WASHINGTON – The success of the recent agreement between Sudan and South Sudan ultimately hinges on the resolution of the remaining outstanding issues, chief among them is the final status of the disputed Abyei area, argues a new Enough Project brief.
Abyei, which is the traditional homeland of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms, straddles the ill-defined international border separating the two Sudans. For decades, the international community has lacked the political will to safeguard the rights of Abyei citizens and to ensure that Khartoum implements the agreements it has signed concerning the area’s status.
However, according to the brief, the A.U. Peace and Security briefing later this month offers an opportunity for the international community to adopt and implement a final agreement on this outstanding issue.
“Despite Abyei’s central role as a catalyst for North-South tensions, the international community has historically dodged the difficult issue of the area’s final status,” said John Prendergast, co-author of the report and Enough Project Co-founder. “Determining the final status of Abyei and resolving the other outstanding issues is imperative for any sort of sustainable peace between the two countries, as well as for the successful implementation of the September 27 agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.”
The brief recommends that when President Thabo Mbeki briefs the A.U. Peace and Security Council on the agreements between the Sudans, he should present the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel’s proposals on the remaining outstanding issues, including the status of Abyei. Further, Mbeki should propose unfettered international humanitarian access into Blue Nile and South Kordofan, as well as support for a North-North negotiation process, and call on the U.N. Security Council to enforce such efforts.
"President Mbeki's upcoming report to the African Union provides him with a unique opportunity to set the tone for the international community's response to the remaining outstanding issues, among them the final status of Abyei," said Jennifer Christian, co-author of the report and Enough Project Sudan Policy Analyst. "President Mbeki should present the AUHIP's proposal on Abyei in its entirety and request that both the AU and the UN ratify the proposal as the final resolution to the two Sudans' dispute over the area. If history teaches us anything, it’s that a failure on the part of the international community to take a strong stance on Abyei now will very likely result in further violence on the ground in the near future."
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. 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. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
On September 27, South Sudan and Sudan signed a partial peace deal in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, marking the conclusion of the final round of negotiations between the two nations. In a field dispatch released today, the Enough Project’s Juba-based field researcher Amanda Hsiao, who covered the talks in Addis Ababa, describes the major points of agreements on oil flow, disputed areas, and security arrangements. Read More »
Please Note: Enough Project LRA Policy Analyst Ashley Benner and Enough Project LRA Field Researcher Kasper Agger are available to interview about the LRA issue.
WASHINGTON – Today, Invisible Children launched the video “MOVE” as part of its Kony 2012 campaign that introduced millions of people to the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, crisis. Resolving this long-standing conflict requires further immediate and robust action by the United States government. The Obama administration must commit more diplomatic, military, intelligence, and logistical support to ensure the arrest of LRA leader Joseph Kony and his top commanders as part of a comprehensive strategy to end the LRA threat.
Enough Project LRA Policy Analyst Ashley Benner and LRA Field Researcher Kasper Agger recently returned from a trip to East and Central Africa. During this trip, Enough documented numerous challenges that hamstring current U.S., regional, and international efforts to bring an end to the LRA.
“The Obama administration has invested resources to help end the LRA conflict, including the deployment of military advisors to Central and East Africa,” said Ashley Benner, LRA Policy Analyst at the Enough Project. “But if the current trajectory continues, these efforts are not likely to succeed. To ensure that the mission to end the LRA is successful, the United States should eliminate LRA ’safe havens,’ keep the African armies vigorously involved in combating the LRA, provide additional helicopters and intelligence-gathering capabilities, and urge Uganda to institute a clear transitional justice policy that encourages the LRA to finally stop fighting.”
“We are coming up on the one year anniversary of the deployment of U.S. special forces to Central and East Africa to advise and assist in the fight against the LRA,” said Kasper Agger, LRA Field Researcher at the Enough Project. “The inconvenient truth is that the end of the LRA remains distant. Some progress has been made to encourage defections through 'come home' messages and safe places that LRA combatants can escape to; but the African forces are too few to cover the dense jungles and LRA safe havens are developing in Darfur, Congo, and parts of the Central African Republic where the group can loot, abduct and attack civilians. U.S. special forces should stay on the ground to keep the African forces committed and diplomatic efforts should focus on brokering access for the Ugandan army into the safe havens.”
“The existing international effort is not sufficiently designed at present to succeed in taking Kony off the battlefield and cratering the LRA leadership,” said Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast. “The U.S. and Uganda need to collaborate more closely in constructing commando operations aimed at bringing Kony and other senior LRA leaders to justice wherever they are. Current battlefield deployments are far from where Kony is hiding, and every day that goes by allows Kony and his commanders to recruit and rearm while international will and resources remain stagnant. That is a recipe for well-intentioned failure.”
For more information about recommendations for the U.S. and international community to ensure that efforts to end the LRA conflict are successful, read:
Enough Project report “Ending the LRA” by LRA Policy Analyst Ashley Benner
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. 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. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.
On September 27, South Sudan and Sudan signed a partial peace deal in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The deal marked the conclusion of the final round of negotiations between the two nations. This field dispatch outlines the details of agreements and looks ahead to next steps to implement agreements and to resolve the outstanding issues.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who serves as chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, might have prided himself on brokering a truce between heads of state in Africa’s Great Lakes region. But it seems the move may have in fact helped the rebels gather steam since mid-August. Read More »
In Somalia, a year-long military offensive by Kenyan and Somali forces has succeeded in capturing the strategic seaport of Kismayo from the jihadi group al-Shabaab. The liberation of Kismayo is a major setback for al-Shabaab, but is also a big test for the African peacekeeping force—the African Union Mission in Somalia, or AMISOM—and the new post-transition Somali government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. If the Kenyan forces win the war but lose the peace—by mishandling how the liberated city is administered by local authorities—it could create new clan conflicts, drive disaffected clans into tactical alliances with al-Shaabab, and undermine the new Somali national government. The stakes are very high. Read More »
Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal today that will resume oil flow and create a demilitarized zone between the two countries. However, a resolution on Abyei and border disputes was not included in the deal. Read More »