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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.