Wednesday, December 07, 2011

South Sudan: International Development Committee - House of Commons. The Birth of a Nation and the Prospects for Peace and Development

Government of the United Kingdom

International Development Committee - Written Evidence
House of Commons

1. Summary

This submission contends that the fledgling Republic of South Sudan’s (RoSS) economic, social and political success is dependent on resolving outstanding tensions with its northern neighbour, the government of Sudan, and specifically, the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). South Sudan’s security will be perpetually undermined unless the outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and political differences with Khartoum are tackled, preferably in an international or regional forum. There is an important role for the UK in facilitating and advising such a forum, ensuring all parties fulfil their promises.

The success of the CPA thus far has been immense, however, with so many destabilising issues left unresolved it is far from comprehensive. Continuing large scale human rights abuses in the border areas of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states will sooner or later draw RoSS into open or proxy conflict with Khartoum. On the basis of views expressed to us by military, political and civil leaders, Waging Peace fears that RoSS may become involved in defending its ‘cousins’ across the border. Even in the absence of open conflict, RoSS will be under constant pressure to divert resources to defence and security; resources that would otherwise be used to create the infrastructure critical to development.

Both parties need to be held accountable to their CPA promises. There resolution is essential in ensuring a demilitarised border and long term and sustainable peace. Key areas which require resolution and we will provide comment upon are:

  1. The location of the new border;
  2. The rights of ethnic and religious minorities within Sudan;
  3. The right of ethnic and religious minorities to belong to civil and political organisations;
  4. The economic relationship between the two nations including the fees charged by Sudan to tranship South Sudan’s oil to Port Sudan.