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The Current Situation in South Kordofan

The Current Situation in South Kordofan

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Paper presented by Hafiz Mohamed –Director Justice Africa Sudan
Paper presented by Hafiz Mohamed –Director Justice Africa Sudan

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Published by: Sudan North-South Border Initiative on Jul 13, 2011
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 The current situation in South Kordofan
Paper presented by Hafiz Mohamed –Director Justice Africa Sudan
hafiz@justiceafricasudan.org
Introduction
South Kordofan is one of the most conflict-ridden areas of Sudan. The 20years of civil war in the region led to a huge migration of people from ruralareas to cities in North Sudan, particularly to Khartoum. The region hasalso been stricken by extreme poverty and recurrent famine. In 2005 apeace agreement was signed between the government of Sudan (GOS)and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to end the war, andSouth Kordofan was included in this agreement through an additionalprotocol (The Three Areas Protocol). The Three Areas Protocol allowed theNational Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s LiberationMovement (SPLM) to share in local governance of South Kordofan. It alsogave the region 2% of the country’s oil income. This agreement called foran election in the fourth year of the CPA; however, due to disagreementsconcerning the 2008 census results and constituencies’ demarcation, theelection was postponed.South Kordofan hosts 1300 kilometres of the 2010 kilometres of theNorth-South border, bordering four South Sudan states.Although South Kordofan contains many natural resources. Throughoutthe modern history of Sudan, it has made huge contributions to thenational economy through its primary economic activity, agriculture,particularly producing seeds for oil and Arabic gum. Indeed, SouthKordofan contains more than 6 million hectares of fertile land useful forrain-intensive agriculture. Mechanized farming has been seen in theregion; however, it has not been developed due to the civil war and theensuing insecurity which persisted even after the signing of theComprehensive Peace Agreement. South Kordofan also plays a significantrole in the cattle-raising sector of the economy. Indeed, at least one thirdof the animals raised for export are found in South Kordofan. In addition toagricultural activities, South Kordofan is likely to take on greaterimportance following the separation of South Sudan. After July, 2011,South Kordofan will represent the only source of oil revenue for NorthSudan, as all remaining oil fields in the North are located there.
 
As the interim period comes to an end, the region still suffers from thesame problems it suffered from before, and people in the region have notseen any benefits from the CPA and the Three Areas Protocol apart from afew roads and government buildings built using the 2% share of oilawarded to South Kordofan in the Wealth Sharing Protocol. The rivalrybetween the NCP and SPLM has led to insecurity in the region and to agreater proliferation of arms. The area used to be controlled by the SPLMbefore the agreement, and it is still not truly under the control of theregional government. Regional elections were postponed due todisagreements over the 2008 census results. This disagreement requiredthat the census be repeated in 2010, with the regional elections finallytaking place in May, 2011, with a supplementary election for the regionalassembly and the state’s governor.
NCP-SPLM Relations
For the last two years, relations between the leadership of SPLM and theNCP were considered to be excellent due to the pragmatic approach of Abdele Asis Adam, Hilow, and Ahmed Haron. They decided to worktogether for the benefit of the region and its people rather than bring thedifferences between Khartoum and Juba to Kadugli, the regional capital. This approach managed to restored law and order as well as address verydifficult security challenges. Relations began to deteriorate during theelection campaign and totally collapsed after the Arab militia attack onthe area of AlFayed Umabdella Rashad locality in April 2011.
The Regional Election
 The May 2011 election in South Kordofan was one of the more contestedelections in terms of campaigning and preparation. The slogans used bythe two main parties made it clear that the losing party would not acceptthe results and that the dispute could lead to violence. The weakness of the National Election Commission and the Election Commission in SouthKordofan aggravated the situation, ultimately serving to encourage theSPLM to reject the election results and accuse the NCP of rigging theelection.
Disarming SPLA in North Sudan
 The decision by the government in Khartoum to disarm all SPLA elementsin the North by the 31
st
May 2011 was not based on the CPA securityarrangement protocol. The CPA security arrangement protocol statedclearly that the Joint Military Units must be dissolved 90 days after theend of the interim period, meaning October 2011, not April 2011 as statedby the SAF chief of Staff’s letter to the SPLA chief of Staff. Additionally,
 
nothing has been done to address the needs of the Nuba within SPLA. They are from North Sudan and no arrangements have been made todisarm them or reintegrate them into civilian life. This is particularlyimportant, as it is difficult to disarm SPLA soldiers in South Kordofan andBlue Nile without addressing the remaining political issues in those areas.Many soldiers believe that the popular consultations in the region weredelayed because the NCP wants to stall the process in order to keep thetwo states under its control. This dynamic was clear in Blue Nile, wherethe whole process has stalled out.
The Scale of the Crisis
It is clear from the reaction of SPLA in South Kordofan that they are wellprepared for war. Almost all their troops are stationed in Jao (on the 1 January 1956 North/South border). The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) isbuilding up their army and military hardware before the May 2011election. Currently, the size of their forces in the region exceeds the size itwas in 2002, with two and a half divisions deployed in the area. Accordingto the security arrangements in place, their armament levels aresupposed to be at 1985 levels, or pre-war levels, meaning roughly onebattalion. In addition to the armed forces, the government has armed notonly the Popular Defence Forces (PDF) but also some Arab tribes. Thestate is now divided along ethnic lines, which has shown itself particularlyin the politics of the state. The election results illustrated that the SPLMreceived most of its support from the Nuba and other African tribes andwhile the NCP received support predominantly from Arab tribes. 
Addis Ababa Framework Agreement
Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, signed on the 28
th
June 2011 by GOSand SLMA-N, is a step forward and needs to be implemented immediately,especially secession of hostilities and allowing humanitarian NGOs accessto thousands of IDPs currently in need of assistance. At the time, theframework requires the use of intensive negotiations in order to resolveoutstanding issues and ensure that the region does not return to war.It is clear that the framework agreement has been rejected by somesegments of the National Congress Party (NCP) and this has delayed anyagreement to end hostilities. These delays will ultimately increase thesuffering of thousands of IDPs. I think one of the main reasons for thedelay because the NCP want to change the situation on the ground asthey are deploying huge numbers of forces to the region, as that might

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