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Reactions from Juba to the Deal in Khartoum

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Reactions from Juba to the Deal in Khartoum

Posted by Laura Heaton and Maggie Fick on December 15, 2009

JUBA, Southern Sudan—Yesterday in Khartoum, the news broke that the two parties to Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement had reached consensus on several critical issues in the contentious, ongoing North-South negotiations related to arrangements for the April 2010 elections and the South’s self-determination referendum in 2011.

Here in Juba, the broad strokes of the deal were known early in the
day, but many questions loomed about the agreement among the
southerners we spoke to, especially as word of state-sponsored violence against protestors in Khartoum—coming a week after the arrest of southern leaders and other peaceful protestors in the streets—emerged in the afternoon.

Last night, the Sudanese national cabinet approved bills for three of the five core issues included in the so-called “package” of negotiations. These laws will govern the southern self-determination
referendum, the Abyei referendum, and the “popular consultation”
process for the contentious border states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Instead of hearing more from us, here are the reactions of three
influential citizens to the news. They range from cautiously
optimistic to downright pessimistic about the prospects of this
potential breakthrough: