Negotiation and ceasefire : issues and challenges facing implementation of peace agreements in Sudan
Lasting peace in Sudan would reverberate throughout Africa, the Arab world, and globally. But signing a historic peace agreement will not guarantee successful post-conflict reconstruction in Sudan. Several critical openings must follow-with expanded roles for the Sudanese people and their international partners. Sudanese fighters from both sides will need to integrate into joint military units that defend Sudan's borders and gain capacity to deal with rogue elements. Sudanese politicians must expand the opportunities for fresh and excluded voices to participate in Sudan's governing structures (north and south, national, regional, and local) and its political processes. Benchmarks against which international assistance is measured could help guarantee this need, as would an inclusive constitutional drafting process. Sustained economic assistance and forward-learning decisions on reducing Sudan's debt burden will help move Sudan on the path to economic growth. At the same time, international pressure must be brought to bear on the Sudanese to ensure that revenue streams, particularly oil and are handled transparently and for the benefit of Sudan's people, not its leaders. Uncertainty, hatred and mistrust run deep within Sudan. Donors must focus on building connections among the Sudanese and bringing communities together around common goals. The past focus on north-south issues should give way to more inclusive programs that begin to address the political and economical marginalization that is fuelling discontent and conflict in Sudan's peripheral regions. Lasting peace will require not just changing attitudes within Sudan, but shifting outside practices to better confront the enormous challenges that will complicate reconstruction efforts. Sudan's coming peace presents an opportunity to move beyond almost forty years of intrastate war. The United State, the United Nations, African Union, and other friends of Sudan should now consolidate and capitalize on this opportunity.
- Humanities