Kenya to review Sudan peace process

February 23, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Kenya will be pushing for a special Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Eastern Africa Council meeting to audit the progress of a faltering peace deal it brokered for Sudan in 2005.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said on Sunday that at an IGAD meeting in Djibouti next month, Kenya will make its case to host a crucial review of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended Sudan’s bloody two decade North-South civil war.

“IGAD member states are going to call a council meeting in the next 2-3 months to carry out a critical audit and review of the CPA so far; we look at the remaining less than two years of its life and how we will conduct ourselves at the end of the CPA, so that everybody is at equal level of expectations, challenges and opportunities that will arise,” he said.

At a joint news conference in Nairobi, Southern Sudan regional cooperation Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin accused the northern Khartoum government of dragging its feet in implementing key points of the CPA and the Naivasha Agreement.

“Our partners in Khartoum are deliberately dragging their feet on some of these issues because they are the ones gaining and actually delaying the process of the successful implementation of the CPA in spirit and letter,” he told reporters in Nairobi.

Mr Benjamin, who has been on regional tour to brief IGAD states on the progress of implementation of the CPA, said President Omar Al-Bashir’s government had refused to share the country’s oil wealth as agreed, refused to recall troops from Southern Sudan and has instead re-militarised contested border zones where the main oil reserves are located.

“There are certain oil fields which are presumed to be in the north part of our country, but if we go back to the 1956 border line, these oil fields will actually fall within the south. So if you delay the demarcation of the borders – it means that the South will be losing its oil revenue, while the government of National Unity will continue getting 100 percent. As time is running out and we are supposed to provide services, we need resources,” he said.

Several critical milestones must be achieved to implement the CPA, the most important of which are resolving the impasse over the oil-rich area of Abyei, carrying out free and fair national elections, and completing the referendum on self-determination for the Southern Sudan region.

Southern Sudan has been a semi-autonomous region of Sudan since a peace agreement was signed between the Government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army, with Kenya’s help.

The premise of the CPA is that during the six years between the signing of the agreement in 2005 and the self-determination referendum in 2011, the NCP, SPLM, and the agreement’s international guarantors and supporters should work to “make unity attractive,” thereby increasing the likelihood that Southerners would vote for national unity.

One of the fundamental drawbacks to the political transformation in Sudan is the postponement of the census needed for elections in 2009, and the referendum of self-determination for the south in 2011— pertinent events for the sustainability of the CPA.


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