Home | News    Wednesday 15 September 2010

U.S. outlines details on possible incentives to North & South Sudan, warns of sanctions

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September 14, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – The United States today outlined details of incentives it is willing to offer North and South Sudan should they facilitate the successful conduct of referendum due to be held in January 2011 described by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week as a ’ticking time bomb’ that is widely expected to create the world’s newest state.

"With fewer than 120 days before the referenda on Southern secession and the future of Abyei, Sudan has entered a critical make-or-break period. U.S. strategic priorities in Sudan remain: full and timely implementation of the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that results in a peaceful post-2011 Sudan, or an orderly path toward two separate and viable states at peace with each other; a definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur and that Sudan does not again become a safe haven for international terrorists," said a statement today by the U.S. State Department.

"Obama’s Special Envoy, Scott Gration, undertook his 20th trip to the region..... he made clear to the Sudanese government that normalization of relations with the United States depends on the full implementation of the CPA and peace and accountability in Darfur. In meetings in Juba, Special Envoy Gration likewise set forth our clear expectations of the Government of Southern Sudan as well as the potential incentives that exist should they complete their obligations under the CPA".

The statement stressed that both the ruling National Congress party in the North and the Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the South were warned that there are "a range of consequences that will be deployed, if the situation in Sudan deteriorates or fails to make progress, including additional sanctions".

The U.S. as well as many regional and international partners are growing increasingly concerned that preparations for the referendum are lagging severely behind the original schedule stipulated by the 2005 peace accord between the North and South.

The referendum commission was formed in late June and its activities were stalled until last month because of NCP-SPLM quarrel over the post of the body’s Secretary general. It was announced that registration of Southern voters inside Sudan and abroad will commence in October.

Furthermore, the two parties are still negotiating on a number of contentious post-referendum arrangements particularly border demarcation, citizenship, oil, national debt and international agreements. The NCP had said that no referendum shall take place with securing a deal on the borders but the SPLM rejected any suggestion of delaying the plebiscite.

Another referendum is also supposed to be held at the same time in the disputed oil-producing Abyei region on whether it should join the north or south. However, a deadlock over the composition of that referendum’s electoral commission means it is unlikely to happen on time, if at all.

The U.S. state department said that Gration met both sides during his recent visit this weekend "to present a concrete package of steps" that Washington will take in response to "concrete achievements" on the ground.

Any normalization of ties with Sudan will take place in four phases

1. First, an immediate shift in the use of our licensing regulations with respect to the agricultural sector to enhance local food production in a chronically food insecure country and benefit the Sudanese people. The new licensing posture will be subject to regular review.

2. If credible, peaceful on-time referenda occur and the results are respected, the United States will take steps to allow additional trade and investment in Sudan in certain prescribed non-oil sectors.

3. If there is agreement on the key principles for post-referenda arrangements, the United States will support an exchange of ambassadors.

4. And, finally, upon fulfilment of the CPA and resolution of the Darfur conflict, the United States will work with Congress to remove foreign assistance restrictions, lift economic sanctions and actively support international assistance and debt relief, consistent with U.S. law and internationally agreed processes.

Gration said the package, which holds out the threat of additional sanctions against if progress is not made, is aimed at persuading all sides to iron out problems ahead of a planned Jan. 9 independence referendum in southern Sudan.

"What we’re looking at is this historic moment," Gration told Reuters in an interview, adding that any delays or setbacks to the vote could result in renewed conflict between the Khartoum government and the south of the country.

"We’re in a time when we really need to act now to prevent bad things from happening," he said.

Gration took the new plan — essentially a roadmap for the normalization of Khartoum’s international relations — to officials in both southern Sudan and Khartoum over the weekend and said it was well received.

The United States placed Sudan on its list of state sponsors of terrorism in 1993 and imposed economic trade and financial sanctions in 1997, which were later supplemented by a United Nations arms embargo.

Last year Washington renewed its sanctions but said it would also seek engagement with Khartoum, earning criticism from activist groups who said the government was dragging its feet on implementing the 2005 peace deal with southern Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

"The President, and the Obama administration, has taken a really serious look at what we can do now ...and [if] there are any incentives that need to put in place, that we do it now," Gration said.

"What they have now is words on paper. What we want to do is to ensure that these things are implemented in a way that changes the environment," he said.

The incentives notably do not include a promise to support a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution freezing the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir for his alleged role in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

Gration said the proposed deal could open up new economic and political opportunities for Sudan, which has long had strained ties with the West.

The envoy said that granting licenses for items such as agricultural machinery to help Sudan’s struggling food sector, relaxing limits in place for about a decade.

"This will communicate to the people of Sudan that we do care about them, in addition it will give confidence that we’re serious about this package," he said.

Activist groups in Washington welcomed the plans laid by the U.S. administration.

"I’m confident that the balance of pressures and incentives is in the right direction, and that is a significant departure from the past," said John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, an anti-genocide group that has been critical of the Obama administration’s Sudan policy.

As part of the intensified US engagement, president Barack Obama will attend a U.N. summit on Sudan next Friday along with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and other high level delegations.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 15 September 2010 06:35, by Gatwech

    Dear readers,

    I commend the US administration for its tough stance in the run up to the referendum in three months time.

    It is clear, Khartoum should allow for the peaceful departure of the South from that cursed union of Sudan and form its own viable independent state as clearly recognized by the US.

    Failure by Khartoum to honor the agreement and the conduct of referendum will result to the South declaring independent and Khartoum’s reaction, if negative, will bring more curse on the regime with dire consequences.

    Bravo USA!!!

    Declare a no-fly zone over the whole of South Sudan if Khartoum declares war on the South. We will kick their butts on the ground.........

    repondre message

    • 15 September 2010 09:35, by Simon Peter Wal

      Policy of carrot and stick does not work with NCP, this is not the first time for the US to imply such policy..those peoples resemble their donkeys and response only to stick policy.we hope US is serios this time towrds Khartuom.

      repondre message

  • 15 September 2010 06:39, by DASODIKO

    I think the Obama Adminstration should have taken such procedures long ago,but the problem may lie on that the American Envoys along their work in Sudan, were not able to use out of the mistakes of their predecessiors who worked in Sudan before them in Sudan.

    Reviewing the work of US Envoys since the signing of the CPA and breakage of Darfur problem continues in series of mistakes whether on the side of South Sudan or Darfur. Its due to their lack of understanding the Islamist Idealogies of political contracting on daily basis, where there is no long term political line to let the International Community to understand its lines.

    Islamist in Sudan live their political life cycles on daily basis, because they believe that they are not the one who determines the rule in Sudan; its directly run by God from heaven that they beleive.Therefore; they can agree or sign any peice of papers that would directly criminalize their system, with the excuse that tomorrow is another day "God is great he will protect it".

    repondre message

    • 15 September 2010 07:20, by Gai Kuol Deng

      Dear all,

      Sudan is being rulled by a gang of terrorists who named themself the NCP, these guys are confident that nobody can stand in their way and halt their programmes of looting and killing of the sudanese masses.

      With their cooperation with China and Rushia, they will ignore these incentives from American and continue sabotaging the referundum. This had been their intention prior to onset of CPA implementation.

      My advice to all southern sudanese is to get prepared for war to attend our independent. Force is what Arab hears better.

      SPLA OYEE!!!
      LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN.

      repondre message

  • 15 September 2010 07:24, by julius mowanga

    We used to this kind of language from the American Administration, it proved its ineffectiveness upon the stubborn NIF/NCP regime.The previous economic sanctions has never brought a change in the NCP attitude,but has strengthened the Islamic-Faschists in Khartoum, and enabled them to rally all the Arabs and Islamic states to rebuke such strategies.

    The NCP has managed in a very short time to bring in a tremendous amount of economic investments,and build the giant Giaad Manufacturing company that produces a cheap copy of the British agricultural machinery-Massey Fergusson Tractors and Harvestors-in defiance with the USA Sanction.It’s producing some of the Russian Aviation and Chinese Petroleum Industry...etc.

    Therefore, i see this new tactic as for the local consumption, due to the growing demand of the Anti-Khartoum activists for a harsher stand against the NCP . If Pr. Obama is keen to bring an end to the deadlocked issues of the South Sudan referendum with the NCP,he should follow the steps of his predecessor George Bush when threatened the negotiation parties in Nairobi with a direct military invasion if they refuse to sign his orchestrated agreement"The CPA",that brought the NIF-NCP delegation to its knees and signed the CPA despite of its flaws.

    repondre message

  • 15 September 2010 08:03, by paul baak anyaar

    We cannot afford to lose the brotherly support of the US because these are people who have been with us in every step of the way. While CPA is counted among Pres. Bush’s legacies to Sudan, Independence of South Sudan could be attributed to President Obama if it interests him. I believe the promised incentives will come in handy at a time when the whole Sudan will be on its economic knee. I commend US for their support of democracy around the globe. You deserve a pat on your back.

    repondre message

  • 15 September 2010 08:12, by Biliu

    No,…to be really honest about this, I think USA administrations has finally realized the NCP intentions from the upcoming referendum in the South, offering incentives and proposing sanctions at the same time proven that the Obama administrations is likely welling to put the ball on the Sudanese government side, now..It’s up to the NCP to Choose, incentives or sanctions. For me, I think is this the dared test NCP has ever been through, their response to the offers will shape the future relations between the North and the west after the South is long gone [something inevitable] thanks to the Obama’s administration, though it some kind of late I’m certain it will help.

    repondre message

  • 15 September 2010 11:12, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    Dear All

    America Administration under Oboma has throw the ball now to the NIF/NCP in Khartoum to choose the right way or otherwise,i can not predict that Khartoum is going wittness something as they put it.
    We southerners,you are very aware of Khartoum Tactics,they will agree now and change their mind tomorrow on the same issue.If they follow what America specail envoy to Sudan General Gration said it will be fine, but im still very sorry for NCP how they see the present future of this country Sudan.Failure of South Sudan Referendum in time will make the community in the north Sudan in general for the first time, start to wittness how dangerous or the badness of war and noise of big gun sound like.
    My final word goes to the youth for separation,get prepared,incase the NCP fail to hear what the America Administration told them.

    SECOND IN COMMAND FOR FORCE NORTH-SOUTH BORDER DEMACATION.
    OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

    repondre message

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