Long before the outbreak of fighting along Sudan’s North-South border broke out last month, partners at Sudan Now were identifying a series of conditions fundamental to lasting peace in the two Sudans and formulating key recommendations for the U.S. government. The dire humanitarian conditions along the border – that show no signs of letting up – provide a devastating illustration of the stakes: “Unless the United States approach toward Sudan changes on multiple fronts, increasing violence in Sudan will become an international conflict that could threaten the wider stability of the region and will continue to cause new levels of human suffering,” Sudan Now said today in a statement announcing the release of a new paper.
In “Peace in Both Sudans,” Sudan Now outlined six issues that are central to long-term stability between the neighbors:
- A peaceful and principled resolution to the crisis on the North-South border, including Abyei, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile
- Peaceful resolution of other outstanding separation issues that could lead to a resumption of North-South war, including border demarcation, oil wealth sharing, and citizenship status
- An end to the crisis in Darfur and a comprehensive peace agreed to by all parties
- Security for all people in the Republic of Southern Sudan, including protection from militia violence, and responsible and accountable southern security services
- Tangible and measurable steps toward democratic governance in the North and the South
- Accountability for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide
There are certainly no quick fixes, but there is more the U.S. could be doing to address these fundamental obstacles to peace in North and South Sudan. Sudan Now described the additional effort or different tack the Obama administration should take on each front.
“The imposition of escalating consequences is a complement to diplomacy, not a substitute for it,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw. "By pressing for accountability for war criminals and using economic pressures to target spoilers, the United States can hamper warmongers and help encourage Sudanese leaders to pursue peace.”