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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid