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This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published
by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action
from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived
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Sudan: Policy Proposals, 1
Sudan: Policy Proposals, 1
Date distributed (ymd): 010320
Document reposted by APIC
Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List: an information
service provided by AFRICA ACTION (incorporating the Africa
Policy Information Center, The Africa Fund, and the American
Committee on Africa). Find more information for action for
Africa at http://www.africapolicy.org
Region: East Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +economy/development+
This posting contains two recent policy statements on Sudan, one
from the Canadian Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group and the other
the executive summary of a new report from the Sudan task force of
the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a
leading center-right Washington thinktank. Another posting today
contains a critique of the CSIS report. This posting also includes
brief excerpts from other reports: Christian Aid on "Oil and War in
Sudan, One World on independence for Southern Sudan, and Human
Rights Watch on new internal conflict in the South.
The posting begins with a cover note from Salih Booker, executive
director of Africa Action.
Oil Rush a Key Obstacle to Peace
The world's longest war grinds on in Sudan, with increased bombing
of civilians by the Khartoum government, massive civilian
displacement linked to oil development, new government-manipulated
fighting among groups in the south, and continuation of
slave-raiding as one of the human-rights abuses encouraged by
Khartoum. With predictions of displaced people at risk of famine
rising towards the one million mark, relief agencies face both
shortages of funds and the inability to reach people cut off by
All the reports in this and the next posting agree that new and
much stronger international efforts for peace, at different levels,
are essential. Without an end to the war, these abuses will only
continue. But peace efforts will be futile if built on illusions.
"Constructive engagement" with the minority regime in Khartoum,
which remains the principal architect of war and obstacle to peace,
will only promote further intransigence. The oil revenues that
finance the government's war efforts should be shut off and their
resumption tied to a timetable for achieving a just peace.
Much else needs to be done, of course, to increase the chances for
peace. Promotion of human rights and democracy in the North as
well as the South is an indispensable ingredient for peace, not
just a goal to be postponed until after a settlement (see last
year's Kampala Declaration of Sudanese civil society -
http://www.africafocus.org/docs00/sud0007.htm). But if
Washington under the Bush administration, as well as Ottawa and
Stockholm, regard pressure on the oil industry as 'out-of-bounds,'
their statements in favor of peace will ring empty.
Statement by the Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group
February 13, 2001
Note: The Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group (SIARG) is a forum
of 22 Canadian organizations with programming on Sudan. For the
text of SIARG's letter to parliament, see
Inter-Church Coalition on Africa (Canada):
Constructive Engagement with Sudan Is Not Working
NGOs Recommend Change in Direction
One year ago, the Harker Report on human rights violations in
Sudan was released, and the Government of Canada embarked on a
policy of "constructive engagement" with the Government of Sudan
and Talisman Oil, a Canadian oil company that is in business with
the Government of Sudan. Today, members of the Sudan Inter-Agency
Reference Group (SIARG) claim that the policy of constructive
engagement has not been successful, and they are asking for a
change in direction to support the people of Sudan. In Sudan,
like China, Canadian financial interests have been given priority
over the security and human rights of the people of Sudan, in the
name of "constructive engagement."
In a letter to Members of Parliament, SIARG claims there is scant
evidence of positive results from Canada's current policy, while
there is abundant evidence that life for the people of Sudan is
worse than it was one year ago. Among others, they cite the
- The number of bombardments of civilian targets has dramatically
increased in the last year, according to an independent report by
the U.S. Committee of Refugees. In November, for example, 14
bombs were dropped on a school, forcing children to flee into the
bush. This happened within kilometers of Talisman's expansion
project. These actions violate international laws and the recent
Security Council Resolutions 1261 and 1314 on Children and Armed
Conflict that Canada pushed forward. Little action has been taken
by the Government of Canada on this matter.
- An IMF report shows that the Government of Sudan has
dramatically increased its military expenditures since it began
to receive oil revenue, while investments in the crucial area of
agriculture and food security have not increased.
- The Government of Sudan scuttled implementation of the
agreement it signed at the Winnipeg Conference for War-affected
Children to secure the release of the abducted children from
Northern Uganda, who are enslaved in Sudan by the Lord's
Resistance Army. Over the past ten years, they have been used by
the army of the Government of Sudan in raids against communities
in the South.
- The IGAD Peace Process is not working because the parties in
the conflict do not take it seriously, in spite of Canada's
investment in a permanent secretariat. Sudan's current leader,
Omar al Bashir, has publicly stated that they intend to use the
oil revenues to purchase more weapons and win the war, not
negotiate a just settlement with the opposing forces in Southern
The war in Sudan has already claimed over two million lives and
forced more than four million people to leave their homes. More
people have been impacted by this conflict in the last decade
than all the wars in the Balkan region combined, but the world at
large has turned a blind eye to the suffering of the Sudanese.
Control over oil resources has become a focal point for the
conflict, along with demands for separation of the state from
Islamic religious laws and self-determination for the people in
One sign of hope in Sudan is growing peace efforts by civil
society organizations. These include the "people-to-people" peace
process launched by church leaders in Southern Sudan, and the
struggling efforts of human rights groups in both the North and
the South to hold their government accountable. They hoped the
Harker Report would help their cause, but Canada's failure to act
on it undermines their heroic efforts. These people are
consistent in their message that oil development now scuttles
hopes for peace. Canada's policy is inconsistent in that it
supports peace building through CIDA and then undermines it with
trade decisions that fuel increased conflict.
Members of SIARG propose a shift in Canada's foreign policy to
support the people of Sudan. This would include:
1. High level diplomatic initiatives by the Prime Minister and
the Minister of Foreign Affairs to hold the Government of Sudan
accountable for human rights violations should include public
statements. A strong and consistent campaign should be pursued in
the international arena to stop the serious human rights abuses.
These include violations of the Geneva Conventions for conduct
during war, the Convention on the Rights of the Child which
applies during conflict, the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, and more specific international laws against torture,
slavery, genocide, displacement, and denial of access to
Earlier this year a strong, public campaign by non-government
organizations (NGOs) and friendly governments stopped Sudan from
getting a seat on the Security Council. Greater transparency in
the diamond trade in Sierra Leone resulted from a public campaign
by governments and NGOs; the same approach should be applied to
2. Provide greater support for civil society peace initiatives
and greater balance to Canada's presence in Khartoum by
increasing support for sustained, independent, human rights
monitoring in the areas where oil development is taking place and
publicly releasing these reports.
3. Consider supporting United States' initiatives to prevent oil
development from contributing to the conflict. The Sudan Peace
Act, proposed earlier this year, includes measures to cut off
access to capital markets for investments in Sudan. Proposing
similar measures in Canada would help in Canada's desire to build
good relations with the US Congress.
4. Commit to introducing new legislation to deal with
"militarized commerce" and mandate the Standing Committee on
Foreign Affairs to hold public hearings on what should be
included in a new law that would provide effective tools to hold
all Canadian companies accountable for complicity in contributing
to armed conflict.
5. Publicly report on the failure of Sudan to keep the agreements
it made in Winnipeg on behalf of children and aggressively seek
international support to secure the release of the children
abducted from Northern Uganda and stop the bombings of schools,
health centers, and other places where children gather.
The Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group includes a variety of
Canadian development, peace, and human rights organizations that
work with counterparts in both North and South Sudan.
U. S. Policy to End Sudan's War
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
[full report available on http://www.csis.org]
Although the policy debate on Sudan encompasses a myriad of
issues, the CSIS task force concluded that the central problem on
which virtually everything else hinges is the devastating war
that has raged in Sudan since 1983. Now is an opportune and
appropriate moment for the United States to join actively in a
strong multilateral push, in collaboration with interested
European powers, to end Sudan's internal war. A sine qua non to
any future progress is the cessation of the government of Sudan's
aerial bombardment of civilian humanitarian sites in the south.
Sudan continues to matter significantly to U. S. interests - on
human rights, humanitarian, and security grounds. Washington
cannot afford to ignore Sudan's extreme circumstances, rooted
overwhelmingly in Sudan's 18- year internal war.
The new administration is well positioned to take a fresh look
and move beyond a policy of containment and isolation that has
made little headway in ending Sudan's war, reforming Khartoum, or
ameliorating Sudan's humanitarian crisis and gross human rights
abuses. Realistically, the only viable course to end Sudan's war
and see progress in other critical areas is through a hard-nosed
strategy based on diplomacy, heightened engagement with all
parties, enhanced inducements and punitive measures, and
concerted multilateral initiatives.
In the past two years, Sudan's rising oil production has shifted
the balance of military power in the government's favor at the
same time that significant internal rifts have surfaced in
Khartoum. The surrounding region is in flux in its relations to
the Sudan conflict, and it has become clear that competing
regional peace initiatives hold no promise. In this fluid
context, the United States possesses significant leverage. Among
major powers, it is the lone holdout in renewing a dialogue with
Khartoum. Equally important, it is the principal backer, in
humanitarian and diplomatic terms, of the southern Sudanese
opposition, recognizes the south's moral cause, and will not
countenance the military subjugation of the south.
In brief, the task force recommends that the Bush administration
exercise leadership on Sudan:
- Concentrate U. S. policy on the single overriding objective of
ending Sudan's war.
- Actively join with the UK, Norway, and Sudan's neighboring
states in establishing an international nucleus to press
forthwith for serious and sustained talks between Khartoum and
the southern opposition. Its aim should be to end the war as the
central means to restore fundamental human rights, stability and
improved democratic governance, and regional security. This
extra- regional initiative will be essential to move beyond the
stasis surrounding regional peace initiatives.
- Build this new extra- regional initiative on prior agreement by
the Sudanese government and the opposition on the Declaration of
Principles as the basis of negotiations.
- Seek first to reach agreement on the creation of an interim
arrangement - a 'One Sudan, Two Systems' formula - that preserves
a single Sudan with two viable, self-governing democratic
regions, north and south.
- Devise enhanced multilateral inducements and pressures that
move both sides to participate in peace negotiations in good
- Catalyze the launch of a high- level international plan for a
viable selfgoverning south, including commitments of substantial
bilateral and multilateral resources toward its eventual
- Assign top priority in negotiations to early, mutual
confidence-building measures; improvements in human rights and
humanitarian access; revenue-sharing mechanisms; clarification of
the north- south border; definition of regional and central
powers; and international guarantees.
- Resume full operations of the U. S. embassy in Khartoum,
including the expedited appointment of an ambassador, and
preferably a high- level, fully empowered envoy.
- Aggressively seek the successful conclusion of ongoing U. S.-
Sudan negotiations on terrorism.
Other New Policy Reports on Sudan (brief excerpts)
The Scorched Earth: Oil and War in Sudan
In Sudan, oil and war are inextricably linked. For this reason
Christian Aid, which has been working for 30 years in Sudan, and
its partners, recommend that:
- Oil companies directly involved in oil in Sudan, such as
Talisman Energy and Lundin Oil [of Sweden], should immediately
suspend operations until there is a just and lasting peace
- Companies such as TotalFinaElf, which own concessions in Sudan
but are not yet operational, and those which have invested in the
Sudanese oil industry, should refuse to take any further steps to
begin operations or supply equipment until a peace agreement is
- BP, Shell and other foreign and institutional investors in
Sinopec and PetroChina, two subsidiaries of CNPC, should divest
- The Government of Sudan should cease its abuse of civilians and
breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law. It
should publish reports of the use of oil revenue to demonstrate
that it is used to benefit people in all of Sudan, north and
- The SPLA should also cease its breaches of international
humanitarian and human rights laws.
- The UK government should take steps to put in place strong and
enforceable regulation of transnational corporations to ensure
that they cannot be directly or indirectly complicit in human
OneWorld US Special Report
Independence for Southern Sudan?
[see also One World US home page http://www.oneworld.org/us
A study prepared by Dunstan M. Wai, an exiled Southern Sudanese
The two main points argued here are that it is time for world
leaders to focus on a solution for the Sudan, and the solution
must involve self-determination for the Southern Sudanese people.
It is the contention of his paper that U.S.- and all external -
involvement should be aimed at brokering an end to the conflict
and a referendum allowing southern Sudanese to choose between
remaining part of the Sudan or becoming a separate nation.
Humanitarian Disaster in Southern Sudan
Human Rights Watch Writes to US Secretary of State
March 1, 2001
Despite the complexity of the situation in southern Sudan, early
and skillful U.S. diplomatic intervention could make a
significant difference in sparing the lives of tens of thousands
of civilians. The Nuer-Nuer fighting, a war within a war, for now
overshadows the civil war in ferocity of fighting and cost in
civilian lives. But it is also very integral to the civil war,
which since 1983 pits the Khartoum government against
marginalized peoples, particularly Africans in the southern
third of the country.
The current crisis also involves the unraveling of the Wunlit
agreement, signed in 1999 and enthusiastically endorsed by the
U.S., which put an end to years (1991-99) of Dinka-Nuer
cross-border raids. These raids involved thousands of civilian
casualties, large-scale theft of cattle, abduction of women and
children, and destruction of hundreds of villages. Attacks on
civilians and the ruin of the pastoral economy were the immediate
cause of the devastating 1993 famine in southern Sudan, in which
tens of thousands perished. The current fighting follows the same
pattern, and recurrence of famine is almost inevitable unless
immediate action is taken.
As usual, a key actor in the current violence among southerners
is the Khartoum government, which arms whichever factions and
militias are fighting the SPLA. The Khartoum strategy of divide
and destroy has worked extremely well in the past, keeping
southerners split - Dinka from Nuer, and Nuer from Nuer.
Accordingly, Wunlit was the government s worst nightmare, and its
disintegration serves Khartoum well. By provoking divisions among
Nuer and other southerners, Khartoum can develop the rich oil
resources that lie beneath Nuer territory.
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by
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Center, The Africa Fund, and the American Committee on Africa).
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