Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sudan, North-South Peace Talk

US Senator John Danforth
Sadiq al-Mahdi

Beginning in 1993, the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya pursued a peace initiative for the Sudan under the auspices of Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD)m but results were mixed.Despite that record, the IGAD initiative promulgated the 1994 declaration of provinces (DOP) that aimed to identify the essential elements necessary to a just comprehensive peace settlement ; i.e., the relationship between religion and the state, power sharing, wealth sharing,and the right of self determination for the south. The Sudanese Govt. did not sign the DOP until 1997 after major battlefield losses to the SPLA. That year the Khartoum Govt. signed a series of agreementwith rebel factionsunder the banner of "peace from within" .These included the Khartoum, Nuba Mountains and Fashoda Agreementsthat ended military conflict between the Govt. and significant rebel factions. Many of those leaders then moved to Khartoum where they assumed marginal roles in the central Govt. or collaborated with the govt. in military engangements against the SPLA. These agreements paralleled the terms and coditions of the IGAD agreement, calling for a degree of autonomy for the south and the right of selfdetermination.
End to the Civil War
In july 2002, the Govt. of Sudan and the SPLM/Areached an historic agreement on the role of state and religion and the right of Southern Sudan to self-determination. This agreement, known as the Machakos Protocoland named after the town in Kenyawhere the peace talks were held, concluded the first round of talks sponsored by the IGAD. The effort was mediated by the retired retired Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. Peace talks rsumed and cotinued during 2003, with discussions focuusing on wealth sharing and three contested areas.
Foreign Interventions
In Sept. 2001, former US senator John Danforth was designated Presidential Envoy for peace in Sudan. His role is to explore the prospects that the US could play a useful catalyctic role in the search for a just end to the civil war, and enhance humanitarian services delivery that can help reduce the suffering of the of the Sudanese people stemming from war related effects.Following an internal outcry, the Sadiq al-Mahdi Govt. in March 1989, agreed with the UN and donor nations (including the US) on a plan called Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), under which some 100,000 tons of food was moved into both Govt. and SPLA-held areas of the Sudan, and widesprad stavation was averted. Phse II of OLS to cover 1990 was approved by both the Govt and the SPLAin March 1990. In 1991, Sudan faced a 2-year drought and food shortage across the entire country. The US, UN, and other donors attempted to munt a coordinated international relief effort in both north and south Sudan to prevent a catastrophe. However, due to Sudan's human rights abuses and its pro-iraqi stance during the Gulf War, many donors cut much of their aids to the Sudan. In a similar drought in 2000-201, the international community again responded to avertmass starvation in Sudan.
The US Govt's Sudan Peace act of 21 Oct 2002 accused sudan of Genocide for killing more than 2 million civillians in the south during the civil war since 1983.