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U.S. Policy on Sudan Outlined for Lawmakers

9/30/2005 8:01pm

29 September 2005

U.S. Policy on Sudan Outlined for Lawmakers
Deputy secretary of state testifies before Senate committee September 28

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick explained U.S. policy toward Sudan in testimony September 28 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington. (See related article.)

In his remarks, Zoellick referred to an outline that lists U.S. Sudan policy goals and then provides background and context.

A "unified, peaceful Sudan that contributes to regional development and cooperates on counter-terrorism" is the first U.S. goal in the country, according to the outline.

Following is the text of the outline, released in Washington September 29:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Policy Toward Sudan

Robert B. Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State
Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
September 28, 2005

Goals of U.S. Policy

-- Unified, peaceful Sudan that contributes to regional development and cooperates on counter-terrorism.

-- Fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Accords (CPA) between North and South

-- Economic development of all areas of Sudan.

-- Ending the recurring cycle of famine and suffering, cross-border violence, and refugee flows.

-- Re-establish Sudan as a constructive participant in African and international affairs.

-- Strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation.

-- A Government of National Unity that advances Sudan's development, is responsive to the needs of all Sudan's peoples, and is accountable to the Sudanese people through free elections.

-- Participatory and inclusive democratic government in a federal system that respects human rights and shares resources for the benefit of all Sudanese.

-- Successful, free, fair, and democratic elections at the local, regional, and national levels within four years.

-- Build the capacity of the Government of Southern Sudan, improve conditions in southern Sudan and other marginalized areas.

-- An end to violence in Darfur, reconciliation among tribal and other groups, the voluntary return of people to their homes, and accountability for the perpetrators.

-- In the meantime, humanitarian care and security for IDPs and other civilians in Darfur and Chad, and security of operations for NGOs and international donors.

-- Strengthened African Union capacity to provide basic security, ensure humanitarian access, and mediate political conflicts, drawing on success in Darfur and all of Sudan.

-- Demonstration of strong U.S. support for Africa's peaceful development and democracy.

Background and Context

-- Sudan has been marked by ethno-religious exclusivism since Khartoum traders and mercenaries carved out a state through conquest in the Nile Valley in the 19th Century.

-- Historically dominated by a small clique of traders, soldiers, and administrators.

-- Drawn from tribes along the Nile north of Khartoum.

-- Arab cultural and religious orientation; links to Cairo, Damascus, Saudi Arabia.

-- Khartoum has been an Arab metropolis surrounded by impoverished sub-Saharan expanses.

-- In the South, a traditional African tribal structure (animist and Christian communities).

-- In the West, in Darfur, a mixing of African-Arab Muslim tribes which have come over centuries in waves: West Africans on long migrations (and trade routes); ancient Saharan peoples; and Arab tribes from the North.

-- Mixture of nomads and farmers, complex networks connected to desert-edged villages, very dependent on rain-fed (boom and bust) agriculture and grasses.

-- In the North, a mixture of Arab tribes (comprised of Nubians -- a significant minority group) predominate in the urban areas.

-- In the East, generally egalitarian, pastoral Beja with ancestral ties to Egypt and Nubians.

-- In the past (until 1989), a weak center in Khartoum co-opted regional constituencies to create a power base.

-- Independent Fur Sultanate (of 17th century) of Darfur overthrown by the British in 1916.

-- Imperial "native administration" awarded homelands with paramount chiefs, displacing older, more fluid social order. (Some nomadic groups didn't get lands, lighting a long fuse for the future.)

-- Rule depended on effectiveness of local leadership and government.

-- Tribal conferences as a means to settle disputes.

-- Sudan achieved independence from Great Britain in 1956.

-- Largest country on the continent.

-- Borders nine other countries.

-- Estimated 40 million people in 2005.

-- Roots of conflict

-- Strong resentment from the periphery of Muslim Arab domination at the center - southern groups commence struggle coincident with independence in 1956.

-- Peace agreement in 1972 failed because it was not fully implemented; GOS imposed Shari'a Law in 1983; southern civil war resumes under the leadership of Dr. John Garang, a southerner who had been integrated into the GOS military during the 1972 peace implementation.

-- First use of government-mobilized militias in the South as a counterinsurgency strategy in mid-1980s, drawing on cattle-herding Arabs of Darfur (reliance on brutality, starvation, and robbery).

-- An estimated two and one-half million die in conflict that stretches across 21 years. Millions more displaced internally and externally.

-- Darfur in conflict in the mid-1980s -- Drought and famine of 1984-85 -- breakdown and migration.

-- In 1987, Libya used the region as a "backdoor" into Chad.

-- "Islamic Legion" and a new racial ideology ("Arabism").

-- In 1989, General Umar Hassan Ahmad al Bashir overthrew the government to abort a peace initiative and established the Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation to rule Sudan. The National Islamic Front, led by Dr. Hassan al Turabi, took over as the leading party.

-- Hyperinflation of 1978-95 wipes out Sudan's traditional middle-class.

-- Turabi prosecutes a vicious war in the south; reaches out with Islamic embrace in Darfur, but without real effect on development.

-- In 1992, declaration of Jihad in Kordofan against SPLA-led Nuba Mountains rebellion; failed effort to create Islamic state through force.

-- In 1998, army, militias, and starvation used in oilfield zones of Upper Nile province in southern Sudan; battle over money and power, as well as Islam.

-- During 1990s, Turabi hosts Osama bin Laden.

-- U.S. attack on a suspect WMD production facility possibly linked to al-Qaida in Khartoum, August 1998.

-- In 1999, split within Islamic movement in Khartoum: President Bashir arrests Turabi.

-- The U.S. launches a peace initiative for Sudan in early 2001. Senator Danforth appointed September 5, 2001.

-- After September 11, 2001, the GOS accelerates reorientation toward the U.S.

-- Bashir fearful of Sudan's association with terrorists.

-- GOS cannot defeat Garang and the SPLM militarily.

-- Politics driven by exhaustion -- worn down by decades of war, failure of ambitious ideological projects -- and substantial U.S. and international pressure led to North-South Accord (Comprehensive Peace Agreement-CPA) signed in January 2005.

-- New pattern of power-sharing among geographically defined constituencies.

-- Prospects for development (in part through energy) with greater international acceptance.

-- Outside Khartoum, the impulse for equality and emancipation pulls in opposite directions: Should the peripheries win strongest possible representation at the center to obtain fair share of power and resources, or should they break away?

-- Khartoum's old habits - and fears of separation -- are also in tension with the negotiated power-sharing. -- In 2002, some Darfurians complained of Arab militia harassment; the problem festered and the rebels attacked a police station in 2003.

-- Even as Khartoum negotiated with the SPLM in the south (starting 2002), it unleashed the army and a brutal militia counterinsurgency in Darfur in 2003.

-- Some in Khartoum believe CPA negotiation gives away too much.

-- Large loss of life, widespread rape and destruction of villages, over two million forced from their homelands. Violence carried out by government forces, Arab militias (Jinjaweed), SLA, and JEM. Large-scale interference with humanitarian programs by GOS.

-- Some Darfur rebels (SLA) have ties with SPLM.

-- U.S. finds genocide has occurred in Darfur (September 9, 2004); UN rules "crimes against humanity" (January 2005).

-- Dangers elsewhere in Sudan: Eastern provinces as well as Kordofan.

-- Need to try to prevent flare-ups of violence.

-- Strong African interest to: avoid destabilization of nine neighbors; prevent possible breakups of states; demonstrate the African Union's ability to deal with African problems.

The Naivasha (North-South) Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)

-- U.S. initiative led to active IGAD peace process.

-- Begun in 2002, signed January 9, 2005.

-- U.S. mediation vital, led by Senator Danforth.

-- A fair political arrangement founded on power and wealth sharing, leading to national elections within 4 years.

-- Very detailed implementation requirements.

-- Pre-Interim period ended as scheduled on July 9.

-- Ratified Interim National Constitution, initiating a new Government of National Unity for 6-Year Interim Period.

-- Established new Institution of Presidency (Garang sworn in as First VP).

-- Instituted a bicameral national legislature (established September 1, 2005).

-- Shared ministerial positions (announced September 20, 2005).

-- Established legal basis for Government of Southern Sudan.

-- Commits parties to develop process for competitive elections, oil-revenue sharing, joint-integrated military units, and respect for human rights.

-- South can "opt-out" through referendum at end of 6-Year Interim Period.

Death of Dr. John Garang

-- On July 30, Dr. Garang was killed in a helicopter crash. The U.S. dispatched an NTSB team to participate in the international investigation of the crash's causes, deemed an accident by Mrs. Garang and the SPLM (final report expected January 2006).

-- Communal violence erupts in Khartoum, Juba, and other cities.

-- To address sources of fragility, we accelerated work in Juba (water and sanitation, electricity, food assistance), in the three transition areas (Abyei, Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile), and with the new Government of South Sudan.

-- Salva Kiir, Garang's deputy, is announced as the new head of the SPLM and First Vice President of Sudan in an orderly succession process, signaling reliance on CPA.

-- Dr. Garang is buried in Juba, the "capital" of the South on August 6 with President Bashir and Salva Kiir participating in the service. Security was provided by joint SPLA and GOS military forces.

-- Sensitive moment for both new SPLM leadership and North-South working relations.

-- Dr. Garang was the strongest Southern voice for a unified Sudan under the CPA.

The CPA and Darfur: Reinforcing Upward, Arresting Downward Spirals

-- The CPA creates a political and constitutional framework for sharing authority and wealth within which to end the conflicts in Darfur and other regions.

-- SPLM involvement in the new Government of National Unity should also help resolve Darfur.

-- Backing by the U.S. and countries around the world creates a positive incentive to come to terms.

-- So the "upward spiral" is CPA implementation, a new Sudanese government and approach, an expanded AU mission on the ground, and reconciliation in Darfur (and other areas) within this political framework.

-- But ongoing tragedy in Darfur will preclude U.S. and other support for the new government and CPA implementation: the "downward spiral."

Darfur's Needs

-- Supply food and basic necessities to camps for people forced off lands (some 2 million) and communities affected by the conflict; improve security inside and outside camps; foster political reconciliation among the government, rebel groups, and various tribes; and redress long-term economic and social issues driving conflict.

-- Good rains, improved security, and the distribution of seeds has led to a projected 60% increase over 2004 in the amount of crops planted in West Darfur, the most stable of the three states of Darfur. Increases have been seen in all three states.

-- However, insecurity and limited access will still interfere with the 2005 harvest. Continued food assistance will be needed in 2006.

-- Drought exacerbating human needs, increasing displaced populations.

-- Food flowing: AID has done a great job along with NGOs.

-- 68% of food delivered to Darfur in 2005 is supplied by the U.S.

-- GOS harassment of NGOs has decreased while rebel harassment and banditry has increased.

-- The AU is expanding security forces to 7,700 (currently 6,003 deployed).

-- NATO/EU are providing transport, logistical, planning support.

-- Deployment targeted for completion in October 2005.

-- Expand AU police operations to about 70 camps. Need to stress safety of women.

-- Sudanese government supports AU/NATO role.

-- U.S.: Airlifted Rwandans; visited Rwanda to discuss and thank; $50 million deployed promptly to build quarters; assisted with AU planning and logistics.

-- Secretary Rice made ending violence against women a major priority. Sudanese government has made commitments; U.S. has linked progress to Trafficking in Persons status. U.S. will support by opening women's crisis centers in Darfur and monitoring progress closely.

-- Large-scale organized violence has substantially subsided, but situation remains fragile and dangerous.

-- GOS military pulled back, but Jinjaweed and other militias have not been disbanded and continue to contribute to the violence.

-- Rebels (SLA/JEM) active, attacking humanitarian convoys and fighting over livestock.

-- JEM connects with Turabi, the former Prime Minister.

-- Recent increase in violence; possibly positioning for negotiations.

-- AU peace talks between GOS and rebels have made modest progress, resumed September 15 with training workshops; substantive talks began September 26 -- Declaration of Principles signed July 5, 2005.

-- Important for the AU to continue to lead.

-- SLM infighting has impeded talks.

-- U.S. supporting through work with UN representative, partner countries for AU, SPLM, senior U.S. officials on the scene.

-- UN resolutions on economic sanctions and accountability signal no impunity for crimes against humanity or genocide, by any party.

-- ICC has begun its investigations.

-- Goal is to create secure environment and political, tribal reconciliation so people can voluntarily return home safely beginning during the first half of 2006.

-- Disarm militias.

-- Still face huge challenge of restarting life, redressing issues of land, grazing rights, and water.

-- Tribal tensions due to land, drought, new settlements will remain -- conflict among tribes over local resources.

CPA Follow-Through

-- Oslo Donors Conference: $4.5 billion pledges (for CPA implementation and humanitarian needs throughout Sudan); need delivery.

-- U.S. (for all of Sudan): $630 million in FY 2004: $1.135 billion in FY 2005, plus additional $132 million CIPA [Contributions to International Peacekeeping Account]; seeking $540 million in FY 2006, plus additional $250 million CIPA.

-- Norway leading on follow-up for donors. From FY 2003-2005, U.S. has committed more than $1.9 billion to Sudan.

-- UNSC Resolution 1590 on March 24 authorized 10,715 observer force for southern Sudan. (2622 deployed as of 21 September 2005)- UNSC Resolution 1627 (September 23) extended the UNMIS mandate through March 24, 2006.

-- Deployment started in May 2005; aim for completion by December 2005.

-- U.S. maintaining Civilian Protection Monitoring Team through October; excellent monitoring work.

-- Food shortages for returnees and displaced persons

-- U.S. has provided over 61% of food delivered to non-Darfur Sudan in 2005.

-- Acute food shortages are occurring in remote areas of Sudan, including parts of Bahr Al Ghazal, Nuba Mountains, and Upper Nile.

-- Prospects are better for the 2005 harvest, but estimates suggest it will still be far less than normal. The pace of population returns to Southern Sudan is expected to accelerate following the rainy season and the consolidation of the Government of Southern Sudan, which will increase humanitarian needs.

-- Peace in Darfur will increase humanitarian requirements to support returns.

-- Press Sudanese Government to work with SPLM and Uganda on Lord's Resistance Army (in far south).

-- Working with Government of Southern Sudan to set up basic institutional capabilities:

-- Sent Interagency Assessment Team.

-- Total of $19.68 million in FY05 for programs to assist the formation of the GOSS.

-- Need to show progress and transparency in the south.

-- Continuing to push the Sudanese government on CPA implementation in an inclusive fashion (to include other groups).

-- Formation of the Government of National Unity and other CPA steps delayed due to death of Dr. Garang.

-- Need to work with GONU through the challenging transition.

-- U.S. team arrived promptly to signal U.S. support for CPA and consult with the parties on the way forward in the wake of Dr. Garang's death.

-- SPLM and Salva Kiir have affirmed support for the CPA.

-- CPA implementation moving forward. New National Assembly with SPLM representation has met. President Bashir made positive statement.

-- GONU was formally constituted with appointment of new ministers on September 20.

-- Need to support formation of Government of Southern Sudan.

-- Support safe and voluntary return of displaced Sudanese.

-- Encourage GONU to improve international acceptability.

-- Especially Darfur, handling of IDPs and refugees.

-- Encourage new policies at national, local, and provincial governance; promoting security and community-level conflict resolution; economic development; and health and education.

-- GONU needs to cease forced relocations of IDPs from sites near Khartoum.

Issues Regarding CPA Implementation

-- Delays related to Dr. Garang's death.

-- Steady reduction of Sudanese military forces in Juba is a prerequisite for Juba serving as the new capital for the Government of Southern Sudan.

-- Key mechanisms of CPA need to be put in place, e.g. Assessment and Evaluation Commission, National Petroleum Commission.

-- Need active SPLM engagement in GONU.

-- Need powers in Khartoum to work seriously with SPLM as GONU partners.

-- Stop violent displacement of IDPs in Khartoum by State authorities.

-- GONU partners need to act jointly to eliminate LRA presence in Sudan.

-- The report of the Abyei Boundaries Commission needs to be implemented in a manner that fully complies with the provisions of the CPA.

In Summary

-- Need to work with Sudan on multiple transitions:

-- War to peace.

-- Centralization to genuine federalism -- devolution of power.

-- Emergency to development.

-- Military rule to democracy.

-- Upward or Downward Spirals.

-- Working closely with AU.

-- Multilateral diplomacy with particular African partners; the UN; Arab states; UK, Canada, Norway, Netherlands; NATO; EU; others.

-- Three visits to Khartoum, different parts of Darfur, Rumbek in southern Sudan.

-- Secretary Rice visited Khartoum and Darfur in mid-July.

-- Appointed Special Representative Roger Winter to augment my personal involvement, working closely with Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer.

-- Will need Congressional support and resources.

-- Not a smooth, nor clear-cut path.

-- Must concentrate on both achieving accords and implementing them -- lots of detailed work.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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