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A Fragile Birthday

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A Fragile Birthday

Posted by Maggie Fick on January 9, 2009

A Fragile Birthday

Today is the fourth anniversary of the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended Sudan’s 20 year North-South civil war (which caused the deaths of over two million people and displaced more than four million). Chatham House, a British think tank, released a report to mark this anniversary and to underline the serious risks if the CPA fails. Implementation of the agreement is lagging, and Enough has repeatedly asserted that Darfur will continue to burn and other key regions—think Southern Kordofan and Abyei—will remain at risk of deadly conflict unless the international community pursues an “All-Sudan” solution involving full implementation of the CPA.

There are no shortage of powerful voices sounding the alarm bells on at-risk areas such as Kordofan and Abyei. In December, John Holmes, the UN’s top official on humanitarian issues warned: “if the North-South agreement fails, everything else will also fall apart…If that goes, you can forget about Darfur; it is just a side show.

The Chatham House report spells out the specific roles that the international community must play in monitoring CPA implementation in the lead-up to the 2011 referendum on Southern Sudan’s independence; the most immediate issue is the 2009 national elections, slated to take place in July, but likely to be delayed.

And for those of you in Washington, the Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting a panel discussion of this paper with the author, Edward Thomas, and several other Sudan experts on January 14.