Sudan peace agreement ends longest-running Africa civil war

Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 12:10 pm
Today's signing of the Sudan peace agreement will hopefully bring the longest-running African civil war finally to an end.

A peace agreement ceremoniously signed in Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday between the Sudanese government and a Muslim rebel faction formally ended a 21-year civil war, the longest-running internal struggle on the African continent. The deal outlines power and resource sharing plans intended to stabiize relations between the Muslim north and Christian south of the country. It does not, however, directly affect the situation in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, where government-backed militias have been accused of genocide agianst local refugee populations.

From Khartoum, the Sudan Tribune provides the full text of several of the protocols underpinning today's agreement HERE
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 12:13 pm

Quotes from Sudan peace treaty signing ceremony
Sunday January 9th, 2005.
NAIROBI, Jan 9 (AFP) -- Herewith selected quotations from Sunday's peace treaty signing ceremony between Sudan and southern rebels, ending Africa's longest-running civil war. Most speakers urged that the pact be used as a template to end the ongoing crisis in the western Darfur region.

Sudanese President Omar el-Beshir: "The just concluded deal is not just a deal ... but a new contract for all Sudanese. It is a comprehensive accord that we must use ... to resolve the conflict in Darfur."

Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army leader John Garang: "This is the best Christmas and New Year's gift for the Sudanese people, to our region and Africa for 2005 ... This peace agreement will change Sudan forever."

"I appeal to all the Sudanese people and our political forces to build consensus around this comprehensive peace agreement and use it to end (conflict) in other parts of Sudan."

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki: The agreement "marks the beginning of a new, brighter future for the people of Sudan. We hope that today's celebrations will also give momentum to a realization of peace and security in Darfur."

A supporter of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement, holding an SPLM flag celebrates Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005, at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi, Kenya during the signing of Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Sudan's vice president and the country's main rebel leader signed a comprehensive peace agreement to end Africa's longest-running conflict Sunday, concluding an eight-year process to stop a civil war that has cost more than 2 million lives since 1983 (AP).

Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar on behalf of President Olusegun Obasanjo, chairman of the African Union: "While the focus today is about the peace process in southern Sudan, we cannot overlook the crisis in Darfur."

UN chief Kofi Annan (in a statement read by UN special representative for Sudan Jan Pronk): "The signing is a milestone, it gives a blueprint for addressing conflicts in other areas, like in Darfur where the situation remains horrific."

US Secretary of State Colin Powell: "These new 'partners for peace' must work together immediately to end the violence and atrocities that continue to occur in Darfur. Not next month on, in the interim period, but right away, starting today."

Chief mediator and former Kenyan general Lazaro Sumbeiywo: "The comprehensive agreement is a precious child to nurture with love and care."
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Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 12:15 pm
Walter, you've got two copies of the thread going, and one of them doesn't have a reply yet, so you could delete it if you want. (Back to read later.)
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 12:16 pm
Sudan, Southern Rebels End 21-Year War
Sun Jan 9, 2005 09:24 AM ET

By Katie Nguyen and Wangui Kanina
NAIROBI, Kenya (Reuters) - Bare-chested warriors danced and turbaned heads bowed in prayer while Sudan's Islamist government and southern rebels forged a comprehensive peace Sunday ending Africa's longest-running civil war.

Sudan's First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and rebel leader John Garang signed the accord in Kenya's capital Nairobi, ending a 21-year conflict in the south that has killed an estimated two million people mainly by famine and disease.

The agreement did not cover a separate conflict in the western Darfur area of Africa's largest country, where almost two years of fighting have created what the United Nations calls one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. At the signing ceremony in a Nairobi sports stadium, bare-chested Dinka warriors wearing leopard-skin loincloths and white paint on their faces danced for thousands of banner-waving exiles and refugees who planned now to return home.

"If I had wings I would be flying," said Grace Datiro, 35, a southerner who has lived in Kenya for 14 years since war drove her from her home in Sudan's Equatoria region.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell(C) shakes hands with Sudan's First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha(L) as the Sudan People's Liberation Movement leader John Garang (R) looks on after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nairobi, January 9, 2005. Sudan's government and southern rebels forged a comprehensive peace on Sunday ending Africa's longest-running civil war. Photo by Antony Njuguna/Reuters

Secretary of State Colin Powell, attending the signing, urged Khartoum and the southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to work together immediately to end atrocities in Darfur, and said Washington would upgrade its ties with Sudan to a positive relationship only when that was done.

"This positive relationship will only be possible in the context of peace throughout the entire country," he said, urging both parties to keep promises made in the southern peace accord.

Washington has a special interest in Sudan, which it lists as a state sponsor of terrorism because of Khartoum's record of hosting militant Islamists including Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s, and maintains a range of economic curbs against it.

The U.N. Security Council -- meeting in Nairobi, away from its New York home for the first time in 14 years -- unanimously adopted a resolution in November promising political and substantial economic support once Sudan ended both wars.

The new agreement is expected to trigger the return of more than half a million Sudanese who fled to nearby countries and the gradual resettlement of four million displaced internally.


"What was spent on fighting will now be spent on health, education and other services," said President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government earns $4 billion a year from oil.

In front of 12 African heads of state or government and Powell, SPLM chairman Garang and Taha put their names to protocols signed by colleagues in two years of talks. The deals together form an overall accord including a permanent cease-fire.

Under the agreement the ruling National Congress party and the SPLM will form an interim coalition government, decentralize power, share oil revenues and integrate the military. At the end of a six-year interim period, the south can vote for secession.

"There will be no more bombs falling from the sky on innocent women and children. Instead of the cries of children and the wailing of women, peace will bless us once more," said Garang, adding that other southern opposition groups would be welcome to join a new SPLM-led southern regional government.

Diplomats predicted increased pressure on Khartoum toward a comprehensive resolution of all the country's conflicts, which have expanded over the years to include unrest in the east.

Analysts say the conflicts share roots in the domination of post-independence politics by a small Arab elite with its home base north of Khartoum, to the detriment of fringe provinces.

In the south rebels have been fighting the government since 1983, when Khartoum tried to impose Islamic law on the entire country. Oil, ethnicity and ideology complicated the conflict.

Violence also has erupted in Darfur, where a revolt began in February 2003 after years of tribal conflict over scarce resources. Those rebels accuse the government of neglect and of using Arab militias to loot and burn non-Arab villages.

Khartoum acknowledges arming some militias to fight rebels but denies links to the Janjaweed, calling them outlaws.

In the Libyan capital Tripoli, Abdel Wahed Mohamed al-Nur, chairman of the Darfur rebel Sudan Liberation Movement, told Reuters he welcomed the agreement but said there should be a comprehensive peace for all of Sudan and not just the south.

"There will not be permanent peace in Sudan unless the government solves the Darfur problem immediately," he said.

Since independence from Britain in 1956, there have been tensions between Sudan's north and south. Past governments were quick to renege on a similar deal to end a 17-year war between north and south in 1972. That conflict cost one million lives. (Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed)
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 12:18 pm
Thanks, osso!
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2005 03:40 pm
Officials from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement have begun preparations to establish their regional capital city in Rumbek, some 560 miles south of the governmental capital city of Khartoum. The establishment of an independent southern capital in Sudan was part of the historic peace agreement signed on Sunday by officials from the two warring factions. The southern region of Sudan will be granted autonomy for six years, after which a popular referendum will decide whether the south will remain part of the country or will secede. Key to the deal was an agreement to exempt southern, and mainly Christian, Sudan from Muslim Sharia law, as well as provisions that equally divided revenues from the many oil wells in the south.

Sudan ex-rebels prepare to set up provisional capital

Monday January 10th, 2005.
NAIROBI, Jan 10 (AFP) -- Leaders of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) prepared Monday to create a provisional capital in the southern Sudanese town of Rumbek, a day after signing a landmark peace deal with Khartoum that ended Africa's longest-running civil war.

Leaders of the former rebel movement met here to discuss details of governance and the installation of their new capital in Rumbek, 900 kilometres (560 miles) south of Khartoum, spokesman Yasser Arman told AFP in Nairobi.

Deng Aloor, a senior SPLM/A official said an advance team had already been dispatched to Rumbek to prepare a welcoming ceremony for the group's leader John Garang, who is expected there in the coming days.

Some officials "have gone to Rumbek to prepare the town, which will also be our temporary capital. Others, including Garang, have remained behind for a series of meetings," Aloor said.

On Sunday, Garang and Sudan's Vice President Ali Osman Taha signed a landmark peace accord in Kenya, ending 21 devastating years of war that claimed at least 1.5 million lives and displaced another four million people.

The cornerstone of the accord is a protocol exempting southern Sudan from Sharia law and granting it six years of self-rule, after which it will vote in a referendum on whether to remain part of Sudan or secede.

Oil revenue from wells in the south, where most of Sudan's oil is located, is to be split on a 50-50 basis between the southern and national governments.

It was not immediately clear when Garang, who has a home in Nairobi, would travel to Rumbek, although he was expected to do so shortly before the SPLM/A parliament, the National Liberation Council, ratifies the peace agreement.

The council has until January 22 to approve the deal.

Under the terms of the accord, Garang will be sworn in as Sudan's vice president immediately after the Sudanese parliament ratifies the agreement. The legislature in Khartoum has until February 20 to adopt the pact.

SPLM/A will then operate from Rumbek until Khartoum withdraws from the larger southern town of Juba, which will become the capital of the south for a six-year period of autonomy followed by a referendum on secession.

A former government garrison town of several thousand inhabitants that was captured by the southern rebels in 1997, Rumbek already hosts the headquarters of several humanitarian groups and United Nations agencies.

SPLM/A officials said they were hard at work planning projects to improve the town's infrastructure, largely in ruins after two decades of war.

Much of town is in a bombed-out state, with unpaved roads and a lack of running water or electricity. The only cars in circulation are the all-terrain vehicles owned by non-governmental organizations or the SPLM/A.

Juba, by contrast, is southern Sudan's largest city and the only one with a paved road network.

Sunday's treaty was the culmination of lengthy negotiations that kicked off in earnest in Kenya in early 2002, after numerous false starts since Khartoum and SPLM/A adopted the initial peace talks agenda in 1994.

The signing ushered in a six-month pre-interim period during which both sides will prepare for the coming transitional period.

However, while peace appears to be returning to the south, fighting continues in Sudan's western Darfur province, where a separate conflict has claimed at least 70,000 lives and displaced 1.6 million people since February 2003, according to UN figures.
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