Sudanese sign deal to bolster CPA - Darfur’s rebels should unite ahead of peace talks, U.S. says
Northern and southern Sudan have signed a deal aimed at bolstering a fragile peace accord they signed in 2005, in front of the US envoy to the country.
Photo: The two sides still have major issues to thrash out
Scott Gration said the deal, which agrees how to take Sudan to next year's election, heralded a "brighter future".
But he gave few details, and analysts say it is more of a commitment to work together than a substantial deal.
The two sides were at war for 22 years and have blamed each other for a recent series of deadly clashes.
The BBC's Peter Martell, in South Sudan's capital, Juba, says people are in optimistic mood and are hopeful that the politicians will carry through their promises.
But he says there are several issues that need to be sorted out - not least a referendum which will ask people in South Sudan if they want independence from the north.
The vote is scheduled for 2011, but the exact details have already sparked controversy - with officials from the south threatening to declare unilateral independence if they believe the poll will be unfair.
However, Mr Gration said the new deal engendered a "sense of co-operation" which was "a precursor of good things to come".
"It will result in better co-operation and stronger relations that will result in a brighter future for Sudan, for Khartoum and Juba," he told journalists after the deal was signed.
Full story: BBC News 16:19 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 17:19 UK - Sudanese foes sign new peace deal.
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Darfur’s Rebels Should Unite Ahead of Peace Talks, U.S. Says.
Rebel movements in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region should unite ahead of talks with the government to promote a single message, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, said.
“Civil society must also speak up so that their voices are heard on issues related to land reform, elections and human rights,” Graton told reporters in the Southern Sudan capital, Juba, yesterday before heading to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to participate in Darfur unity talks between the government and rebels groups following frequent clashes in the region.
“The United States is working with all parties to get peace in Darfur, he said. ‘‘Conditions are dire there. We have committed ourselves to resolving them.’’
Source: Bloomberg, Friday, 21 August 2009 by Moyiga Nduru - Darfur’s Rebels Should Unite Ahead of Peace Talks, U.S. Says.
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SPLM and NCP sign agreement in Juba
(Juba) - The SPLM and the NCP signed an agreement concerning the implementation of the CPA following their third trilateral meeting in Juba on Wednesday.
The US special envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, facilitated the talks after meeting with representatives of the two signatories to the CPA in Washington D.C. and Khartoum in June and July this year.
Speaking at a press conference in Juba, SPLM deputy chairman Malik Agaar said they had agreed on key aspects of the CPA implementation.
[Malik Agaar]: “We were trying to reach an agreement on how we will implement the issues of the Abyei border demarcation, security, power-sharing, the two areas (Blue Nile and Southern Khordofan), elections, democratic transformation of the country, making unity attractive and Darfur. These are the issues we have now initialed following the trilateral talks in Juba."
The NCP's advisor to President al-Bashir, Ghazi Salah el-Din, said that his party is still committed to dialogue with the SPLM.
[Ghazi Salah el-Din]: “We have our differences as usual. But I think we have achieved a lot by agreeing on ten out of the twelve issues. That does not mean that we have to wait for another trilateral meeting. I must stress that our discussion and our cooperation and our dialogue with the SPLM is an on-going process.”
Scott Gration said that the two parties have yet to agree on two contentious issues.
[Scott Gration]:”There are still two issues that remain to be fully worked out. They are the referendum and the census. These will be worked out both bilaterally and trilaterally in the next month to fully implement the CPA."
The SPLM rejects the results of the census which indicates the number of southerners living in the north, while the NCP is pushing for a 75 percent ‘Yes’ vote for the referendum law to pass through the parliament in order for the south to be able to vote for secession or unity.
They key issues the NCP and the SPLM agreed on included border demarcation and that the 1956 north-south border shall remain in place until after the results of the Abyei referendum.
On wealth-sharing, the two parties agreed that GONU should transfer GOSS's share of oil revenue on time, as provided for under the terms of the CPA.
On the issue of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, the two parties agreed to determine whether there is need for legislation to govern the process of popular consultations.
The partners agreed to prepare the referendum bill for enactment by the assembly not later than September 15th 2009, and to conduct free and fair elections as agreed upon by the National Elections commission.
These recommendations will be forwarded to the presidency for final ratification to commit the SPLM and NCP to implement the CPA.
Source: Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 20 August 2009 - SPLM and NCP Sign Agreement in Juba
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US special envoy makes surprise stop in Khartoum
From Sudan Tribune, Friday 21 August 2009 - excerpt:
US special envoy makes surprise stop in Khartoum
August 20, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — The US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration met today with 2nd Vice President Ali Osman Taha in Khartoum and presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen.
Yesterday the assistant US Secretary of State Philip Crowley told reporters that Gration has no plans to travel to Khartoum or Darfur during his visit.
Last week the head of the US bureau at the Sudanese foreign ministry Nasr Al-Deen Wali said that Gration will meet in Khartoum with Taha and then fly Juba and Malakal in South Sudan and Al-Fasher in Darfur to inspect IDP camps.
Earlier today Gration told reporters after meeting with Sudan First Vice President Salva Kiir that the US is leaning towards “smart sanctions” that grants exceptions to items needed for development in the semi-autonomous South.
The sanctions "have kept southern Sudan from getting the development that they so desperately need," said Gration, sitting alongside Kiir.
The US special envoy in his testimony before lawmakers last month called for lifting sanctions on Sudan and removing it from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism.
Gration stressed that the decision to keep Sudan on the terrorism list was “political” one and that the sanctions were undermining his diplomacy.
In his meeting with Al-Deen, the US official was quoted by the official news agency as saying that the sanctions “caused humanitarian and health problems that the Sudanese people have suffered from,”
This week the US announced that its comprehensive policy review of Sudan that will determine its conflict resolution strategy for the largest country in Africa will be completed this month.
Report by Sudan Radio Service, Friday, 21 August 2009:
Gration: Building On the Legacy in South Sudan
(Juba) – In a press conference on Thursday in Juba, The United States special envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, reiterated the commitment of his government to supporting the peace implementation process in Sudan.
[Scott Gration]: “The main thing we have been doing is talking about our bilateral relations. The United States has enjoyed a special relationship with the Government of southern Sudan for a long time and the SPLM too. And we are talking about the ways that we can build on the legacy that has been started by those who have come before me and how we can strengthen this relationship and how we can help with the development in southern Sudan. I believe that together this partnership that we are working on strengthening will be the foundation of lots of big things that will come in the future.”
Gration said that sanctions on Sudan should be partially lifted to improve the humanitarian situation, especially in Darfur. He said that the sanctions have kept southern Sudan from getting the development the region needs.
[Scott Gration]: “The sanctions that we are looking to roll back are those sanctions that are hurting the very people we are trying to help. There are some sanctions that limit and hamper our ability to deliver humanitarian assistance. Some of these we need to get exceptions for. There are some sanctions that hurt the Sudanese people. Restriction on the internet that keep Sudanese from getting educational programs, links to the outside world that gives them access to better health care and there are other things that we are looking at that will help the Sudanese people in general. Also, in terms of southern Sudan, there are sanctions that while southern Sudan is exempted have spilled over and have kept southern Sudan from getting the development that they so desperately need.”
Scott Gration was speaking in Juba during a five-day visit to Sudan.
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