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SPLM Ministers Suspend Participation In National Government

Southern Sudan’s main party has suspended its participation in the national government. It says Khartoum has not held up its end of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s north-south civil war. Officials with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement said today that its ministers in the central government will not report to work until many issues are resolved.

David Mozersky is an analyst on Sudan for the International Crisis Group. He told VOA English to Africa reporter Douglas Mpuga that the situation is very worrisome because “you cannot have a sustainable peace process without the implementation of the peace agreement. There was a systematic effort by the National Congress party to undermine core elements of the agreement. We have been warning them, and the SPLM has been speaking up publicly about this for the last couple of months.”.

Mozersky described the SPLM action as “a trump card, a political trump card that the SPLM holds; hopefully, it sends a fair enough message to the National Congress Party that the only way forward is to implement the agreement. If not, this could lead to a downward spiral”.

He said the core elements are commitments to which they signed up in the peace agreement (CPA). “[The National Congress Party] can’t have it both ways; [it] can’t have a partnership with SPLA/M while at the same time undermining the party,” he said.

Mozersky said that the Sudanese government is failing to implement that part of the agreement that would reform the national government. “Basically, they are undermining the areas of the peace agreement they view as a threat to the status quo. Unfortunately, those are the core provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA),” he said.

He said the SPLM is trying to make its point in a peaceful way. “In a sense, this a culmination of the political efforts that are available to them. [The SPLM] has had ongoing political discussions between the leadership of the parties and even tried to request the involvement of the international community without success,” he said.

Mozersky also explained that “Sudan is at a crossroads. The future of the country could go in a number of different directions. The consolidation of peace and the basis for peace in Darfur and elsewhere in the country begins with the implementation of the CPA.”

There has been no comment from the central Sudanese government.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended 21 years of war in Sudan that killed an estimated two million people.