A Strategy for Comprehensive Peace in Sudan

Posted in Africa | 27-Jul-07 | Source: International Crisis Group

Nairobi/Brussels, 26 July 2007: A new and worse civil war in Sudan is possible unless the international community presses for a fundamental shift in the way the country is governed.

A Strategy for Comprehensive Peace in Sudan,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines how the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended Africa’s longest-running civil war in 2005, is being extensively undermined, primarily by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). While international attention has focused on Darfur, albeit without much success, Sudan’s other brewing conflicts and the crucial implementation of the CPA are being largely ignored. Crisis Group says a more balanced approach is urgently needed, also in the interest of peace in Darfur.

“The CPA holds the seeds for transforming the oppressive governmental system that is at the root of all Sudan’s conflicts into a more open, transparent, inclusive and democratic one”, says David Mozersky, Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project Director. “If the CPA fails – which is increasingly likely – Sudan can be expected to return to full-scale war, with devastating consequences for the entire region”.

The CPA contains the detailed provisions and schedule for governmental reforms and a democratisation process leading to national elections in 2009 which can be the building blocks for peacemaking in Darfur and elsewhere. However, it is in danger of collapse due primarily to NCP sabotage and international neglect.

The NCP views democratic transformation as a threat to regime survival and so undermined the CPA’s critical reforms. International efforts over the last several years have lacked leadership, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which fought the government for a generation until it signed the CPA, has focused on internal southern issues at the expense of the national agenda. Meanwhile the risk of new conflict is rising in Kordofan in central Sudan, in the far North and in the East.

Consistent international engagement and vigilance is needed to ensure the CPA is implemented. The UN Secretary-General must immediately appoint a chief for the peacekeeping mission (UNMIS), which has been leaderless for more than half a year, so it can refocus on its primary mandate of monitoring the CPA. The international community should lay out a roadmap for peace which includes the African Union/United Nations plan for reviving the Darfur political process, benchmarks for CPA implementation, and consensus on diplomatic and economic rewards for those who cooperate, and punitive measures for spoilers.

“A common set of problems drives conflict throughout the country and the threat of more war is very real”, says François Grignon, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. “But the foundation for lasting peace is already entrenched in the CPA and does not need to be renegotiated; it merely needs to be enforced and implemented”.

Contacts: Nadim Hasbani (Brussels) 32 (0) 2 541 1635
Kimberly Abbott (Washington) 1 202 785 1601

To contact Crisis Group media please click here
*Read the full Crisis Group report on our website: http://www.crisisgroup.org

The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation covering over 50 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.