Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sudan: Framework Agreement Reached for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile Sudan

SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan

A framework agreement between the Government of Sudan and Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLMN) has today been reached with regards to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile State, the former having, of late, been the scene of militia-provoked insecurity. Per the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), these forces were supposed to have disbanded or integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces, instead they maintained status and continued to jeopardize the security in the area. Calls from the government urging these groups to abide by the agreement fell on deaf ears and when the National army entered the region to offer a semblance of protection to the civilians, it was attacked by the militias, a provocation that led to the current unrest in the area.

Today's agreement, in its "Security Arrangements" provisions, reemphasizes the CPA's call to have all militia groups in the regions be integrated into Sudan's National Armed forces, other security institutions, and the civil service or DDR (demobilization, disarmament, Reintegration). A Joint Security Committee is promptly to be formed so to immediately work on this agenda as well as on other security arrangements, including the cessation of hostilities in Southern Kordofan and the facilitation of humanitarian access for those in need.

Also to be formed is a Joint Political Committee to discuss and resolve issues of governance in Southern Kordofan. The body is to ensure that the remaining aspects of the CPA relevant to the two areas are successfully implemented and that a political partnership and governance arrangements for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan are established. The parties have also agreed to form a committee that will look into an inclusive constitutional review process, discuss relations between the center and the peripheries, and map out a course for establishing good relations with neighboring countries with particular emphasis on Southern Sudan. Despite that credible elections were held in the region that decidedly empowers the government, the latter is going through this process for the sake of peace and security for its people. This framework agreement is a significant milestone that deserves the full attention of the concerned members of the regional and international community who must ensure the good faith cooperation of the militias and party in order to reach a final resolution to the outstanding issues.