South Sudan Democratic Forum
Sept., 20, 2005
The South Sudan Democratic Forum-Canada appeals to IGAD and its partners such as US, UK and Norway to establish a permanent Commission to resolve disputes between the National Congress(NC) and the South Sudan Government at any time they arise for the smooth implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The ongoing dispute on power-sharing is the beginning of the problems. Even if the issue of the Ministry of Mining and Energy is resolved, still there are many problems a head that will impede the implementation of the agreement.
Another dispute that will arise in the future is the interpretation of each article of all the protocols of the CPA. The definition of the border between the South and the North has not yet been discussed. Although the Machakos Protocol clearly states that the border between the South and the North is 1956 line, the National Congress argues that the oil fields located in Northern Bentiu (currently known as Unity State) are part of Southern Kordofan State. The interpretational dispute arises before the death of Garang. The issue died down because of events that followed the death of Garang. It will arise again as soon as NC and SPLM begin discussing wealth-sharing.
The only way for the international community to guarantee implementation of the CPA is to set up a permanent commission that should interpret the CPA when the NC and GOSS fail to reach an agreement. Without such body, the CPA will not live longer than expected.
Issues such as the relocation of Northern armies in the South, practical calculation of wealth-sharing and the funding of Joint Integrated Unit will create disputes between NC and GOSS.
If IGAD and its partners want development to take place in the South, they need to know that the CPA was not signed by NC willingly, but it was a pressure from the international community coupled with civil war in Darfur. The interpretation of each protocol will create more disputes between the signatories of the CPA. The leadership of NC has a culture of killing agreements in the detail. Khartoum and Fashoda Peace Agreements were rendered meaningless because the former National Islamic Front (NIF), which is currently known as NC, signed them under military pressure. When the NIF realized that the pressure waned, it commenced ignoring their implementation. The same thing would happen to the CPA if IGAD and its partners failed to learn from biography of NC.
The Democratic Forum is in the position that the best way to implement the CPA to end problems of the Sudan is to set up a commission mandated to interpret the CPA in time of disputes.
Gordon Buay Reath,
Chairman of South Sudan Democratic Forum-Canada