Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is peace possible for Sudan?

The event Peace in Sudan: Implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, sponsored by the Brookings Institute on June 27, included a wide variety of panelists from Amnesty International, the Sudanese government, and the U.S. Department of State.

The panel discussed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement’s accomplishments thus far, as well as current obstacles to peace and security that remain in Sudan. Though the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was passed in 2005, the agreement had been in the works since 1994, illustrating the complexities and difficulties in forming an effective agreement between Sudan’s regions and political parties. Dr. Mudawi El-Turabi, a Member of Parliament on the Foreign Affairs Committee for Sudan, spoke about what he believed to be successes of the CPA; declaration of the state of emergency has been lifted (except in war zones) and goals have been set for the country’s first democratic election in 2009. He acknowledged that more international aid is absolutely necessary for further success. Dr. Turabi described the deadlock that is occurring, as some foreign powers require a state of peace in Sudan before they will give much needed aid. Dr. Lam Akol, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on Sudan’s Parliament, emphasized the need for the average citizen to be able to experience the difference between peace and war in human services, particularly healthcare, education, and access to water. He also stressed that the CPA is not open ended but has set rapidly approaching deadlines for accomplishing important milestones in Sudan. Lynn Fredriksson, Africa Advocacy Director for Amnesty International, underscored the human cost of the conflict, and urged the members of Sudanese government present to take into account the approximate 400,000 Darfurians who have died and the millions who are currently displaced. She argued that in the quest for Sudan’s democracy, Darfurians are being excluded and marginalized, and urged the other panel members to give these citizens considerably more attention in their decisions.

Every panelist agreed on the conclusion that Sudan’s struggle for peace and security is certainly made even more difficult by the long history of violence and unrest, as well as the animosity between the Northern and Southern regions of the country. The citizens of Sudan are waiting for increased international response to their plight, a response which every panel emphasized was crucial for success.

Learn more about UN work in Sudan.

Sponsor: The Brookings Institute
Date: June 27, 2008
Representative Attending: Emma Gring

No comments: