Renewing the Pledge: Re-Engaging the Guarantors to the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement

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Renewing the PledgeThe clock is ticking fast towards what might be the most important date in modern sudanese history - two referenda in Sudan that are likely to result in the breakup of Africa's largest state. With six months remaining until 9 January 2011, the scheduled date of the referenda, the run-up to, and outcome of, the vote must be managed with extreme care. the Guarantors to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), who invested considerable effort in obtaining the CPA on 9 January 2005, have both a responsibility and an ability to help sudan implement the CPA and prevent further conflict. It is imperative that the Guarantors urgently redouble their efforts to ensure adequate preparations for the referenda, and help secure agreements on sensitive issues such as border demarcation and oil sharing.

The experiences of recent years have demonstrated that focusing on one part of Sudan at the expense of another complicates the situation in both. Focusing too narrowly on the challenges of securing a peaceful post-CPA transition in southern Sudan could backfire. The CPA Guarantors must not relegate the situation in northern Sudan - especially the conflict in Darfur, where violence in May 2010 claimed the highest number of lives since 2008 - to the second tier of priorities.

As the Guarantors step up their political involvement, we hope to see generous donor support. More needs to be done now to bring in the requisite diplomatic, financial, and technical resources to put in place the requirements for the referenda and, after the vote, to improve Sudan's stability and dire state of human development.

We welcome the recent intensification of efforts by the Guarantors, particularly through the African Union (AU)-created Consultative Forum. We urge the Guarantors to:

1. Use the upcoming Consultative Forum meeting in Khartoum on 17 July 2010 to agree to an urgent expansion of international efforts to prepare for peaceful, credible and timely referenda in southern Sudan and Abyei.

2. Restate publicly, clearly and collectively the internationally recognized right of the people of southern Sudan to self-determination. At the July 2010 AU Summit in Uganda, African Heads of State should reaffirm their unequivocal support for this right and pledge to recognize the outcomes of two free and fair referenda. The League of Arab States and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should follow suit, and be encouraged to do so by the Troika (US, UK and Norway) and the UN Secretary-General.

3. Appoint a high-level individual to travel to Abyei, Blue Nile, and southern Kordofan consistently over the next six months to ensure adequate preparations for the referendum in Abyei and the popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.

4. Call on the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to build up its civilian capacity in Abyei and facilitate inter-communal dialogue on the future of the area and call on the UN development program (UNDP) to consider extending its Southern Kordofan conflict prevention program to Abyei.

5. Persuade the National Congress Party of Sudan (NCP) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the two parties to the CPA, to make public commitments that the rights to freedom of movement, residence and property currently afforded to all Sudanese citizens will be preserved regardless of the outcome of the referenda.

6. Provide technical assistance to the CPA parties to reach an equitable agreement on oil sharing, to be backed up by independent third party monitoring.

7. Encourage UNMIS to carry out a careful assessment of its civilian protection capabilities, including identification of the weakest links, leading to preventive UNMIS deployments in flashpoint areas to deter future violence.

8. State clearly and publicly that international human rights standards must be respected in northern as well as in southern Sudan, and that the Guarantors will uphold their commitment to the goals of democratic transformation in Sudan.

9. Call on the African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to focus on its primary objective of protecting civilians and to increase and make public its human rights reporting.

10. Call on donors to Sudan to revisit the present plan to hold a large donor conference only after the announcement of the referenda results and consider additional closed-door resource mobilization meetings to ensure adequate resources are available in time. Guarantors should encourage investment in renewed south-south dialogue, conflict prevention and strengthening local peace-building capacities.

This report is published by:

Aegis Trust

African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies

Arab Coalition for Darfur

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Collaborative for Peace in Sudan

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (Sudan)


Darfur Consortium

The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Global Witness

Human Rights First


International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

International Refugee Rights Initiative

Italians for Darfur

KACE - Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (Sudan)

Pax Christi IKV

Refugees International

Standard Action Liaison Focus (Sudan)

Save Darfur

Sudan Democracy First Group

Sudan Forum Global Campaign Members (Norway)

Sudan Human Rights Monitor

Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections

Waging Peace