendations and an historical perspective on the most pressing issues.
“Sudan: The Countdown,” discusses the difficult current state of play in north-south Sudanese politics and argues that the international community needs to adopt a new approach to the crucial final period before a referendum will be held on self-determination for southern Sudan, which will formally end the CPA. The referendum, which is scheduled for 2011, in just 19 months, is the final benchmark outlined by the CPA, the agreement that ended a more than 20-year civil war between northern and southern Sudan.
Unfortunately, the strategy paper says, there continue to be delays in implementing many of the CPA’s outstanding provisions. These delays and increased violence in southern Sudan highlight the myriad problems that exist with the current approach to the complex and ambitious project of CPA implementation. The predominant National Congress Party’s pattern of selective CPA implementation and a recent spate of inter-communal violence throughout the South are threatening to derail the CPA process before 2011, argues the strategy paper, authored by Professor Gerard Prunier and Enough Project Policy Assistant Maggie Fick.
John Norris, the executive director of the Enough Project, notes, “One of the key problems with the CPA to date has been the fact that the parties to the CPA, particularly President Bashir’s National Congress Party, have not faced any cost from the international community for a failure to implement key provisions of the agreement. Unless that changes, conflict in Sudan will only intensify.”
Adds co-author Maggie Fick, “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.”
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 email@example.com, or phone 202-741-6376.