Inter-ethnic/State Relations: Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement

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

Part I

1.5 Principles of Administration and Inter-Governmental Linkages:

1.5.1 In the administration of the Government of National Unity, the following provisions shall be respected: There shall be a decentralized system of government with significant devolution of powers, having regard to the National, Southern Sudan, State, and Local levels of government; The Interim National Constitution, being the legal and constitutional framework text adopted as contemplated in paragraph 2.12.6 herein, shall be the Supreme Law of the land and the Southern Sudan Constitution, state constitutions, and the laws of all levels of government must comply with it; The linkage between the National Government and the states in the Southern Sudan shall be through the Government of Southern Sudan, subject to paragraph below, and as provided for in the Interim National Constitution and the Southern Sudan Constitution; In their relationships with each other or with other government organs, all levels of government and particularly National, Southern Sudan, and State Governments shall:

(a) Respect each others' autonomy;

(b) Collaborate rather than compete, in the task of governing and assist each other in fulfilling each others' constitutional obligations;

(c) Perform their functions and exercise their powers so as:

(i) Not to encroach on another level's powers or functions;

(ii) Not to assume another level's powers or functions conferred upon it by the Constitution;

(iii) To promote co-operation between them;

(iv) To promote open communication between government and levels of government;

(v) To strive to render assistance and support to other levels of government;

(vi) To advance the good co-ordination of governmental functions;

(vii) To adhere to procedures of inter­governmental interaction as agreed upon;

(viii) To promote amicable settlement of disputes before attempting litigation;

(ix) To respect the status and institutions of other levels of government.

(d) Allow the harmonious and collaborative interaction of the different levels of government within the context of national unity and for the achievement of a better quality of life for all.

Implementation History


Intermediate Implementation

The accord does not specifically provide for inter-ethnic state relations, but the SPLM/A conflict in Sudan had religious and ethnic components to it and was envisaged to be managed through devolution of powers at the national, state and local levels of government, including in southern Sudan. In this regard, as per the 2005 CPA provision, the 2005 national interim constitution recognized autonomy status of the government of southern Sudan. The CPA and the interim constitution clearly outline autonomy status of governments at different levels and their obligation. According to the inter-governmental provisions of the CPA, the president of Sudan appointed governors of 15 northern states in 2005. Similarly, the first-vice president and president of southern Sudan appointed governors of 10 southern states in 2005. This could be taken as initiation of implementation of the inter-governmental relations provisions in the CPA. Nevertheless, the state level constitution was not finalized in 2005.


Intermediate Implementation

By 19 December 2006, all fifteen Northern states had adopted state constitution. The southern state had yet to adopt a constitution.1 An attempt to make the state constitution compatible with the Interim National Constitution resulted in a delay as the states would not overstep its constitutional boundaries. Therefore, inter-state relations provision of the accord was not implemented in 2006.

  • 1. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, February 2009.

Full Implementation

After much wrangling over the compatibility of the constitution of southern states, all 10 southern states received compatibility certificates and adopted the state constitution by July 2007. No issues emerged on intergovernmental relations.


Full Implementation

All states adopted their constitutions. No issues emerged on intergovernmental relations.


Full Implementation

All states adopted their constitutions. No issues emerged on intergovernmental relations.


Full Implementation

In April 2010, there were elections at the state level in which the SPLM candidate won gubernatorial position in nine out of ten states in the South. In Central Equatoria State of Southern Sudan, an independent candidate won the elections. NCP candidates won the elections for the office of Governor in thirteen Northern States. In Blue Nile State, the SPLM won the election. Gubernatorial elections in Southern Kordofan were postponed as agreed upon by the CPA parties. 


Full Implementation

Election in Southern Kordofan took place in May 2011. The result was disputed, which led to clashes between the Sudan Armed forces and SPLM/A.2Despite disputes related to elections results, no issues emerged regarding intergovernmental relations. Obligations and autonomy of governments at different levels were finalized in constitutions at the state level in 2006 and at southern Sudan and national levels in 2005.

  • 2. "Sudan's ruling party candidate wins South Kordofan State governor elections," Xinhua General News Service, May 15, 2011.