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.
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.
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 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005 between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, established a new Government of National Unity and the interim Government of Southern Sudan and called for wealth-sharing, power-sharing, and security arrangements between the two parties.
- To date, the following provisions of the CPA have been implemented: the formation of the National Legislature, the appointment of Cabinet members, the establishment of the Government of Southern Sudan and the signing of the Southern Sudan Constitution, and the appointment of state governors and adoption of state constitutions. Several CPA-mandated commissions have also been formed. Plans are underway for a population national census and elections in 2009.
- In March 2005, the Security Council established the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), tasked to support the parties in the implementation of the CPA. UNMIS, currently one of the largest peacekeeping operations, is a multidimensional mission, with a military component of approximately 10,000, some 700 police and a civilian component involved in good offices and political support, governance, humanitarian assistance and development.
- Humanitarian assistance will be required for years in Southern Sudan. The 2008 humanitarian appeal for Southern Sudan requests $1.1 billion for humanitarian, recovery, and development projects to provide both emergency relief and sustainable solutions across the ten states, food assistance, emergency health care and shelter, clean water and sanitation systems and de-mining.
- The humanitarian situation in Southern Sudan is marked by seasonal floods that affect an estimated 200,000 people annually. Interethnic fighting over livestock and land continues to cause localized displacement in rural areas and is aggravated by county boundary disputes. De-mining activities have cleared 1,131 km of emergency routes, and made 393 dangerous areas or minefields safe since 2005.
- Disease outbreaks continue to overwhelm the Southern Sudanese people. In 2007, areas of Southern Sudan experienced the largest Meningitis outbreak on record – approximately 11,660 cases and 417 deaths.
- The capacity of the Government of Southern Sudan to respond to emergencies is still weak. The UN and its partners continue to support the development of an emergency response capacity in the Government.
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
United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS):
Tel: + 249 9 1215 0847
Send an email
USEFUL WEB LINKS:
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
World Food Programme (WFP)
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