The Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has accused the ruling National Congress Party of Sudan of violating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The agreement was signed in 2005 to end 21 years of civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan.
Pagan Amum also says the United States has agreed to remove Southern Sudan from the list of sanctions against the Khartoum government. He is part of a delegation visiting the United States from the government of Southern Sudan and the SPLA.
He told VOA that the delegation from Southern Sudan is here to discuss with the United States government issues concerning the implementation of the CPA.
“We are experiencing difficulties in the implementation of the CPA. Our partner, the National Congress Party is violating the CPA already, and we are here to discuss with the government of the United States of America and other actors in the international community, especially the countries that had supported the search for peace in Sudan so that they bring all the necessary encouragement and pressures on the parties so that the CPA is implemented and Sudan stays on course in building peace,” he said.
Amum said the government Southern Sudan is not satisfied because several aspects of the CPA are being violated.
“Our mean points where there is no implementation are, the Abyei Protocol is not implemented. There is no peace in Abyei. The people of Abyei up till now, two years after the signing of the peace agreement have not experienced any peace, and this is precisely because the National Congress Party is violating the agreement, is reneging from their commitment, particularly the security arrangement whereby they are maintaining huge forces in Southern Sudan contrary to the agreement,” Amum said.
He said the government of Southern Sudan is pleased with the implementation of some aspects of the power sharing arrangement.
“Definitely we have formed a government of national unity. The SPLA has 28 percent; the National Congress retains 52 percent, and other parties 22 percent. In that sense, yes the power sharing has been implement,”
However, Amum said some challenges remain in the full implementation of some aspects of the power sharing arrangement.
“Still we have a lot of challenges in terms of restructuring the state organs, particularly the civil service, the judiciary to make the civil service apolitical because what we have now is a highly politically dominated civil service by the National Congress which is hindering the neutrality required in the civil service in terms delivering professional services to the citizens,” Amum said.
He also said there are still what he called draconian laws from the totalitarian era that he said are being used to suppress freedoms, particularly the freedom of speech and media.
Amum said the delegation was able to get the U.S. government to exempt Southern Sudan from the sanctions against the Khartoum government.
“We are happy that our discussions were very fruitful, and now Southern Sudan is exempted, and the government of Southern Sudan will be having its relationship with the government of the United States of America. The Bank of Southern Sudan will be transacted in dollars without any hindrance,” he said.
Amum said discussions with the U.S. government on economic support to Southern Sudan have gone well. He said the Southern Sudan government expects an increase in U.S. development assistance.
He defended what seems to be unilateral negotiations with the U.S. government even though Southern Sudan is in a power sharing government with the government in Khartoum.
“The peace agreement has created a situation with confederate arrangement in the Sudan. Actually Sudan is two countries in one. Sanctions are continuing on the National Congress and aspects of the government of national unity because of the continuation of conflict in Darfur. So what we are doing is that we are working to end the problem of Darfur so that these sanctions can be lifted all over the country,” Amum said.