Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–April 3, 2014. As the African Union convenes talks with the Sudanese government and rebel leaders, a new Enough Project report advocates a more comprehensive and inclusive humanitarian ceasefire and an overall peace process that addresses urgent needs across Sudan’s periphery in a coordinated way. The report, “Sudan’s Tortured Peace Process,” urges African Union and American diplomats to recognize the interconnected nature of Sudan’s conflicts and pursue approaches that recognize the interests of all parties. It argues that a comprehensive approach, addressing marginalization across Sudan, can bring transformative political change that Sudanese people demand.
Sudan’s peace processes are currently segmented, with separate, ineffective frameworks for Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile). The separate structures fail to reflect the interconnected nature of the rebel coalition and the active conflicts–where a break in hostilities in one area can worsen the fighting elsewhere. As talks on the Two Areas resume in Addis Ababa, rebel leaders seek discussion of broader issues while Sudanese government officials and African Union mediators resist holistic talks. Many groups, including Sudanese civil society organizations, independent international analysts, African Union and European Union leaders, and U.S. officials have endorsed a comprehensive approach. The international community has failed, however, to commit the necessary diplomatic resources to build a broad international coalition to support such a peace process.
As violence escalates and urgent humanitarian needs increase, the divided approach to integrated problems undermines efforts to address urgent humanitarian needs.
Omer Ismail, Enough Project Sudan Advisor, says:
“The international community has done little to reject this stove-piping of Sudan’s conflicts. As conflicts in Sudan’s periphery worsen, the negotiating parties must stop pursuing this dead-end approach to the peace process that plays directly into Khartoum’s divide and conquer strategy.”
To effectively advance a holistic peace agenda in Sudan, the report recommends that African Union and U.S. leaders take four critical steps:
1. African Union mediators should unify national dialogues and separate peace processes to comprehensively address conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and eastern Sudan.
2. The U.S. should build an international coalition to push for a comprehensive peace process and boost its diplomatic efforts by deploying an additional U.S. envoy.
3. American lawmakers should pass a measure to allow capacity-building support for Sudan’s opposition and civil society; and
4. The U.S. should use targeted sanctions and other sources of financial leverage to pressure combatants to pursue a comprehensive peace initiative.
Akshaya Kumar, Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Analyst, says:
“A divided peace process mounts especially high stakes for civilians living in Sudan’s conflict-affected areas. This year’s rainy season is beginning early, putting millions at risk of food insecurity. An estimated four million in Sudan now face “emergency level” insecurity.”
Read the full report, “Sudan’s Tortured Peace Process”: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/SudansTorturedPeaceProcess.pdf