Monday, July 10, 2006

Consolidating Peace in Sudan

June 5, 2006 2-4pm

Ibrahim Gambari: UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
Jendayi Frazer: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

Ken Bacon: President of Refugees International
Michael Cromartie: Chair of US Committee on International Religious Freedom
John Pendergast: Senior Advisor with the International Crisis Group

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army and the more recent peace agreement in Darfur are important steps in Sudan’s peace process, but these agreements need support from the international community (specifically the UN) and the United States. Currently, an African Union force is deployed to maintain stability in Sudan. However, the AU has acknowledged its limited resources and inability to maintain stability permanently.
In order to maintain long-term stability in the region, an UN peacekeeping mission must replace the current AU peacekeepers in the near future. However, if an UN force was approved tomorrow, that force would not be active in Sudan until the end of the year. As a result, the international community must work to strengthen the African Union’s capacity to maintain stability within the region in the short term, while transferring power to an UN peacekeeping force in the long-term. Next, the UN must convince rebel leaders to sign the peace agreements, ensure the signatory parties to the agreement follow through on their promises, encourage Sudan to consent to UN peacekeeping forces, and provide Darfurians with humanitarian aid and protection. Furthermore, the UN must address other conflicts within the region, or Sudan may be destabilized by these other conflicts.
In addition to the United Nations’ efforts, the United States has taken an active role in stabilizing Sudan. In September 2004, the U.S. became the only government to label the crisis as“genocide”. U.S. intervention has played an important role in North/South negotiations, as well as the peace process in Darfur. The U.S. is currently working with the AU to establish Peace Secretariats to help implement the peace agreements. These offices provide outreach programs to increase awareness about the agreements while supporting to signatory parties. Furthermore, the United States is working to strengthen the AU peacekeeping mission in Sudan, facilitate the eventual transition to a UN peacekeeping mission, obtain NATO assistance, and call upon Sudan and Chad to stop interfering in each other’s political situations. Finally, the US has reestablished the USAID mission in Sudan to support the peace process.

by Adam Perry

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