Civil Administration Reform: Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Chapter II: Power Sharing (Signed at Naivasha, Kenya on 26th May, 2004)

2.6 Civil Service:­

2.6.1 The Government of National Unity shall also ensure that the National Civil Service, notably at the senior and middle-levels, is representative of the people of Sudan. In so doing, the following principles shall be recognized:­ Imbalances and disadvantages which exist must be redressed; Merit is important and training is necessary; There must be fair competition for jobs in the National Civil Service; No level of government shall discriminate against any qualified Sudanese citizen on the basis of religion, ethnicity, region, gender, or political beliefs; The National Civil Service will fairly represent all the people of the Sudan and will utilize affirmative action and job training to achieve equitable targets for representation within an agreed time frame; Additional educational opportunities shall be created for war-affected people.

2.6.2 In, order to create a sense of national belonging and address imbalances in the National Civil Service, a National Civil Service Commission shall be established with the task of:­ Formulating policies for training and recruitment into the civil service, targeting between Twenty-Thirty Percent (20% -30%) of the positions, confirmed upon the outcome of the census referred to herein, for people of South Sudan who qualify; Ensuring that not less than Twenty Percent (20%) of the middle and upper level positions in the National Civil Service (including the positions of Under Secretaries) are filled with qualified persons from the South within the first three years and achieving Twenty ­Five Percent (25%) in five (5) years and the final target figure referred to in sub-paragraph above, within six (6) years; and Reviewing, after the first three (3) years of the beginning of the Interim Period the progress made as a result of the policies and setting new goals and targets as necessary, taking into account the census results.

Implementation History


No Implementation

The 2005 accord contained provisions related to civil service reform in Sudan. It proposed establishing a National Civil Service Commission (NCSC) to address imbalance in the National Civil Service while formulating policies aimed at training and recruiting 20% to 30% from southern Sudan, notably at the Senior and middle-levels, within six years. Along with making the civil service a representative of the people of Sudan, the accord ensures fair competition for jobs and forbids discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, region, gender or political beliefs.

Along with promoting the representation of southern Sudan in civil service, simply establishing the civil service in southern Sudan was crucial. As a matter of fact, southern Sudan lacked meaningful civil administration and the SPLM/A sought to transform itself “into peace-time political, military and civil administrations.”1 Nevertheless, no action was taken to reform civil service in Sudan; neither did the government of southern Sudan have meaningful civil administration. It was said that the civil service and associated management systems and institutions to oversee development programs needed to be established from scratch.2

  • 1. "Sudan; Statesman's Clear Vision for Future of Free Sudan," Africa News, January 9, 2005.
  • 2. "WORLD BANK: Southern Sudan Receives Assistance for Recovery," M2 Presswire, December 2, 2005.

Intermediate Implementation

It was reported that a preparatory team had formed to establish six CPA commissions including a National Civil Service Commission. Also, some progress was said made in terms of the drafting of the Civil Service Act and the National Service Act at the national level, which were pre-requisites for the establishment of the National Civil Service Commission. By the end of March 2006, the commission preparatory team had prepared a draft law, according to which the commission was said to remain an advisory body to the Ministry of Labour.3  Despite this progress, there was delay in reshaping the national civil service into a more representative and professional institution, which was said to be one of the contentious issues.4

  • 3. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, March 2006.
  • 4. "Sudan: Speech of Vice-President Kiir at Ruling Party NC, SPLM Leadership Meeting," BBC Monitoring Middle East, May 28, 2006.

Intermediate Implementation

The National Civil Service Bill was adopted by the National Assembly on 23 January 2007. By issuing a decree on 26 July 2007, the Presidency established the National Civil Service Commission (NCCS). Prof. Moses Machar was appointed as chairman of the NCCS. The NCCS had 10 members who were appointed 4 August 2007 and met for the first time on 22 August. In September, the NCSC agreed to “establish a joint committee to follow up on the implementation of the allocation of 20%-30% of the civil service posts to the Southerners as per the provisions of the CPA, Interim National Constitution and the 2007 Civil Service Commission Act.”5 No information is available on the implementation of the percentage of civil service positions allocated to the southern Sudan. Nevertheless, some progress was made especially after the establishment of the joint committee.

The situation of civil service in southern Sudan remained as it was. The government was said to be having difficulty with regards to completing accurate civil service and military headcounts and reviews.6 Also, it was suggested that a considerable number of combatants from different armed groups were absorbed in the civil service sector.7

  • 5. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, February 2009.
  • 6. "Sudan; CPA Was Doomed - None of the Signatories Had Any Conviction," Africa News, October 23, 2007.
  • 7. "Sudan: Army, SPLA to Absorb over 54,000 Men from Armed Groups in South," BBC Monitoring Middle East, June 24, 2007.

Intermediate Implementation

The NCSC, as reported by the government media, had completed the first stage in accommodating 20% of the civil service national positions allocated for the south Sudan citizens. According to the NCSC’s secretary general, the commission was coordinating with the civil service recruitment committee in Khartoum.8 The appointment process, however, started only in June. According to a news report, around 1,500 graduates from southern Sudan began to occupy the 20% of the public posts in the government ministries and departments.9 The reform of civil service, however, was behind the originally agreed upon schedule. In August, it was reported that the NCSC chairman revealed that 700 among those interviewed in June were recruited to join public service. This represents 10% of the agreed to 20% to 30% of vacancies in public service. The remaining 10% of the allocated quota was said to be completed after population census (Source: Some 700 Southern Sudan Graduates "Recruited" into Public Service, BBC Monitoring Middle East, 10 August 2008). In September, it was reported that the Ministry of Labour had finished technical arrangements to absorb 20% southerners in public services.10

  • 8. "Sudan Completes Arrangements for Civil Service Recruitment of Southerners," BBC Monitoring Middle East, January 5, 2008.
  • 9. "Sudan Government Reportedly Employing more Southerners to Address Imbalance," BBC Monitoring Middle East, June 14, 2008.
  • 10. "Sudan: Labour Ministry to Absorb Southerners into Public Service," BBC Monitoring Middle East, September 6, 2008.

Full Implementation

It was reported that the members of other armed groups who joined the peace process were absorbed into civil service.11 Also, the energy ministry reported that it handed over a list of the vacant posts to the NCSC to be filled by citizens from southern Sudan.12 By the end of 2009, it was reported that the Presidency approved 1,150 southern Sudanese candidates for appointment in the National Civil Service. Also, the Southern Kordofan State formed a special committee to facilitate the integration of 1,708 SPLM civil servants into the political and administrative structure of the state in November of 2009.13 Given that the appointment of 700 southerners in 2008 was said to meet the 10% civil service positions, it can be said that the civil service reform provisions of the accord were implemented. 

  • 11. "Ex-eastern Sudan Rebel Chief Says Peace Accord Represents Move to End Suffering," BBC Monitoring Middle East, October 20, 2009.
  • 12. "Sudan Adopts Transparency Principal on Oil Production – Official," BBC Monitoring Middle East, August 17, 2009.
  • 13. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, January 2010.

Full Implementation

No detailed information is available with regards to civil service reform in 2010. Given that the appointment of 700 southerners in 2008 was said to meet the 10% civil service positions, the appointed 1,150 southerners in National Civil Service and 1,708 SPLM civil servants into the political and administrative structure of the Southern Kordofan State meet the CPA provisions for civil service reform. 


Full Implementation

The provisions related to civil service reform were implemented. Nevertheless, with the referendum that led to the successful secession, it is not clear whether the southerners holding civil service positions at the national level were dismissed or not. This provision became obsolete.