Truth or Reconciliation Mechanism: Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement
Chapter II: Power Sharing (Signed at Naivasha, Kenya on 26th May, 2004)
The Parties agree to initiate a comprehensive process of national reconciliation and healing throughout the country as part of the peace building process. Its mechanisms and forms shall be worked out by the Government of National Unity.
2.5.9. The Government of National Unity shall implement an information campaign throughout Sudan in all national languages in Sudan to popularize the Peace Agreement, and to foster national unity, reconciliation and mutual understanding.
Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement
Chapter IV: The Resolution of the Abyei Conflict (Signed at Naivasha, Kenya on 26th May, 2004)
9. Reconciliation Process
Upon signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Presidency shall, as a matter of urgency, start peace and reconciliation process for Abyei that shall work for harmony and peaceful co-existence in the Area.
The 2005 CPA provided that the national unity government would work out mechanisms and forms for national reconciliation. The CPA also suggested that the presidency would start peace and reconciliation process for Abyei.
No significant efforts were made to promote the national reconciliation process by the national unity government in 2005. Similarly, the presidency was divided and it failed to make the decisions required to implement the report submitted by the Abyei Boundary Commission.1 The division within the presidency and the National Congress Party and the SPLM on boundary report did not help the initiation of the peace and reconciliation process for Abyei.
Nevertheless, a delegation from the Sudanese Peace and Reconciliation Commission of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement went to Rwanda to learn from its reconciliation experience, focusing especially on its unity and reconciliation process, the repatriation of refugees, and the establishment of an unique armed force.2
The training workshops were organized and designed to help develop programs for the youth as part of a sports for peace initiative and organized in South Sudan were very effective medium in the reconciliation process. Other mechanisms and attempts that the national unity government made to facilitate the reconciliation process remained unclear. So far as the reconciliation and peace in Abyei is concerned, the deadlock on implementing the boundary commission’s report continued in 2006.3
- 3. "The CPA Monitor-Monthly report on the Implementation of the CPA," UNMIS, February 2009.
While president Al-Bashir called for National reconciliation in January 2007, the parties had major differences on implementation of the CPA and lacked trust of each other. In October 2007, the SPLM pulled out of the government citing a failure to begin a national reconciliation process, among other things.4
In Abyei, the deadlock over the boundary commission’s report continued. That being said, however, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) initiated several confidence-building initiatives in response to issues related to migration including a peace conference between the Dinka Ngok and the Misseriya tribal groups.5
Some attempts were made in terms of promoting the national reconciliation process. President Al-Bashir, in his opening address to the National Legislature on 13 October 2008, affirmed the government’s commitment to implement the outcomes of the dialogue and affirmed the government’s determination to boost national accord and reconciliation processes.6 In addition, the SPLM and 9 Southern Sudan Political Parties held a dialogue conference in Juba between 8 and13 November 2008. Salva Kiir, who was the 1st Vice President of the Republic, the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, and the Chairman of the SPLM, had organized the conference in order to promote dialogue among the parties. Among the resolutions and recommendation of the conference was a national reconciliation and healing process for which the all political parties were called upon by the conference to participate in peace and reconciliation processes throughout the country.7 In Abyei, the NCP and the SPLM joint political committee reached to a roadmap agreement that included four points dealing with security arrangements, the return of the displaced persons, the interim administration, and the international arbitration tribunal. The agreement was signed by Sudanese president and the ceremony was attended by the First-Vice President on 10 July 2008.8
- 6. "Sudan: Al-Bashir Affirms 'Determination to Boost National Accord' Process," BBC Monitoring Middle East, October 17, 2008.
- 7. "Resolutions of South- South Sudan Dialogue Conference," Sudan Tribune, November 19, 2008.
- 8. "Sudan: Plans for Interim Administration in Abyei Detailed," BBC Monitoring Middle East, June 10, 2008.
A group of legislators from the southern Sudan went to Rwanda in early May to learn that country’s unity and reconciliation process.9 In his speech at all Sudanese Political Parties Conference in Juba, the First Vice president highlighted the need for a genuine process of reconciliation, healing, forgiveness and confidence-building.10 The lack of a reconciliation process was one of the factors making the unity of Sudan less attractive to southern Sudan.11
On the Abyei issue, the International Tribunal made its decision and upheld the recommendation of the border commission.12 The border was not demarcated due to political differences.
- 9. "Rwanda; South Sudan MPs Here for Reconciliation Experience," Africa News, May 5, 2009.
- 10. "Salva Kiir's speech at All Sudan Political Parties Conference in Juba," Sudan Tribune, September 29, 2009.
- 11. "Sudan; Statement on Peace Process in the South," Africa News, December 1, 2009.
- 12. "Border technical demarcation team arrived in Sudan's oil-rich Abyei region," BBC Monitoring Middle East, September 11, 2009.
The border demarcation issue was not resolved in 2010 and because of this, a fear of Abyei becoming a conflict flashpoint remained very high. A delegation from the government of Southern Sudan went to Rwanda to learn from their experience with the reconciliation process and was impressed with the work of National Unity and Reconciliation Commission.13 The team also visited the Ministry of Defense to understand the role of army in the reconciliation process.14 In September, the SPML deputy chairman said that the SPLM was committed to unity, but pointed out that the parties to the CPA (SPLM and the NCP-led government) “did not work in building trust amongst themselves and neglected the national reconciliation process which could have removed psychological barriers between the north and the south.”15
With the referendum for the secession of southern Sudan, the parties failed to promote national reconciliation and peace. The issue of Abyei remained as it was. Sudan and South Sudan had agreed to pull their troops out of the disputed territory by the end of September 2011. UN peacekeepers were deployed in the area to maintain peace as the disputed territory became a flashpoint between the north and the south.