Oct 082021

The implementation of the peace agreement on the ground will face many other challenges, given the fragility of a transitional civil-military government, the mistrust and competition between the signatory movements and some political parties, as well as the growing insecurity in many parts of the country caused by armed militias, inter-tribal violence, proliferation of weapons and sabotage by elements of the former regime. It is also likely that there will be resistance from groups such as illegal settlers who see their interests threatened. As the UNTAT is the result of compromises on politically sensitive issues concerning the delimitation of regional states, security agreements, governance, personal security and the integration of forces, the creation of the UN-RTGo on 22 February 2020 can be seen as a golden opportunity and a viable option to bring peace to South Sudan. With South Sudanese and the wider international community having travelled a long journey marked by devastating conflicts and interrupted by episodes of ephemeral relative peace since independence in July 2011 (see table 1 below), there are high hopes that UN-RTGo will deliver. However, it is undeniable that the path of UN-RTGo will be bumpy due to a plethora of challenges of a political, socio-economic and technical nature. With the economy having melted due to the bashir regime`s economic mismanagement, COVID-19 and unprecedented flooding, the search for resources to implement the peace agreement far exceeds the resources of the financially troubled Sudanese government. Implementation therefore requires sustained and generous support from its regional and international partners, including the country`s urgent removal from the list of sponsors of terrorism, which prevents debt relief, access to discounted credit and significant foreign investment. With donor budgets under severe pressure, it will be difficult to raise funds, but by continuing to support a nascent democracy in a strategic but volatile region, Sudan`s allies will retain their long-term interests. IGAD recognizes that a peaceful and prosperous Sudan is in the interest of the region, which must be guided by the good example of unified, inclusive and visionary leadership.

IGAD congratulates the President of the Sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Prime Minister of Sudan and President of IGAD, H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, and all the leaders of the armed groups that signed the peace agreement. In particular those led by Abdel Aziz Al Hilu and Abdel Wahid Al Nur, both of whom have significant territory, armed forces and support (in both regions and darfur respectively). Juba`s negotiations with Abdel Aziz were stalled because of his demands for a secular state or, if not, the right to self-determination, but he has now reached a preliminary agreement with Prime Minister Hamdok on a follow-up. The issue of reducing the number of regional States from 32 to 10 has already given rise to divergences and tensions. While the 32 regional states were reduced to 10 as agreed, the parties have since failed to agree on the distribution of the 10 states and the three administrations of Abyei, Greater Pibor and Ruweng. .

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