Opinion

How Sudan Resolved Conflict in S. Sudan

By Ali Fakir [Leadership]

The Government of the Republic of Sudan has remained resolute and committed to bringing the warring factions in the beleaguered and war-torn South Sudan to make peace and end the humanitarian crisis in the country following the civil war that has ravaged the young nation for about five years now. Sudan has supported the victims of the conflict with relief materials and provided refuge for those fleeing the conflict. But Sudan by far has made more tremendous efforts and positive steps to end the seemingly interminable conflict threatening to destroy South Sudan through peace initiatives. President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al- Bashir and the government of Sudan have clamoured for the world especially Africa to rally round South Sudan in order to bring peace and security to the entire region. In a positive step, Sudan presented a proposal to host and organize a face -to -face meeting between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and the leader of the main opposition group SPLM-IO Dr. Riek Machar as part of the efforts to address the crisis in Republic of South Sudan. On June 5, Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Al-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed, led a high-level Sudanese delegation to Juba, capital of South Sudan. This delegation included Minister of Oil and Gas and, Director-General of the National Security and Intelligence Service, General Salah Abdullah Qosh. The delegation presented the initiative officially to President Salva Kiir. The main points of the Khartoum Declaration state that: In line with the declaration of principles, the peace partners agreed to definitively silence their guns throughout the country within 72 hours based on the cessation of hostilities of December 2017. The parties also agreed on declaration of a permanent cease-fire on all fronts within 72 hours of the signing of the Declaration on the basis of the Agreement on the cessation of hostilities signed on 21 December 2017, including the cessation of hostilities, separation of forces in close proximity, withdrawal of allied troops, opening of humanitarian corridors and release of prisoners of war and political detainees.  The parties agreed to commit themselves to monitoring and the implementation by themselves and through the monitoring mechanisms of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union, and they also commit not to move their forces from their current positions and to authorize IGAD and AU to deploy the necessary forces to achieve this. The signing of the Agreement was received with great interest at the internal level in the State of South Sudan and at the regional and international level. Reactions at the local level: The President of State of South Sudan presided over a cabinet meeting where he communicated formally to his ministers the signing of the Khartoum Framework Agreement and he then issued a presidential decree directing the People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to abide by a cease-fire pursuant to the Khartoum Agreement. South Sudan’s Defense Minister Kuol Manyang met with the leaders of the People’s Army on June 28 in the Headquarters of the People’s Army in Bilpham, where he communicated to them the content of the Khartoum agreement and he urged them to abide by it. Riek Machar, leader of the main opposition group, also directed his forces to abide by the cease fire agreement, and the National Democratic Movement led by Dr. Lamma Kol declared its commitment by the ceasefire in line with the Khartoum agreement. Regional and International Reactions: Following this remarkable initiative, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has welcomed the framework  agreement for peace in South Sudan signed in Khartoum and expressed hope that it will be implemented, adding that the parties would reach a peace agreement to end the civil war. Also the chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission, Mousa Faki, issued a statement welcoming the Khartoum Declaration and praised the role of President Al-Bashir in the success of the meeting and the contributions of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The Troika countries (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) also issued a statement on 29 June welcoming the role of the Government of Sudan in hosting a round of talks between the parties to the conflict in South Sudan, which produced the Khartoum agreement. US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Donald Yamamoto lauded the signing of the Khartoum Declaration by the parties to the conflict and commended Sudan’s efforts and praised the important breakthrough that has been achieved. Comment: The Agreement is an advanced step in building trust between the parties to the conflict and serves as an indicator of the success of the Agreement It is also an advanced step in the framework of confidence-building between the parties to the conflict and serves as an indicator of the success of the peace talks and the possibility that the technical teams would reach understandings on details of the contentious issues. The signing of the agreement attracted strong local and international reactions that must be used to put more pressure on the parties to the conflict to reach a peaceful settlement. The commitment of the parties to the cease-fire is the main indicator of the success of this round, which calls for monitoring and implementation of the peace agreement and investigating violations by the parties to the conflict and making decisive decisions on the party violating the ceasefire by working to strengthen monitoring and evaluation teams. The Sudanese government of Al- Bashir has once again demonstrated its preference to peace and its avowed intentions to end the vicious conflict that has brought death to thousands of South Sudan citizens and displaced many others. Sudan has also expressed commitment to the peace efforts until its neighbour becomes peaceful.

Fakir is a public affairs analyst and expert on international relations

 

 

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