FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 6, 2012
ADDIS ABABA –Yesterday, representatives from Sudan and South Sudan recommenced negotiations following a week-long break for high-level political consultations in Juba and Khartoum. As the August 2 deadline imposed by the African Union and U.N. for the conclusion of the negotiation process approaches, one thing is certain: time is running short and the only viable mechanism for consolidating peace and security between the two Sudans remains the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement inclusive of all outstanding North-South issues, according to a new Enough Project report.
The report reviews conversations that took place during the last round of negotiations and examines the recent pace of the overall negotiation process. It also questions whether it is possible for the two countries to reach a comprehensive agreement—inclusive of all outstanding issues, namely, security-related matters, the definition and demarcation of the north-south border, financial and oil issues, citizenship, and the final status of the Abyei area—before August 2.
"For there to be any hope of the two parties concluding a comprehensive agreement ahead of the August 2 deadline, negotiations on all outstanding North-South issues must immediately recommence alongside continued discussions concerning the demilitarized border zone and the mechanism for determining the final definition of the North-South border," said Jenn Christian, author of the report and Enough Project Sudan Policy Analyst. "Letting the August 2 deadline lapse without the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement risks the creation of greater insecurity and uncertainty along the north-south border, while leaving unresolved issues critical to the two Sudans' economic viability. Khartoum and Juba, with the support of the international community, must act immediately to ensure that this scenario does not occur."
In addition to the North-South negotiations, the report calls for a North-North negotiation track between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front, or SRF. It argues that it is difficult to see the conclusion of a sustainable, comprehensive North-South agreement without the commencement of measurable gains within a second North-North track, which should focus on a ceasefire agreement between Sudan government forces and the Sudan Revolutionary Front, unrestricted access for humanitarian aid, and transitional political arrangements paving the way for all-inclusive democratic elections.
Read the Full Dispatch: A Comprehensive Agreement for the Two Sudans? Is It Possible?
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.