While Sudan has recently reached a Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) between the northern and southern regions, tensions still smolder. As commonoly said, "The devil is in the details," in implementation of the accord. To identify lessons learned from the negotiation of the agreement from 2002 to 2005 and its implementation since then, USIP conducted a project, the conclusions of which are discussed in this special report.

Summary

  • Regional mediators and international facilitators helped the two main opposing forces in Sudan’s fifty-year civil war, the National Congress Party (NCP) of the North and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) of the South, to reach a detailed Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) after two-and-a-half years of negotiation, from 2002 to 2005.
  • The United States served as the catalyst for the peace process and then became part of a group of facilitators including the United Kingdom, Norway, and Italy. At different points during negotiations, each of these countries exerted influence on the Sudanese parties.
  • Kenya took the lead in mediating the negotiations under General Lazaro Sumbeiywo. Sudan Vice President Ali Osman Taha, representing the North, and Dr. John Garang, representing the South, spent fifteen months negotiating the final agreement in Naivasha, Kenya. Implementation of the CPA requires continuing good security with minimal fighting, agreement on the boundaries of North and South that affect the distribution of Sudan’s oil wealth, completion of midterm elections, and a referendum in the South.
  • Slow implementation of key provisions of the CPA is causing Sudanese to question the political will and even the good faith of the northern government. Failure to provide an immediate peace dividend, lack of competence in managing southern expectations, and corruption have led to public criticism of the southern authorities.
  • Hope is waning that the CPA will pave the way to a modern, united Sudan with a government responsive to all its peoples. The SPLM/A leadership is focusing on developing the South rather than creating a national political movement.
  • The crisis in Darfur has diverted the international community’s attention. Implementing the CPA will require sustained international pressure and imagination to help resolve numerous political, economic, and social problems.

About the Report

The United States Institute of Peace conducted a project to identify lessons learned from the negotiation of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) from 2002 to 2005 and its implementation since then.

Ninety open-ended interviews with government officials, international and local NGOs, and private individuals from Sudan and other countries form the basis of this report, which examines the relationship between negotiations and implementation. The Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training conducted the interviews under a contract with the Institute.

Timothy Carney was the last accredited U.S. ambassador to Sudan. His 32-year career included service in areas of conflict from Vietnam and Cambodia to South Africa and Haiti, as well as work in two UN peacekeeping missions. He spent four months in Iraq this year, having served with the first civilian mission in Baghdad in April 2003.

Related Publications

China’s Response to Sudan’s Political Transition

China’s Response to Sudan’s Political Transition

Friday, May 8, 2020

By: Laura Barber

Sudan's decades-long economic relationship with China has almost always been dominated by oil. Yet this relationship has changed significantly in the past decade—first with the loss of oil reserves when South Sudan became an independent nation in 2011, and more recently due to the ouster of longtime ally President Omar al-Bashir. This report, based on interviews with policy officials, diplomats, industry and security experts, and others, examines China’s evolving commercial and political interests in this vital nation in the Horn of Africa.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Sudan, One Year After Bashir

Sudan, One Year After Bashir

Friday, May 1, 2020

By: Manal Taha; Payton Knopf; Aly Verjee

Dictator Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for nearly three decades, was overthrown in April 2019. After months of protests, negotiations led to a joint civilian-military transitional government to govern the country for a period of 39 months. However, Sudan’s political transition remains tenuous, and even before the coronavirus pandemic, the risks of failure were many. USIP’s Manal Taha, Payton Knopf, and Aly Verjee discuss the past year in Sudan and the need for further international support to shore up the transition.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Global Health

COVID-19 and Conflict: Horn of Africa

COVID-19 and Conflict: Horn of Africa

Thursday, April 30, 2020

By: Susan Stigant

USIP is closely following the effects of the novel coronavirus around the world and we’re particularly concerned about its effects in fragile states and conflict zones, which are especially vulnerable to the impacts of these kinds of outbreaks. This week, our Susan Stigant looks at what new challenges have emerged in the Horn of Africa since the outbreak began.

Type: Blog

Global Health

Four Lessons from Outbreaks in Africa for the Age of Coronavirus

Four Lessons from Outbreaks in Africa for the Age of Coronavirus

Monday, March 30, 2020

By: Aly Verjee

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and new behavioral practices—from social distancing to avoiding handshakes and hugs—become expected norms overnight, there are crucial policy lessons to be learned from struggles against previous outbreaks of disease in Africa. Despite widespread poverty, weak infrastructure, and relatively few health professionals, there is an encouraging, long record of African countries—often with significant international assistance and cooperation—eventually managing to overcome dire health challenges. For non-African countries already facing large numbers of COVID-19 infections, as well as for African countries where the epidemic is now at an early stage, policymakers would do well to recall these four lessons of past epidemics—of both what to do and, perhaps almost as importantly, what not to do to confront this global threat.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Human Rights

View All Publications