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Mbeki’s Moment to Support Lasting Peace in the Sudans

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Mbeki’s Moment to Support Lasting Peace in the Sudans

Posted by Enough Team on October 22, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1 202-459-1219

WASHINGTON – Today, the Enough Project issued its first publication in a series of policy briefs focusing on the international community’s extraordinary opportunity to help support peace within Sudan and between the two Sudans.  The brief discusses the need for President Mbeki and the African Union to take bold and specific actions to marshal the governments of Sudan and South Sudan closer to a more comprehensive peace. 

According to the Enough Project, President Mbeki’s report this week to the African Union Peace and Security Council offers him the unparalleled opportunity to provide his recommendations on possible resolutions to the outstanding issues and implementation mechanisms for those agreements already concluded between Sudan and South Sudan.

"The recent agreements between Sudan and South Sudan were a critical step forward, but for lasting peace between the two countries, the more difficult remaining issues need to be addressed at once," said John Prendergast, Enough Project Co-founder. "President Mbeki's role is indispensable this week. If he presents a strong, fair, credible set of proposals over Abyei, other disputed areas along the border, and asks the African Union for endorsement of those proposals as the way forward between the two countries, he could catalyze a real solution. If there is ambiguity, doubt, and reversion to further negotiations, the table will be set for further conflict."

The outstanding issues include the final status of the Abyei area, the definition of the disputed and claimed areas along the North-South border, international humanitarian access to the Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and direct political negotiations between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N. Continuing to ignore these issues would both undermine economic growth in the Sudans and pose an ongoing risk to regional stability.

“President Mbeki must seize the opportunity that his report to the A.U. offers him and table his proposal on the Abyei area in its entirety,” said Omer Ismail, Enough Project Advisor. “The proposal provides a sound basis upon which Sudan and South Sudan can settle the area’s final status and work together to ensure that the rights of local communities are protected, no matter the outcome of a referendum in Abyei.”

In addition to the outstanding issues, the policy brief notes the importance of implementation mechanisms for those agreements already signed between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan.

“Given the demonstrated tendency of the government of Sudan, in particular, to avoid implementation of agreements that it signs, internationally-backed implementation mechanisms will be critical to ensuring the success of all North-South agreements,” said Jennifer Christian, Enough Project Policy Analyst. “President Mbeki should challenge the A.U. and the U.N. to develop specific consequences that would await either party that significantly obstructs implementation of any agreements signed or proposals made, including sanctions and other measures under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.”

Read the full brief: “President Mbeki’s Moment: A Stand for Peace in the Two Sudans

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.