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STRATEGY PAPER: Abyei: Sudan’s Next Test

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STRATEGY PAPER: Abyei: Sudan’s Next Test

Posted by Eileen White Read on July 20, 2009

Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376
[email protected]

STRATEGY PAPER:  Abyei: Sudan’s Next Test

READ the strategy paper.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week's legal decision on the boundary of Abyei – an oil-rich and contested region along the disputed North-South border within Sudan – will be the first major test of recent commitments made in Washington by the two parties to Sudan's 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA.

The United States has played a critical role in negotiating the Abyei protocol, an agreement to settle the dispute over Abyei’s boundaries. The U.S. and the rest of the international community have a responsibility to ensure that the ruling is respected and that the residents of Abyei and the affected surrounding areas are protected from violence.
The ruling on Abyei, expected Wednesday from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, will occur against a backdrop of increasingly hostile relations between the ruling National Congress Party and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement over a number of unimplemented CPA provisions, including stalled preparations for the general elections in April 2010 and the referendum on southern self-determination, scheduled for 2011.

"How each party responds is a crucial litmus test of each side's will to implement the CPA," says Colin Thomas-Jensen, Enough policy adviser and co-author of the paper. "By extension, their response to the Abyei ruling is a useful barometer for the efficacy of the Obama administration's strategy on Sudan."
Enough's latest strategy paper argues that the diplomatic push from the international community to secure renewed commitment from the Sudanese parties on CPA implementation is welcome, and focusing on Abyei is an important step in making these commitments real in the lives of ordinary Sudanese. "If the Abyei dispute relapses into stalemate and violence, the already fragile CPA will be pushed to the breaking point," says Enough Project Policy Assistant Maggie Fick, the report’s co-author.

READ the strategy paper.

LISTEN to a podcast by Maggie Fick.

VIEW a photo essay about Abyei and the issues raised in the strategy paper.


For additional information:
VISIT the Enough Project’s blog, Enough Said, for updates on this issue.
FOLLOW the Enough Project on Twitter,

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. 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, contact Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376; [email protected].

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