Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 28 May 2004

Darfur dims light of Sudan peace

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Peter Bell, The Christian Science Monitor

ATLANTA, May 28, 2004 — The historic peace agreement signed Wednesday between the government of Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), officially ends a war that has killed 2 million people. The agreement offers Sudan its best hope for peace in two decades. If observed in letter and spirit, it would allow people to return home and build new lives, free from fear and violence.

But celebrating may be premature. The settlement between the leaders of the majority Christian south and the Muslim government doesn’t apply to the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. This 15-month war between pro-government Arab militias and African tribal rebels has been fought largely over access to arable land. Even as parties to the new agreement were negotiating in recent months, the Darfur humanitarian disaster was raging out of control - with thousands of civilians fleeing attacks that left thousands of others dead, villages burned, livestock destroyed, and crops ruined. All told, 1 million people have been displaced and tens of thousands killed in the region. Without full access by aide groups and enforcement of the law, thousands more will suffer - increasingly so as the rainy season sets in and roads become impassible.

Many parties are to be commended for the settlement - the governments of Kenya, Norway, Britain, and the US, among others, helped. But the humanitarian disaster and ongoing human rights abuses in Darfur dim the peace agreement’s light. Despite the momentous progress, neither the government of Sudan nor the SPLM has paid sufficient attention to key underlying causes of Sudan’s conflicts: The crisis of governance, lack of respect for human rights, and marginalization of civil society have contributed to the war, and caused new crises.

The causes of the Darfur conflict are replicated elsewhere, notably in the eastern Beja area. Such conflicts underscore the fractures within Sudanese society and refute the perception that conflict is simply a north-south divide. Any lasting settlement must tackle the underlying causes of conflict in these areas. Four elements critical to sustain peace must be met:

? All Sudanese must see the fruits of peace. The parties have agreed to an equitable sharing of wealth and power, including income derived from the country’s considerable oil resources. Because 9 out of 10 Sudanese now live in poverty, such income should be directed toward poverty alleviation.

? Security is critical. All Sudanese must live without fear if they’re to build for the future. People who’ve been forced from their homes must be able to return. Armed militia must no longer be permitted to terrorize any region.

? A just and lasting peace requires real changes in methods of governance and accountability, and increased participation of ordinary people in decisionmaking. For peace to take root, all Sudanese must have a stake in their future.

? Continued engagement of the international community is vital. The UN can now strengthen its planning for a peacekeeping operation. Donor countries and agencies must coordinate their reconstruction and rehabilitation work to encourage reconciliation. Concerned governments must support demobilization and reintegration of combatants into communities and the creation of professional military forces that genuinely protect civilians.

All parties to the settlement have expressed an optimism unseen in earlier peace attempts. But those with entrenched interest in war must be persuaded to invest in peace. While the government ultimately shoulders responsibility for ensuring lasting peace, the international community can help through strong incentives and disincentives - political and economic. The familiar scenario of "Got peace? Good! Now, good luck and good-bye" must be avoided.

Implementation of the settlement won’t be easy: Success rests on the staying power of the Sudanese and the international community.

Peter Bell is president and CEO of CARE USA, an international humanitarian organization that has worked in Sudan for 25 years.



The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
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.


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



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


What federal system is suitable for South Sudan? 2019-11-12 11:06:55 By Dr Jacob K. Lupai* Introduction Federalism is seen as a constitutional arrangement for dividing power between different levels of government so that federated states, regions or provinces can (...)

Differences between Sudan government, SRF and FFC are the main issues of concern 2019-11-09 11:17:17 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman As the proverb goes, the difference of opinion does not spoil amity and does not spoil the friendliness issue. On the other hand, mere differences of point of view and (...)

Can women make the world more peaceful? 2019-11-06 11:31:03 By Paulino Akoon Yel Dut A genuine comprehensive analysis shows that involving women in peacebuilding increases the probability that violence will end in an easy manner. Hence we should thank (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.