An official of the International Crisis Group says Sudan’s stability could be compromised if the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is not fully implemented before the deadline for its expiration.
Foaud Hikmat said there is need for the international community to be united in finding solutions to the tensions in Sudan.
“The situation in Sudan now is passing through a very critical stage and there is only 13 months and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is going to end. And if there is no convergence at the international community to support the two parties to agree on the remaining provisions … to ensure that there is going to be elections…then Sudan might slide into more violence,” he said.
In its latest report, the International Crisis Group said President Hassan Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) need to negotiate a new agreement to clearly define how a possible transition to an independent south would be managed.
Meanwhile, a report by the Small Arms Survey, an independent research project in Switzerland, stated that Sudan's northern army has amassed an estimated 310,000 small firearms, while the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has stockpiled about 175,000 small firearms.
Hikmat said the lack of a common stance among members of the international community on Sudan has not been useful.
“The divergence at the international level was not helpful for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Of course the major responsibility for the implementation of the peace agreement is the two parties. But the international community should have played a more (bigger) role than what it played during the last period,” Hikmat said.
The group also urged the African Union as well as the United Nations and other partners to put more pressure on Khartoum to ensure a full implementation of the CPA.
Hikmat said the ICG report calls for more seriousness towards resolving the tensed situation in Sudan.
“It is actually cautioning all the stakeholders that the situation at this moment cannot bear more negligence or to leave just the two parties to go ahead. Because it’s very clear that in five years they were not able … to have a breakthrough so that they can move Sudan to stability,” Hikmat said.
The full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement expires on 9th July 2011.