Doubt Over Lasting Peace Between Two Sudan

Presidents of both Sudan
Presidents of both Sudan

As soon as the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments signed a deal on 27 September to secure their shared border and boost trade, the African Union and United Nations saw that it would not be the start of a lasting peace.

The agreement did not include provisions for demarcating the joint border, and Sudan immediately tried to manoeuvre outside the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) by calling for the Abyei region to be split down the middle.

Juba said that it would not accept the partition of Abyei. Previous attempts to organise a referendum have stalled on discussions about who should be allowed to vote.

The peace deal calls for the creation of a demilitarised border zone and the restarting of oil exports.

Mediators from the United Nations and African Union threatened both governments with sanctions when they did not reach an agreement by early September.

While the deal set out terms for oil transportation fees and a metering system for oil production, the two governments have not settled on a fee that South Sudan must pay for taking over assets from state-controlled Sudanese company Sudapet.

In early October, the Dar Petroleum Operating Company, backed by Chinese and Malaysian companies, said it would take more than four months for oil to reach export terminals at Port Sudan.

There is not enough trust between the parties to en- sure that what was agreed in negotiations is then implemented.

While Sudanese and South Sudanese ministers were in Europe on 10 October, promising to work together for the economic benefit of all parties, rebels were shelling Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, the border province that was due to have ‘popular consultations’ to ascertain if the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had met the aspirations of its people.

The Sudanese government had announced the reopening of border crossings with South Sudan on 7 October, but the two sides continued to show mutual distrust.

The Khartoum government accuses Juba of backing the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) rebels who have been fighting in South Kordofan.

The US government said that it is now putting its negotiating pressure on talks between Khartoum and SPLM-N.

The Juba government is fighting a small rebel group in Jonglei led by David Yau Yau after a disarmament campaign.