Home | News    Thursday 27 May 2004

Sudan foes set June talks to flesh out peace deal

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Wangui Kanina

NAIVASHA, Kenya, May 27 (Reuters) - Sudan’s government and southern rebels agreed on Thursday to fresh talks in June to flesh out a peace deal ending Africa’s longest running civil war, rebels and mediators said.

The government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) signed agreements on Wednesday in Kenya on how to share power and manage disputed strategic areas, lifting the last hurdles to a full peace deal and cease-fire in Africa’s biggest state.

"We agreed today that we’ll be coming back on June 22," said SPLA spokesman Yasir Arman. Mediators confirmed the date.

The accord includes opponents in a 21-year-old war but leaves out a separate conflict raging in the western Darfur area and excludes up to 30 other militia groups, some eyeing Sudan’s newly tapped oil wealth, who could still scupper peace hopes.

Wednesday’s accords give the Khartoum government 70 percent of executive and legislative seats in the north and the SPLA the same in the south during a six-year transition, an SPLA delegate said. After that the south would vote on secession.

In the disputed Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile regions, which control much of the oil wealth, the government would have 55 percent of power and the SPLA 45 percent, with the governorship switching between the two every 18 months.

Governments, aid agencies and the African Union hailed the deal, but nearly a day after the ceremony the text had still not been published and copies were restricted to a few delegates.

CONCESSIONS

Both sides made concessions and must now persuade those at home, polarized by the war, that it is time for peace.

"You both will need to sell your agreement to the Sudanese people and mobilize your support," Norway’s development minister Hilde Frafjord Johnson told the government’s negotiator Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and SPLA leader John Garang.

First Vice President Taha took a direct role in September, invigorating decade-old efforts to end a war pitting northern Arab Muslims against southern black animists and Christians.

Veteran leader Garang acknowledged the tasks ahead.

"Nine months is what God has prescribed as a full term. We hope we have delivered to you a healthy baby — but then of course a child needs to be nurtured," he said.

Kenyan mediators said a final peace deal could be concluded within two months, which Johnson said seemed realistic.

"We commend both sides for their commitment to peace and urge them to move quickly to work out details of a formal cease-fire and related security arrangements, as well as the means for implementing the agreements signed today," Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a statement.

South Africa said it was ready to lead post-war reconstruction in Sudan.

Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad told Reuters South Africa would consult the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other donors on efforts to rebuild Sudan’s infrastructure.

OTHER CONFLICTS RAGE ON

But optimism has been tempered by Sudan’s other conflicts such as in Darfur, where more than a year of fighting between black African rebels and horse-mounted Arab militias has forced an estimated one million people from their homes in what the United Nations says is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

"Sudan will not be at peace until the problem of Darfur is resolved," Powell cautioned.

Previous protocols covered forming a post-war national army and an equal division of oil revenues during the transition.

"There is still room for plenty of disagreement on implementation," said John Ashworth, analyst with Sudan Focal Point, an advocacy office for Christian churches in Sudan.

"The government is facing the reality that in six and a half years the southerners are going to vote for independence...and they won’t want to cede the oil areas."

The Arab League, which includes Sudan, welcomed the deal but expressed concern it could lead to the secession of the south.

"Some people are worried about the partition of Sudan and will continue to be worried. The coming days will show how real these fears are," said Arab League spokesman Hossam Zaki.

Oil has fueled religious and ethnic enmities with the SPLA laying claim to fields producing much of the 300,000 barrels a day that earns Sudan over $3 billion a year at current prices.

Sudan’s civil war has killed an estimated two million people mainly through famine and disease since 1983 when Khartoum tried to impose Islamic sharia law on the mainly animist south.

(Additional reporting by Katie Nguyen and Alistair Thomson)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Darfur genocide goes Exodus. What a determination and what a lesson! 2017-07-26 00:51:05 By TRAYO A. Ali NOT AN ISOLATED CASE. IT’S PART OF WIDER STORY A manifestation of more than one decade of racially segregated conflict and a three-month escalation in tensions reached a boiling (...)

Cholera in Sudan: Open letter to WHO Director 2017-07-25 00:15:38 An Open Letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the UN’s World Health Organization United Nations Office at Geneva | Palais des Nations, 1211 | Genève, Switzerland Dr. (...)

Mobil roundabout’s another victim after CE & Juba market 2017-07-23 23:32:28 By Deng Kiir Akok I was a bit late to arrive at London Cafeteria in Atlabara, Tumbura road where a friend of mine invited me for lunch last Thursday, Jul 20, 2017. On my way to the cafeteria, I (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)

Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.