A telling series of statements from Southern People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Secretary General Pagan Amum this week reaffirms the belief of many that the time is not right to lift sanctions in Sudan. During his testimony on Captitol Hill, Amum, one of the most important politicians in South Sudan, opposed lifting sanctions at this moment. He argued:
"normalization of relations with Sudan should come as a result of the full implementation of the CPA, the achievement of Democratic transformation, through the conduct of a fair and free elections, and after the ending of the war in Darfur through a negotiated peace settlement."
More specifically, he laid out what he believes must be accomplised before such action in taken:
"the demarcation of borders; the adoption of the referendum law and a National Security Act that respects freedoms; the lifting of press censorship; the institution of a transparent oil sector; the implementation of the PCA decision of Abyei, and the achievement of a monitored Ceasefire in Darfur."
His list is testament to the National Congress Party’s (NCP) practice of delayed and selective CPA implementation and demonstrates just how much work needs to be done in this crucial period before the 2011 referendum in the South.