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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/83

(2003/C 137 E/093) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2409/02


by Bob van den Bos (ELDR) to the Council

(7 August 2002)

Subject: Sudan

On 20 July 2002, an agreement of principle designed to lead to a cessation of hostilities was concluded in
Kenya between the Sudan Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). This will put an
end to the civil war which has been raging for 19 years and which has cost the lives of some two million
people.

What is the Council’s assessment of the agreement of principle?

What implications does the agreement have for relations between the European Union and Sudan?

Will the arrangements for EU assistance to Sudan be strengthened thereby? If so, how?

Reply

(6 February 2003)

The European Union welcomed the agreement reached between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the
SPLM/A in Machakos (Kenya) on 20 July 2002 on the most contentious issues, namely the right of self-
determination for the people of South Sudan as well as the question of state and religion. The EU urged
both parties to the conflict in Sudan to adhere to the agreement and to continue negotiations with a view
to accomplishing a comprehensive peace agreement. It acknowledged the crucial role external partners
played in making the result come through and confirmed its strong support in particular for the IGAD
process and Kenya’s facilitative role therein (Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU published
on 23 July).

Despite the resumption of peace negotiations on 12 August a number of military actions continued in the
southern part of Sudan and when SPLM/A forces seized the strategic town of Torit on 1 September
government negotiators suspended talks on 2 September and were called back to Khartoum. In reaction to
this event, the Presidency, on behalf of the EU, issued a further declaration on 5 September expressing
deep concern over the suspension of the Machakos peace negotiations. The EU, in full support of
international efforts to bring both parties back to the negotiation table, underlined the consequences of a
complete breakdown in the peace process and the costs in terms of further human loss, economic
standstill and stunted development.

The Machakos peace talks between the GoS and the SPLM resumed on 14 November 2002. However,
despite the fact that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the cessation of hostilities on
15 October 2002, hostilities have broken out again in East Sudan, although that has not prevented the
negotiations from continuing.

In a declaration on 6 November 2002 on unimpeded access for humanitarian aid in Sudan, on behalf of
the European Union the Presidency welcomed the signing of that memorandum, which commits both
parties to providing unimpeded access for humanitarian aid to all areas and to all people in need. It has
continued to give its unreserved support to the IGAD peace process and applauded the critical role played
by Kenya in that process.

The Union considers that the humanitarian situation in Sudan remains dire, especially in areas that have
long been denied humanitarian aid. As the donor community stands ready to support the United Nations
and its partners in ensuring the provision of unhindered access for humanitarian aid throughout Sudan,
including carrying out needs and security assessments, it has underscored the importance of ensuring the
safety and security of all humanitarian workers as humanitarian programmes are expanded throughout
Sudan.