Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hudson Institute holds symposium on ‘Post CPA Sudan: Ongoing violence and violations and the effect on civil society”

The Hudson Institute held a symposium on January 11 to discuss “Post CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] Sudan: Ongoing violence and violations and the effect on civil society.” The assembled panel included knowledgeable experts from different fields.

The Rt. Reverend Alapayo Manyang Kuctiel, Bishop of Rumbek, Episcopal Church of Sudan, began his speech by thanking the Institute for spotlighting the subject and the audience for attending. Then, he said, “We need the United States to come, we need to put our hands together America, Sudan and the international organizations.” He continued by saying that the Sudanese government is now just buying time.

Alapayo also said that the first 6 months of the next American president’s term will be very important. He sought to convey the message that post-Bush administration policy will be very critical for Sudan. In reference to the run-up to the last presidential election, he said that Sudan did not feel the threat of forthcoming pressure as they did not think that President Bush was going to be reelected. In light of this, Alapayo maintained that it is critical that the next president take the right stance on Sudan from the outset.

Roger Winter, former Special Representative of the Deputy Secretary of State for Sudan, also talked about the importance of the next administration. Winter raised the issue of Abyei, a small place with a small population, but a locale of great importance to the CPA. Winter said that the question of Abyei was rejected. The region, considered a bridge between northern and southern Sudan, has been a flashpoint since the end of colonial rule. For several years now, there have been attempts to give Abyei the right to a referendum that would determine whether the region would fall under the administrative control of the North or the South. However, a referendum provision has never been implemented.

“Abyei is at its maximum vulnerability and the U.S. has paid no attention to it,” Winter said.

Jimmy Mulla, President, Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom, said that “the post CPA has dampened hopes and the effects on the civil society in terms of, security, political stability, peace and provision of services is huge.” He added that, in this context it is important to take a close look at the situation in Sudan, analyzing the drawbacks and making necessary adjustments in order to help avert a return to war. Mulla said that even since the signing of the CPA, Khartoum’s actions have proven that there is serious lack of political will on the part of the country’s National Congress Party (NCP) to consider a new political dispensation. With its newfound economic wealth from oil revenues, the NCP-dominated government in Sudan is more like a private enterprise under the monopoly of the powerful few, Mulla said, adding that the NCP controls the economy and makes all kinds of deals to retain power. “There is therefore no incentive to change the status quo any time soon,” he added.

Many nations have interests in Sudan and Mulla referred to some as “bad actors,” including China, Russia, the Arab League countries and other African Union countries. “Due to its economic interests and huge demand for oil, China continues to provide political and diplomatic cover to Sudan,” Mulla stated. On the Arab League, he said that these countries have put their interests first and have not been forthcoming in terms of stronger international action to ensure Sudan’s compliance to United Nations Security Council resolutions. Mulla stressed that applying pressure on both the Sudanese government and other actors as China, Russia and the Arab League is critical to the advancement of the peace process to move peace forward. He closed his presentation by saying that there is still a window to change the situation in Sudan.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home