Sudan: "Progress"

Posted by Scott Gration
August 28, 2009
Special Envoy Gration With SPLM and NCP Leaders

About the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Grationcurrently serves as the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan. (August 21, 2009)

Earlier, I wrote about the unique opportunity we have to work together to achieve real progress in Sudan. I am currently on a trip to Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt to take next steps in the process of implementing the CPA and advancing peace in Darfur. I am writing to you now from Khartoum, where I just arrived after spending the first several days of my trip in Southern Sudan. We're happy to report that we have already made significant progress. Yesterday, I served as witness to the initialing of an important bilateral agreement between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP).

After several months of ongoing discussions mediated by the United States in Washington and in Sudan, the two parties have reached agreement on ten of the remaining twelve issues standing in the way of full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Points of agreement include:

Abyei: The parties agree to immediately implement the Abyei Tribunal decision and to demarcate the Abyei boundary as determined by the Tribunal decision.
Border Demarcation: The parties agree to demarcate the North-South boundary line by 30 September 2009, in accordance with CPA provisions and timelines.
Security: The Government of National Unity (GoNU) will avail resources for Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) as called for in the CPA.
Wealth Sharing: The parties will ask the GoNU to request the International Monetary Fund to review the implementation of the two banking systems under one central bank, as called for in the CPA, The GoNU will transfer the full share of oil revenue to the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in a timely manner as authorized in the CPA.
Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan: The parties agree that there is a role for both the national government and the state governments in the popular consultations to be held in these states.
Elections: The parties commit to conducting free and credible elections in April 2010, the date agreed on by the National Election Commission.
Democratic Transformation: The parties agree to identify laws that are potentially inconsistent with the CPA for review by the parties by 15 September 2009.
Making Unity Attractive: The parties agree to begin the national reconciliation process as called for in the CPA and Presidential Decree and Directives issued on 27 December 2007.
National Competencies: The GoNU and GoSS and the states will operate within their areas of competency, as outlined in the CPA, and affect any agreements made by the Political-Executive Committee.
Darfur: The parties agree that the conflict in Darfur is a political problem and of national concern, and both are committed to redoubling efforts within the GoNU to resolve the conflict.

The two outstanding issues that remain unresolved are the census and the referendum. We will return to Sudan for additional discussions on these points in September. These are difficult issues, and we look forward to seeking your advice and support upon my return from this visit.

On Friday, I will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to meet with key Darfuri armed movements to build cohesion and unification in support of the Doha peace process. We are very optimistic about the opportunity to achieve real progress, and I am eager to update you on what we are able to achieve there.

Thank you for your continued interest and dedication, Scott

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New York, USA
September 4, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

GoKnow Darfur......

Isn't it a little naive to be shaking hands on Darfur/ soon after the horrendous genocide, refugee diaspora, and displacement of a region? Cohesion and unification are products only reached after the perpetrators are brought to justice, and the victims have been made whole. Are we risking complicity in the greater crime of self-delusion?

District Of Columbia, USA
September 29, 2009

Anna A. in Washington, DC writes:

While the points of agreement reached in the bilateral negotiations all seem to be positive steps toward the goal of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the fact that they come so late in the life of the six-year interim period is a cause for concern. Given that the South has not yet received the benefit of important promises made in the CPA, including security measures such as Joint Integrated Units and the much-needed oil wealth that was to be shared between North and South, it now stands at a serious disadvantage with the referendum just 14 months away. It is also hard to imagine how the parties have waited four and a half years to assess national laws for conformity with CPA obligations. It's the fourth quarter here, and the clock is ticking.


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