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Lessons from Previous Peace Agreements

Omer B. Abu Haraz

Peace and security are integral inseparable elements in any country. Lack of security anywhere is a threat to security everywhere. After the ratification of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of Naivasha in January 2005 peace did not prevail in Sudan as the CPA was focused on South Sudan only without addressing the then-nascent insurgency in Darfur. It also left the two regions of S. Kordofan and Blue Nile with their SPLA/N troops to the equivocal section of the CPA called (The Popular Consultation). The outcome of the CPA was the secession of S. Sudan, a continuation of insurgency in S. Kordofan, Blue Nile, and swelling of Darfur conflict to full-fledged civil wars.

The same was replicated after the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) in October 2020 without the inclusion of the two most important movements of SPLM-N in S. Kordofan and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)of Abdulwahid M. Nour in Darfur. Both movements have occupied territories in Sudan till now.

JPA of last year adopted a failed methodology of negotiation in five tracks i.e. Darfur, North, Central, Blue Nile, and East. This led to a growing upheaval and resentment in the east. Since that ratification of the JPA, numerous deadly confrontations occurred in the east especially in Kassala and Port Sudan.

The impractical and unrealistic articles of the security arrangements of the agreement back-fired last week when the Revolutionary Front issued a fiery warning to the military component of the revolution demanding the sluggish steps in the Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR)issue.

DDR is a costly step in the agreement. The country is now in a deep economic crisis. The agreement should have catered to this. The agreement stipulated that the central government should avail US$750 million annually for ten years. This commitment must have been tied conditionally with the financial conditions. Part of the first year US$750 million to be utilized in the DDR and the other part and the rest of the 10 years US$750 million is embarked to the rehabilitation of the war-affected areas of Darfur, IDPs resettlement and repatriation.

Last week another talks and negotiations started again in order under the auspices of the S. Sudan government between Sudan government and the SPLA/N of S. Kordofan headed by commander Abdul Aziz Al-Hilu leaving the other SLM of Abdulwahid to another round of talks. Ironically enough Abdulwahid is around in Juba and met the Prime Minister, Dr. Hamdok. With a little bit of patience and will Abdulwahid could have participated by the strong involvement and intervention of the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS)and by the American Envoy. A delay of a week or so could have had Abdulwahid onboard. It seems that the peace brokers are having vested tactics to prolong the agony of Sudan.

After resolving the issue of secular governance in Sudan, SPLM-N headed by Al-Hilu will reach an agreement within few weeks. I expect the agreement will be unequivocal in the security arrangements section to circumvent the sticky and costly DDR issue.

Needless to say that the agreement with Al-Hilu and Abdulwahid will balance the equation of the partnership between the military and civilian components of the revolution.

Al-Hilu and Abdulwahid will lean to the civilian side spearheaded by Dr. Hamdok and the international institutions. The Revolutionary Front partners of the first JPA of October 2020 are leaning toward the military component. This balancing of the equation should be and will be the driving force for Al-Hilu and Abdulwahid to expedite the coming on board the peace process of a new Sudan.

The success of the whole, inclusive, comprehensive, and sustainable peace in Sudan rests on the quick deliverance of Sudan from its present economic deterioration.

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