News / Africa

Sudan after Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Darfur's displaced set up huts near and old airstrip in the village of Jaac in southern Sudan.
Darfur's displaced set up huts near and old airstrip in the village of Jaac in southern Sudan.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

On July 9, Sudan splits in two, with the south becoming an independent nation. Once that happens, how should the international community interact with northern and southern Sudan? A new report from 22 international NGOs tries to answer that question.

Beyond the Pledge: International Engagement after Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement was released Friday, a week before South Sudan’s secession.

“A concern of the report is that the engagement of the international community doesn’t stop on the 9th of July. There’s an enormous amount of change happening all the time in Sudan…and the response of the international community needs to keep moving with that,” said Olivia Warham, head of the London-based group Waging Peace.

The report said much of the current response has focused on southern Sudan’s independence.

“However,” she said, “in terms of the issues that the country is facing, [it] will by no means end the very numerous problems that they have at the moment.”

Threats to peaceful co-existence

There’s currently fighting in Southern Kordofan State. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, but aid agencies have limited access to them. In May, there were clashes in the oil-rich Abyei region. An Ethiopian peacekeeping force will be sent to Abyei under a recent agreement that also calls for northern forces to withdraw.

“In Southern Kordofan the fighting is continuing and although the parties are talking, they haven’t yet reached an agreement for the cessation of hostilities. So, I would say that that is obviously of utmost concern in the short term,” said Warham.

The long term

“There are various issues to be concerned by. One is the economic situation for both the north and the south. They are incredibly dependent on oil, which means that their countries are both going to be destabilized by the split,” she said.

Warham said both the north and the south have failed to diversify their economies to lessen their reliance on oil.

Beyond the Pledge tells the international community that “brokering a resolution to the current border crisis is the most urgent task, but one that must be coupled with resetting relations with North and South Sudan over the longer term.”

“The NGOs involved in this report are concerned by, and Waging Peace in particular, the relationship that has built up, particularly with the north, but potentially with the south as well, whereby there is not enough criticism over actions that have taken place,” she said.

For example, she said, the north continues to bomb areas of Darfur in western Sudan “with impunity.”

“This year there have been almost daily attacks, with civilians being killed all the time. Humanitarian access to the camps is very, very limited, so people are dying of malnutrition and disease if they’re not being killed by bombing attacks,” she said.

The report calls on the international community to be “heavily engaged” with the north and south after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement expires on July 9. But it says engagement with the north must increase to help bring an end to the Darfur conflict.

Donor community

According to the report, “Reforming international donor assistance mechanisms is also critical. Development and humanitarian priorities should be better supported on both sides of the border and help provide a genuine peace dividend for all Sudanese.”

“I think that’s it’s crucial that it keeps its relationship with the north as donor countries because… the economic situation in the north is going to become extremely unstable in the coming months. They’ve already been suffering from the effects of secession. And that means that they need all the help they can get,” said Warham.

China

Sudanese President Omar al Bashir visited China this week. China is a major investor in Sudan and gave Bashir a warm welcome, despite calls he be apprehended and turned over to the International Criminal Court. In 2008, the court issued arrest warrants for the Sudanese leader for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide relating to Darfur.

However, what happened in private may play a greater role in Sudan.

“Through various contacts, Waging Peace has been told that the Chinese are taking a much stronger stand with Sudan on their record of stability within the country. Because obviously it’s not a viable country at the moment with the amount of fighting that’s going on,” she said.

Warham said trade with Sudan is a major opportunity to influence the Khartoum government.

Other recommendations

The report also recommends to the international community to “hold the Government of South Sudan to its obligations to uphold the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its people, including honoring existing commitments to political consultation and pluralism, and entrenching strong protections for the media and the right to freedom of expression.”

It proposes strong support to fight corruption and sustainable demobilization, disarmament and reintegration programs as part of reforms for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid