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Southern Sudan: A path to ‘indivisible peace’ in the country

Southern Sudan is rebuilding after years of civil war but the peace agreement is under threat.
Southern Sudan is rebuilding after years of civil war
but the peace agreement is under threat.
IRIN/Ben Parker

With much of the world’s attention riveted on the tragedy of Darfur, Sudan’s western region, the other crucial dimension of the situation in the country – implementation of a landmark peace accord that ended the long-running north-south war – often does not get the close scrutiny it deserves.

The Story

In 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the Government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army, which had been conducting a civil war against the central authority since 1983, ended one of the world’s longest and bloodiest wars. Designed to unite north and south through political, economic and military power-sharing, and by setting a timetable for which Southern Sudan would have a referendum on its independence, the CPA promised prosperity, political self-determination and equitable distribution of the region’s resources.

Three years on, however, the peace dividend has not materialized. Implementation of the CPA is proceeding but is behind schedule with continuing mistrust between the two parties; key elements, including border demarcation, oil revenue-sharing and troop withdrawal, have stalled. Meanwhile, the people of Southern Sudan continue to struggle to move forward with their lives. The region has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Though the UN has paved 2,000 kilometres of roads, key commercial gateways to Uganda and Kenya are often unusable during the rainy season. Government capacity is still limited, infrastructure eroded and the oil revenues required to fund civil service and major public works projects are lacking. In the humanitarian field, while there continued to be progress towards early recovery, numerous challenges remained, including urgent need for emergency and reconstruction assistance from the international community. While longer-term recovery efforts such as investments in rebuilding infrastructure and development are under way, there was an urgent need for delivery in the short-term of a visible peace dividend.

The predominant fact remains that peace in Sudan is indivisible. An unravelling of the CPA would strongly compromise the prospects for a peaceful outcome in Darfur. Conversely, should the implementation of the CPA be successful, it would improve the chances for bringing resolution to the Darfur crisis. As a crucial ingredient for lasting peace and stability in Sudan and the region as a whole, the full implementation of the CPA is an issue that calls for heightened attention.

The Context

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
Orla Clinton, OCHA-Khartoum
Tel: +249 9 1217 4454 (mobile)
Send an email
http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/07/contactus.asp?address=13

United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS):
Brian Kelly
Tel: + 249 9 1215 0847
Send an email
http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/07/contactus.asp?address=14

USEFUL WEB LINKS:

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
http://ochaonline.un.org/Default.aspx?alias=ochaonline.un.org/sudan

ReliefWeb
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc104?OpenForm&rc=1&cc=sdn

United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)
http://www.unmis.org

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/sudan.html

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
http://www.unhcr.org/country/sdn.html

World Food Programme (WFP)
http://www.wfp.org/country_brief/indexcountry.asp?country=736

UN News Centre

http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusRel.asp?infocusID=88&Body=sudan&Body1= IRIN News: http://www.irinnews.org/Africa-Country.aspx?Country=SD