Home | Reports    Tuesday 5 August 2003

International Crisis Group (ICG)

Sudan Endgame

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Sudan peace process is in its endgame. One year ago, the parties signed the Machakos Protocol, a provisional "grand bargain" that effectively traded a southern self-determination referendum for Sharia in the North. It is time for a second "grand bargain" on the remaining issues such as the status of the national capital, the presidency and the security arrangements to close the deal. This requires major tradeoffs - or new solutions - to meet the bottom lines of the parties and protect the original Protocol as well as incentives for implementation. Commitments on the U.S.-Sudan bilateral relationship and assurances that the U.S. will remain closely involved in the post-agreement process are the glue without which a deal is unlikely to stick. With them, peace has a chance.

The mediators will put forth a draft framework document in mid-July on which they will seek agreement by mid-August from the government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (hereafter SPLA) to end a civil war that has already lasted more than 20 years. The process, under the auspices of the regional African organisation, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has come closer than any of its predecessors to peace. However, the last steps will be the most difficult, and a misstep could plunge the country back into full scale civil war.

The manner in which the final text is structured, namely whether unity is prioritised to the maximum extent possible and how the issues of the conflict areas outside the South are addressed, will have a critical impact on whether an agreement is sustainable. A minimalist deal can be reached that stops the war for now and puts the South on a fast track to independence. However, such an agreement likely would be systematically undermined by key actors in the ruling party in Khartoum and thus lead to resumption of war. Therefore, all efforts should be directed toward getting a comprehensive pact that promotes the unity of the country but with radically restructured governing arrangements that promote equal rights and equal opportunities for all Sudanese.

Despite the imperative to stress unity, independence for the South must remain a valid and acceptable possible outcome of the referendum, as a fundamental confidence building measure for southerners to give a unified state a chance. In order to avoid future conflict, the parties should also agree on provisions now that would come into effect should the South vote for independence after the interim period. By agreeing to extend modalities on certain issues beyond the six-year interim period - for example, on sharing oil revenue - the referendum would cease to be a zero-sum affair.

A second element that would help insure sustainability of an agreement would be mechanisms for broadening participation in its implementation throughout the interim period beyond the current ruling party and the SPLA. This could best be achieved by free and fair but staggered elections at the local, regional, and national levels, as well as a broadly inclusive constitutional review process. SPLA and government must both recognise that their interests are ultimately served by broadening participation, and therefore make every effort to accommodate other voices. In particular, the devolution of state powers within the federal framework should give marginalised areas in the North a meaningful role in running their affairs.

The parties have each made significant sacrifices, and the international community has put a tremendous amount of effort and resources into support of the process. As the talks reach their final stage, senior political leadership from neighbouring IGAD countries and the international observer countries should elevate their involvement to the highest levels possible. However, the process should not be jeopardised by artificial deadlines. The goal of having a comprehensive agreement by the end of the summer is admirable, but the mediators should be flexible enough to allow the talks to be extended if one or both of the parties are not quite ready to finalise the peace.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To the IGAD Envoys, the IGAD Secretariat and the International Observers:

  1. Focus mediation efforts on developing proposals that will make unity attractive to southern voters in a self-determination referendum six years hence, including:
  • a. On power sharing, prioritise unity by:
    • (i) proposing a small enclave around "administrative Khartoum" - effectively the key government buildings in the capital - where all religions will have equal legal standing;
    • (ii) proposing that southerners receive one-third representation in the civil service, the cabinet, and the Lower House, and 40 per cent representation in the Upper House; and
    • (iii) proposing a presidency that rotates between the government and the SPLA.
  • b. On wealth sharing, prioritise unity by having a single fiscal and monetary policy, with a single central bank and currency, and negotiate the extension of wealth sharing provisions beyond the interim period.
  • c. On security arrangements, prioritise unity by maintaining a separate force under southern command while maximising cooperation and coordination of policies and movements with the national army.
  • d. On the Three Areas, prioritise unity by setting up a joint administration for Abyei between the southern and central governments, until Abyei holds a referendum on whether to join the South or remain in the North, and by granting the Nuba Mountains and the Southern Blue Nile further measures of autonomy beyond those applicable to other states.
  1. Negotiate extension of certain provisions of the peace agreement beyond the interim period in order to help stabilise the potential fallout of a pro-independence vote in the southern referendum.
  2. Establish a mechanism to monitor and limit arms purchases and manufacturing by both sides so that an arms race does not develop after an agreement is signed.

To the International Observers (the U.S., UK, Norway, Italy, the United Nations and the African Union):

  1. Coordinate the phased lifting of existing punitive measures and provision of financial and political benefits, with the U.S. in particular sequencing improvement of its bilateral relationship with Sudan on conclusion and implementation of a peace agreement.
  2. Inject ministerial and UN Secretary General-level involvement in the process, in order to show support to the parties and help close a peace deal.
  3. Begin immediate planning for a UN Observer Mission to support implementation of the agreement, despite competition for peacekeeping resources from other crises such as those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia.

To the Heads of State of the IGAD Countries, and High Level Representatives of Other Key Governments:

Become directly involved during the final stages of the peace process in support of the IGAD mediation, in order to send a signal to the parties that the region is firmly behind a peace agreement.

Nairobi/Brussels, 7 July 2003

The full report is available at http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=1624&l=2

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.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Open letter to South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority 2018-09-19 04:05:10 By Telar Ring Deng On the cold morning of 9th September 2018, we were all in utter shock and bewilderment at the very tragic accident that occurred in Eastern Lakes State when a Plane crashed (...)

Sudanese have become prey of mercenaries and Janjawid militias 2018-09-17 09:59:30 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman The Janjaweed bandits have been raging in the land of Darfur in particular and Sudan in general with corruption, havoc and destruction, more than a decade on. The (...)

Khartoum’s peace agreement: A looming disaster 2018-09-15 07:42:34 By Duop Chak Wuol Throughout the South Sudanese peace process, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) has been faced with serious political issues. These issues make it (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)

The Suspension of Hurriyat Online Newspaper 2018-04-29 07:04:37 Sudan Democracy First Group 28 April 2018 The Sudanese civil and political circles and those concerned with Sudan were shocked by the news that the management of Hurriyat online newspaper has (...)

Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan 2018-04-22 10:01:20 UN Secretary-General, New York African Union Commission, Addis Ababa UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.