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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs