The Sudan – South Sudan Agreement Brief Account and Emerging Lessons from an African-led Conflict Resolution Exercise


The Sudan – South Sudan Agreement

Brief Account and Emerging Lessons from an African-led Conflict Resolution Exercise

Since the beginning of September, Addis Ababa’s Sheraton Hotel has been home to several Ministers and senior officials of the governments of Sudan and South Sudan.

The month-long stay adjourned today with the signing by Presidents Salva Kiir Mayardit and Omar Al-Bashir of several agreements on outstanding commitments arising from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (of 2005) and post-secession arrangements.

This historic step will serve to promote peace between the two countries and the construction of two viable states.

It is a successful milestone in a process rich in lessons in African conflict resolution, one that requires further and detailed appraisal.

The process also provides yet another example of how the continent can utilise the energy, experience and wisdom of its former Heads of State to help solve Africa’s problems. In this case the AU constituted a High Level Panel composed of former Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Abdulsalami Abubakar of Nigeria, and Pierre Buyoya of Burundi.

The agreements

The Agreement on Security Arrangements: reaffirms The Republic of Sudan and The Republic of South Sudan’s commitment to peace and previously agreed security arrangements. It commits the two States to the withdrawal of forces on either side of the border. Under the agreement, both States are to operationalize the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) in accordance with the administrative and security map presented to them by the AUHIP in November 2011. Additional special arrangements will be made for complete demilitarization of the “Fourteen Miles Area” while maintaining joint local administration mechanisms and dispute resolution.

The Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State: initialed on 13 March 2012, is part of the Cooperation Agreement (see below) and establishes a Joint High Level Committee (JHLC), to oversee the joint management and decision-making of issues relating to nationals of the other State. It accords nationals of each state the four freedoms of: residence, movement, economic activity, and the right to acquire and dispose of property.

The Agreement on Border Issues, including demarcation: consolidates overall border management between both States and commits them to the ‘soft border’ principle, to ensure that they maintain a peaceful, safe and secure border in which the movement of each other’s nationals remains unhindered. It further recommits the two states tocomplete the demarcation of the international border, border demarcation modalities, including the establishment of broad institutional arrangements for managing the border.

 The Agreement on Trade and Trade-Related Issues: commits the two States to set up joint ministerial and technical committees to foster trade relations and to develop a long-term trade policy beneficial to both.

The Agreement on a Framework for Cooperation on Central Banking Issues: commits the two states to cooperation in the management, monetary and fiscal policy co-operation, co-operation in the control of inflation and avoiding destabilizing exchange-rate fluctuations and adherence to international finance and banking standards. The agreement establishes various committees to support financial stability between the two States by developing systems and procedures that will enhance cooperation in areas of central banking.

The Framework Agreement to Facilitate Payment of Post-Service Benefits: sets out mechanisms and committees to ensure uninterrupted, timely and convenient delivery of Post-Service Benefits to all qualified citizens of either the State who worked, particularly as civil servants in either state prior to the independence of South Sudan.

The Agreement on Certain Economic Matters: Division of Assets and Liabilities, Arrears and Claims and Joint Approach to the International Community: commits the two States to an approach to matters relating to division of assets and liabilities, arrears and claims. Under the agreement, the Republic of Sudan would retain all external debts and assets (“the zero option”), unless HIPC debt relief is not achieved within two years, in which case the division of debts would be reviewed. To this end, the parties have agreed to work together in approaching the international community to find ways of alleviating Sudan’s debt burden and to seek an end to sanctions imposed on Sudan.

The Agreement concerning Oil and related Economic Matters: commits the two State to cooperate to ensure that the production, processing and marketing of oil produced in the Republic of South Sudan reaches the markets Specifically, the Parties agreed to the processing in and transportation of oil through Sudan on the basis of the terms announced on 3rd August including; a $1/barrel transit fee (for South Sudan government oil only), set processing and transportation fees. The two States are committed to ensure that the emergence of the Republic of South Sudan does not militate against the economy of either state. Within this agreement are Transitional Financial Arrangements (TFA) where the Republic of South Sudan will contribute towards the cushioning the economic shock arising from revenue losses arising out of secession. The TFA is set out for the amount of $3.028bn over three and half years.

The Cooperation Agreement: affirms the two States’ commitment to the principle of mutual viability and working towards promoting and building a relationship of prosperity of the peoples of Sudan and South Sudan.

The only outstanding issue, namely the final status of the Abyei Area, will be referred to the African Union Peace and Security Council for decision.

The only outstanding issue, namely the final status of the Abyei Area, will be referred to the African Union Peace and Security Council for decision.

The AU’s mechanism

The negotiations began with the signing of the Mekelle Memorandum of Understanding on Post Referendum Issues and Arrangements between the National Congress Party (Sudan) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (South Sudan) in MekelleEthiopia in June, 2010.

The Panel was established in March 2009 as the African Union High Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD) to examine how best to achieve peace, justice, accountability, and reconciliation in the Darfur region of Sudan.

It began its work in March 2009 and completed it in October of that year. It spent forty days in Darfur and met with more than 2,700 community representatives in Darfur and about 400 in Khartoum and Juba. It also visited countries in the neighborhood to solicit their views.

Since March 2009, and at great cost to the personal lives of Panelists and support staff alike, the Panel has spent extended periods of time on the Sudan File, literally living in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia where the negotiations have been based.

Some abiding lessons

My few years of peripheral but privileged involvement in the resolution of some of the continent’s conflicts has suggested some critical lessons.

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Firstly, a mediator/facilitator must have a measure of stoicism and “a positive insensitivity” to personal inconvenience, to paraphrase the words of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, when he thanked President Mbeki for “a positive insensitivity to criticism” on the occasion of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Zimbabwean Global Political Agreement, in Harare on July 21, 2008.

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Secondly, negotiations are often long and drawn out, and the ever-evolving nature of domestic and international politics sometimes impacts negatively rather than positively on the negotiations to the frustration of negotiating partners, mediators and observers alike.

For this reason, what might at times appear to be an illogical or intransigent position by a party may be a reflection of one or more internal party/domestic or external dynamic without whose resolution may be difficult to reach. The ability to understand the factors behind an unhelpful position, to read through and between the lines, is a critical success factor.

*

Thirdly, a mediator/facilitator must endeavor to understand the political economy of the conflict in its broadest sense. This involves asking questions, the first of these being: ‘what is the problem, why and how does it manifest itself?’

Without understanding and defining the problem, a mediator cannot help resolve the problem. Various actors, local and international, will naturally seek to define and characterize the problem and will, as a result, prescribe their own solutions.

Understanding the nature of the problem saves the mediator/facilitator from falling into the pitfall of narratives that devalue the currency of politics by marketing platitudes, single issues and substituting manifestations for the real problem, among others.

In seeking to define the problem, a mediator’s primary source cannot but be the belligerents as they are the only actors who can define both the problem and the solution, own it and live through the consequences of their decisions and indecisions.

The AUPD Approach

The AUPD defined the Darfur problem in its report, as “Sudan’s Crisis in Darfur” and noted that: “The roots of Darfur’s crisis lie in a history of neglect of the Sudanese peripheries, dating from colonial times and continuing during the years of Sudan’s independence. The crisis in Darfur is a manifestation of Sudan’s inequitable distribution of wealth and power, and the Panel therefore defines it as “Sudan’s crisis in Darfur.”

The Report noted that: “The crisis in Darfur consists of different levels of conflict, including local disputes over resources and administrative authority, conflict between Darfur and the centre of power in Khartoum, and an internationalised conflict between Sudan and Chad. All of these layers of conflict must be addressed and resolved for peace, security and reconciliation in Darfur to become a reality.”

Fortunately, the conflict between Sudan and Chad has since been resolved and the two countries now live in peace and harmony with each other.

The AUPD also said that: “The Darfur crisis has political, economic, ecological, security, human rights and humanitarian dimensions. All of these need to be addressed. Millions of Darfurian people live in conditions stripped of human dignity and hope for the future. Despite reduced levels of lethal violence, insecurity nevertheless persists. These unacceptable conditions have persisted for more than six years and must urgently be brought to an end.”

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Fourthly, mediators/facilitators are obliged to understand the overall international context within which African conflicts occur in a ‘post cold war’ era and the predispositions, actions and omissions of international actors and how these advance or militate against solutions.

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Fifth, however skillful and committed the mediator/facilitator, the ultimate test is the belligerents’ political will and capacity to implement an agreement, the lack of which can be a combination of subjective and objective factors.

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Sixth, the wholehearted support of African governments is critical to the success of a mediation/facilitation exercise.

In the case of the Sudan–South Sudan process, the support of the Ethiopian Government under the leadership of the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi and current Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Dessalegn has been invaluable.

Apart from other forms of support, Ethiopia has provided 4 200 troops serving as the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei which was negotiated by the Panel and the late Prime Minister Zenawi.

Mukoni Ratshitanga

September 27, 2012

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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39 thoughts on “The Sudan – South Sudan Agreement Brief Account and Emerging Lessons from an African-led Conflict Resolution Exercise

  1. I was hoping for a concise treatise illustrating some kind of a frame that was used in the conflict resolution of the Dafour Crisis than can militate for African mediation to African conflict as apposed to Foreign elements imposing themselves. At least the title seemed to be pointing in that direction.

  2. Thanks for such a detailed report on the Sudan resolution, it would serve as frame of reference for all our understanding of subsequent developments going foward

  3. Many thanks to the entire team of panel who managed to sign this important Agreement for the Good of all South Sudan and Sudan People, this is an example to the world that Africa with its African leaders its capable to solve their problems for the good and benefit of all African.
    I salute Mr Thabo Mbeki for all his Effort.
    Keep it that way my President.

  4. Keep us posted. This help us know the developments since the media unfortunately focuses on dead-locks rather that progress been made regarding regional conflict resolutions effort. The role being played by former African Heads of States, President Thabo Mbeki in particular is but critical in this instance. The sleepless nights being spent outside the South African borders represent anwavering support to African Rennaisance.

  5. Mukoni, thank you for this excellent brief. This is a good step in the right direction for the people of South Sudan. As someone living in South Sudan, I can attest to the cautionary relief that engulf the country as echoes of the agreement trickles to grass root level. I added cautionary to highlight the sentiments and atmosphere of uncertainty in which the announcement was received. Following the Governments of S.S’s decision in January 2012 to shut down oil production- even though Oil revenues accounted for 98 per cent of state revenue, the people of this New Nation have experience unimaginable hardship. In the past months, the austerity measures has resulted in scaling back of development efforts while, humanitarian needs continue to grow at a pace faster than an epidemic. These challenges are compromising the ability of the new Government to keep pace with the post-independence demands for basic service delivery and community security. It has necessitated starting from a rudimentary level and a lost it consolidating the gains made since the CPA period. It is therefore an understatement to say that the Addis agreement is a welcome first step. In fact it will be life saving for many children and refugees who are desperately trying to return to their country and begin a normal life.

    Another important, yet sensitive issue which you raised is the role of the AU and the chief negotiator in the process. At a time when many are beginning to question the ability of the AU ( as a mediator) in adopting a posture above hurly-burly politics and conflicts on the continent, President Mbeki’s success in bringing the two countries to a consensus point under the AU umbrella is a somber reminder of what the founding fathers of the then OAU had envisioned when they created the Commission for Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration as one of the principal institution of the Organisation. He has become an emblem of the kind of Leadership we demand of our leaders, and more so from our leaders who do not see any life after serving as Head of States. They can in fact become relevant beyond their national boarders if they democratically relinquish power .

  6. Many thanks for this update Mukoni, it indeed reassures all of us as Africans that we can be the masters of our own destiny. No obstacles are insurmountable if we act together for the benefit of all.

    But having said that, our South African experience shows quite clearly that sleeping in the same bed with your enemy, hoping that he will change his wicked ways does not always help. President Bashir has demontsrated on several occasions that he has no desire of seeing South Sudan prosper. For the new country to be truly independent, i agree that it should maintain peaceful co-existanse with Sudan, but the country must also chart its own developmental path. The long term view should be to construct an oil pipeline via Kenya, instead of depending on unpredictable Sudan.

    Bravo to all those who are involved in resolving this conflict, our former President Mbeki in particular.

  7. Mukoni,war is never pleasant and I am so estatic about this agreement in that the Sudanese will finally enjoy their country, its resources and culture. And thanks to all the mediators for the patience and resolve to work out a solution that suits the people of Sudan. For me personally, the fact that freedom of movement will be ensured is critical to self determination.

  8. This is one of the proggressive steps by Africans to learn to resolve their problems without intereference of the West. African problems need African solutions, we need more determine leaders like Thabo Mbeki who invest their energy to ensure that the rennaissence of Africa and Her diaspora are achieve. @Mukoni, thnanks for good sending me this good news and hoping the likes of Zuma and those few inept and kleptocratic leaders who compromise Africa by dinning with imperialist are not let unchallenge. This is a time for the people of North and South Sudan to start working hard for economic emancipation and total liberation of people of North and South Sudan.

  9. No one could have written this better than you. Enlightening and straight to the point. Very informative especially for someone like me who had little background about the whole issue. A must read for everyone affected by the situation. Brilliant Mukoni. Please keep us updated.

  10. Critically, this agreement creates an important departure point for the interaction between the two countries as they pursue the ultimate goal of peaceful neighbourliness. The immediate hurdles both leaders face are the extent to which South Sudanese see independence make a difference in their lives while the North leadership must continue to show to its own that they have not become any less of a force as a result of the cecesion. The AU is gonna need to reenergise itself to create capacity to provide on-going support to the efforts to stabilise and eventually normalise relations between the two neighbours. Education for South Sudan, capacitated civil service, independent institutions to entrench democracy and the rule of law. A long way still to travel but we celebrate the milestone in the life of the Sudanese, south and north. I do not know the extent to which one can vocally give recognition to the son of the soil without sounding like a praise singer but I do want to say well done to President Mbeki and those he worked with. The
    country may be the poorer having lost him but the continent is in good hands.

    ..

  11. Thanks Cde Mukoni for this comprehensive presentation of the situation in both Sudan & South Sudan. I would like to commend former president Thabo Mbeki & his team on their efforts in facilitating the peace agreement. I’m certain that the agreement will go a long way to restoring peace, security, stability & general economic advancement of the people of those two countries. This agreement is a practical demonstration of Africa’s ability to resolve her own conflicts and address her challenges if given the space, time, resources & support to do so. I hope the people from Israel & Palestine are taking a cue from this agreement & are inspired to follow it in negotiating a peace agreement that will culminate in the creation of two states for the people from both countries. The agreement also proves beyond doubt the supremacy of diplomatic & political approaches to conflict resolution as opposed to military interventions. Thanks once again Chief. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece!

  12. This is a much welcomed milestone for this seemingly never ending conflict. I would like to applaud our presidents for a job well done. I’m very much intrigued by the four freedoms agreement: “It accords nationals of each state the four freedoms of: residence, movement, economic activity, and the right to acquire and dispose of property.” Which I hope a success of would open a way for a border less Africa. But I have a question- The Bashir and ICC factor: how would the continued prostitution or not prosecuting impact on lasting peace? Has the issue been discussed? What is South Sudan position on that? Is there an agreement on that? Thanks, keep us posted. Great job.

  13. This input has answered a lot of questions I have had in my mind. It is an invaluable document especially as it gives an insight into what drives certain behaviors in conflict resolution.
    It is the duty of every responsible citizen to support the realization of a united Africa, that will enable much more possibilities for a number of people and institutions to emerge making it to optimize its performance in economic growth, progressive partnerships that ultimately lead to finding a common purpose for our beloved continent.
    The foundation of that common purpose – the AU – are in place and now Africa needs to move with speed which can only be realized by teams with captains that know all the challenges and dangers involved.
    Thank you for the input. Mayibuye!

  14. thank so much chief this brief, we need positive news like this one instead of being dragged to mediocrity and bombarded by the propaganda that seek to maintain and sustain this poor status qou of our country…big up to president Thabo Mbeki and his team.

  15. Thanks Cde Mukoni for sharing good news with us. Who said peace won’t rain in Africa? Who said we can’t solve our own problems? Today, we are having a testimony. We’ve conquered. Africa her warfare is over. May all the continents of the world come to learn from us. IT happened in Sudan, therefore, it can happen anywhere in the world. Thanks to all mediators and everyone who made sure that peace rains. Thanks once more for keeping us posted Cde Mukoni.

  16. It should be noted that this is a partial agreement. The most and serious underlying issues are yet to be resolved. Notably, the issue of Abyei and other contested border areas which are part of South Sudan territory. Added to this, another conundrum with this partial peace agreement, is the South Kordufan and Blue Nile conflicts, no doubt, these people fought along the SPLM/A during the 22 year conflict and would be absurd to think that the SPLM/-South Sudan would abandon them overnight. For these agreements to hold, a just political solution is needed in Nuba mountains and Southern Blue Nile. Besides, Bashir needed the oil proceed to rejuvenate and equip his battered army to fight another day to reclaim more territories by use of force. What should have been celebrated as a genuine and lasting peace should have been the agreement on demarcation of borders and a date on when to carry out a Referendum in Abyei.
    Lual Maker

  17. These serve to show that our President T Mbeki is a man of his words.He said this without doubt that “Africa and her people shall be at peace”.With great joy I thank those involved in this crisis finding solution and it shows again African solution is a way to go,SA and Zim can attest to that..Thank Mukoni for informative read

  18. Thanks Cde Mukoni for this valuable report. My take is that no amount of barriers and new challenges that emerge as various responses indicate,will stop the march to lasting peace. Our own experience here in South Africa clearly indicated negotiations are a powerful site of struggle. So despites the hazards that may still present themselves,the ground already covered indicates th march towardsa lastin peace. My worry is whether we have a growing number of peace brigades that will carry the torch of peace in the manner that the former President and the team are doing. We need many Mbekis in Africa so that even when the president is old and unable to pu his eergy into te task ,we have many well trained facilitators and cadres who understand where Africa is heading – peace ,stabilty and development.

  19. Once again we commend the efforts of presidents Mbeki, Zenawi, Abubakar, Haile Dessalegn and Buyoya and everyone involved. We thank them for their ‘positive insensitivity.’ This should give hope to many Africans and Sudanese citizens in particular. All my Sudanese friends have expressed gratitude at the outcomes of these negotiations and they welcome the resolution. However, it would be great to hear what Sudanese friends from the south think of it, as all of my Sudanese friends come from the Republic of Sudan/north.

    They welcome especially the Framework Agreement on Status of Nationals of the other State, and it is not difficult to understand why. It is sad that boundaries needed to be drawn between a people but, as a Sudanese friend admonished, “the war had to be stopped and anything towards that end is welcome.”

    The Agreement on Security Arrangement is equally important. I would like to know though, does it also detail specific plans on how the situation of the Nuba mountains is going to be dealt with; and plans to deal with the remaining ‘insurgent’ groups in general, from both north and south?

    You correctly state that a facilitator must endeavour to understand the political economy of the conflict in question in its broadest sense. In this context I wish to solicit your opinion again, given the ‘weak state’ of the economy of South Sudan compared to the north, and taking into account that it was partly/largely an unequal distribution of resources that contributed to the conflict in the first place, would you say that this does not threaten the peace agreement at all? I ask this because at the bottom of my heart I wish and pray that there is nothing threatening the peace. But realistically speaking, would we say that conditions that gave rise to the conflict have lessened?

    Lastly, we would like to take advantage of your ‘privileged involvement’ in the Sudan situation and ask you to pass a message of gratitude to the facilitators. As an ordinary South African, I have found good favour in the hearts of many Sudanese that I have meet in the diaspora. As soon as you state that you come from South Africa to any Sudanese, their face immediately radiates with a wonderful smile before they go like, “Thabo Mbeki” and continue appreciating his and other facilitators’ role in Sudan. In writing this comment, I engaged four of my Sudanese friends and they expressed hope in the resolution. This gave me hope too.

  20. WOW! This is indeed a milestone for the AU. It also emphasises the need for “an African solution for an African problem” Thank you Sir, for sharing.

  21. this is great illustration, well i take -off my hat to Pres.Thabo Mbeki and his team. the time ,energy, sleepness nights trying to find a solution to one of the richest -oil country. Pres.Mbeki was very clear and confident about his objective to be achieved at the end of the day. I’m very glad that the deal was finalised without the involvement of West/European countries. I’m very glad for the people of Sudan. without forgetting also God was there during all this processes…This is good leason so hope that the AU will take some positive points on this.

  22. This is a very important and pleasing development in African affairs…African leaders choosing jaw-jaw instead of war-war;African leaders putting the interest and welfare of their citizens above their own egos!Congratulations to President Mbei and his team,for the prevention of one unnecessary African death,is a victory worth celebrating.
    C

  23. I like your statement “political economy of the conflict”. The onus rest with mediators belief and credibility and also the external interest pressures on them. I believe along being positive insensitive to criticisms it requires similarly positive turning back to external interests manipulations. Sudans oil has drawn wide external. Yes sometimes the later fund the mediation process but its up to the mediator(s) to negotiate deals without seeking to satisfy partialities. I think Kofi Annan demonstrated something like that by resigning than becoming just playing the tune of the payers. Most of African conflicts have lasted longer as the external parties benefits outweigh the peace concerns as the conflict persist resolution. Sudan eeemmmm!

  24. I am quite please to see that President Mbeki continues to play such a critical role in Africa. I am also of that the agreements revolve solely on physical resources. I think the real trade off is that of Human Capital and I think that a country is defined by its Human Capital not necessarily its physical resources only. I am of the view that African countries, should start pursuing agreements that revolve around the trading of knowledge and not only resources. In a rather candid response to Edward Bernstein, Rosa Luxemburgs’ Reform or Revolution quotes an astronomer called Willam Lassell, “Only when science and the workers, these opposite poles of society, become one, will they crush in their arms of steel all obstacles to culture”.

  25. Its good know what has been happening and what to expect so that we talk to our fellow African if loose the way and focus.

  26. A long-term solution to African problems can come only from Africans. We are not immature, mentally poor, or backward people as others may think. We Africans have our own ideas about how to solve our own problems. A step in the right direction by the AU H.L.P.

  27. Hello beautiful Africans…

    These are exciting news. News of good ‘reality’ for Africa. Just like Baba Thabo Mbeki said; ‘it feels good to be an Afrikan’, when deeds like these happen. Like Baba Ben Okri sai during Steve Biko Lecture in September ’12, we need to define the future that we want and that NO ONE give us back what belonged to us, WE must do it ourselves. And this is evidence that WE CAN, on our own!

    Prosperity to Afrika! Thank you for sharing the news.

  28. An interesting read, thank you. I am curious whether you feel that the two nations will genuinely commit to implementing what they have signed on paper. As we have seen in so many countries, and Sudan pre-2011 in particular, you can have the finest peace agreement in the world…and it can mean remarkably little. So, is there realy political will now or is this window dressing because the international community was getting impatient?
    Also-on a recent trip to Juba I was struck by how few people have anything positive to say about Mbeki and what he has concretely contributed to the outcomes by the AUHLIP-
    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this-

  29. Mukoni, your effort to directly inform audiences regarding this important milestone for the African continent must be appropriately appreciated. After reading your input and that of Former President Thabo Mbeki in the Business Day on Tuesday, it seems clear to me that one of the possible reasons for the “lack” of media interest is a lack of understanding of the importance of the story. Perhaps this could be attributed to a limited understanding in some news rooms of the serious issues that had to be resolved in Sudan/South Sudan. I agree that the media also has the responsibility to inform and educate its readers. Since there is a major weakness in this regard, your approach to find alternative platforms to inform us must therefore be applauded. Thank you so much. Keep it up.

  30. Thanks for sending this through, it was an interesting and enlightening read of some of the lessons emerging from the conflict resolution exercise between Sudan and South Sudan.

    Firstly, I think you did a great job of concisely summarising the key agreements emanating from this conflict resolution exercise. I think by identifying the issues of residence, mobility, economic activity, and right to acquire and dispose of property between Sudan and South Sudan, the readers’ get a clear understanding of the tangible implications of the agreements and it keeps the conflict resolution exercise in the realm of the achievable, rather than lofty rhetoric. 

    Personally, I would be interested in the practical considerations of whether the structures and requisite capacities are in fact available to uphold these agreements, but I understand that there simply may not have been the space or time to elaborate on such for the purpose of this article, and much of the details may still need to be worked out.

    The Agreement of Oil and related Economic Matters stands out to me as a particularly exciting settlement. It provides mutual incentives to both states (South Sudan gets the certainty its oil can reach the market while Sudan can make billions ensuring a secure transfer through tariffs) that are tangible and clearly defined. I think the biggest threat to this agreement is then the outstanding issue of the Abyei region, which is referred to the AUPSC, but of course leaves some questions.

    I’m curious as to whether these Agreements provide for mechanisms to address the inevitable conflagrations of individual actors and belligerants that might disrupt the prospective peace? Are there any protocols or contingency plans for bringing the two states back to the table, or to keep them talking, in the event of unforeseen disruptions or disregard for some or parts of the agreements? If so, are these arrangements formalised, or informal by design?

    The lessons learned are very interesting indeed. I believe the first lesson of stoicism and a ‘positive insensitivity’ to personal inconvenience and criticism, particularly from external actors, is an important one, although I would have liked it to be further elaborated on in the Sudanese context, rather than that of Zimbabwe. 

    I think the lesson learned relating to the understanding of the political economy is an obvious one, and that it is unpacked a little bit further than necessary compared to the others, although I assume the AUPD Approach is something that might be put in a side-bar/box rather than read as part of the main of the text. 

    The fifth lesson learned is a crucial one, and it speaks to my earlier question about keeping the main actors talking and obviously the political will to uphold these agreements. Thus, I think it might be worth expanding more on this lesson. 

    I would have liked the last point on the support of African governments to be further elaborated and substantiated. It seems Ethiopia was a key actor, but where do Chad, CAR, Uganda, and the other neighbours stand on this exercise and did they contribute in any way to the process? If so, how?

    Overall, I think this is a good article summarising the achievements of the conflict resolution efforts and a brief of the lessons learned. The ultimate test will obviously be whether these agreements are upheld, and whether these lessons prove to be critical to a successful outcome. Based on this article, I read the prospects as being good.

    Thanks for sharing this article with me and the opportunity to give comment. I hope this is what you were looking for

    Thanks for sending this through, it was an interesting and enlightening read of some of the lessons emerging from the conflict resolution exercise between Sudan and South Sudan.

    Firstly, I think you did a great job of concisely summarising the key agreements emanating from this conflict resolution exercise. I think by identifying the issues of residence, mobility, economic activity, and right to acquire and dispose of property between Sudan and South Sudan, the readers’ get a clear understanding of the tangible implications of the agreements and it keeps the conflict resolution exercise in the realm of the achievable, rather than lofty rhetoric. 

    Personally, I would be interested in the practical considerations of whether the structures and requisite capacities are in fact available to uphold these agreements, but I understand that there simply may not have been the space or time to elaborate on such for the purpose of this article, and much of the details may still need to be worked out.

    The Agreement of Oil and related Economic Matters stands out to me as a particularly exciting settlement. It provides mutual incentives to both states (South Sudan gets the certainty its oil can reach the market while Sudan can make billions ensuring a secure transfer through tariffs) that are tangible and clearly defined. I think the biggest threat to this agreement is then the outstanding issue of the Abyei region, which is referred to the AUPSC, but of course leaves some questions.

    I’m curious as to whether these Agreements provide for mechanisms to address the inevitable conflagrations of individual actors and belligerants that might disrupt the prospective peace? Are there any protocols or contingency plans for bringing the two states back to the table, or to keep them talking, in the event of unforeseen disruptions or disregard for some or parts of the agreements? If so, are these arrangements formalised, or informal by design?

    The lessons learned are very interesting indeed. I believe the first lesson of stoicism and a ‘positive insensitivity’ to personal inconvenience and criticism, particularly from external actors, is an important one, although I would have liked it to be further elaborated on in the Sudanese context, rather than that of Zimbabwe. 

    I think the lesson learned relating to the understanding of the political economy is an obvious one, and that it is unpacked a little bit further than necessary compared to the others, although I assume the AUPD Approach is something that might be put in a side-bar/box rather than read as part of the main of the text. 

    The fifth lesson learned is a crucial one, and it speaks to my earlier question about keeping the main actors talking and obviously the political will to uphold these agreements. Thus, I think it might be worth expanding more on this lesson. 

    I would have liked the last point on the support of African governments to be further elaborated and substantiated. It seems Ethiopia was a key actor, but where do Chad, CAR, Uganda, and the other neighbours stand on this exercise and did they contribute in any way to the process? If so, how?

    Overall, I think this is a good article summarising the achievements of the conflict resolution efforts and a brief of the lessons learned. The ultimate test will obviously be whether these agreements are upheld, and whether these lessons prove to be critical to a successful outcome. Based on this article, I read the prospects as being good.

  31. This shall serve as a proof that Africans are capable of managing their own affairs and their continental challenges. President Mbeki please keeps up the good work of educating the West…African Renaissance!!!!!

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