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Sudan: NGO Policy Paper
Sudan: NGO Policy Paper
Date Distributed (ymd): 970116
Document reposted by WOA
POLICY PAPER ON THE SUDAN
The following paper has been issued by the Policy Committee of
the Sudan Working Group. (The Sudan Working Group is a
coalition of NGOs based in Washington DC, all of whom have a
strong interest in Sudan.)
This Policy Paper will be used as a framework for advocacy
work in the U.S. and meetings will be held for this purpose
beginning later this month. Key policy leaders will receive
a packet of materials on Sudan and have the Policy Paper
explained in personal meetings with representatives of the
supporting groups. Meetings will be held with policy leaders
from the U.S. Congress, the Department of State and the
National Security Council. Endorsements of the Policy Paper
are now being solicited from all groups with a particular
interest and concern for Sudan. To have your group added to
the list of endorsers please send a reply to: Fredericka
Jacob, email: email@example.com; fax 202-832-9051; phone
202-832-3412. Please respond by February 1, 1997.
SUDAN POLICY PAPER * SUDAN WORKING GROUP * JANUARY 1997
The crisis in Sudan is escalating on a number of fronts:
- The civil war continues to deepen:
- Human rights violations continue unabated;
- Reports of slavery are proliferating;
- The government maintains its regional destabilization
- Terrorists are housed and trained in Sudan;
- Instability and repression are increasing in the north; and
- Food and livelihood crises remain chronic in the south.
Despite the disparate efforts of concerned governments and
multilateral organizations, the crisis in Sudan continues to
deepen. A network of NGOs, religious organizations and
individuals has constituted the Sudan Working Group to discuss
policy options and develop this Strategy Paper for the U.S.
Government, other donor governments, the Organization of
African Unity (OAU), regional governments and NGOs.
The following recommendations are meant to be specific to the
Sudan, given the protracted nature of the internal war and the
regionalization of the conflict. They result from months of
consultations here in Washington, ideas which have been vetted
by a variety of groups within Sudan as well as by interested
organizations in Europe and Canada. The policy suggestions
also aim to coincide with the U.S. Government's Greater Horn
of Africa Initiative, which seeks to prevent the escalation of
1.1 The U.S. Government must progressively increase the
pressure on the Government of Sudan (GOS) through the UN
Security Council. Multilateral sanctions should be targeted at
the regime and its elite supporters. The limited air embargo
and other previously approved sanctions should be fully
1.2 The UN should coordinate with the OAU on any further
1.3 The Arakis Corporation oil project in Sudan, if fully
funded and developed, would supply the GOS with the funds to
fuel the war, prop up a government labeled by the U.S. as a
terrorist nation, and undercut other international economic
pressures. Therefore, the U.S. government should insist, in
so far as it is applied to Sudan, on strict enforcement of
Section 321 of the Antiterrorism Act of 1996 (Public Law
104-132) which makes it a crime for U.S. persons or
corporations to engage in financial transactions with the
government of a country officially labeled as terrorist state.
The U.S. government should rescind the 8/23/96 Treasury
Department regulations, 31 CFR 596 Final Rule, which provide
an easy loophole for getting around the law and providing
financing for oil development and other GOS development
projects in Sudan.
2. Peace Negotiations
2.1 The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Declaration of Principles (DOP) -- which clearly defines the
future options in Sudan -- should be the basis and starting
point of any negotiations process for peace in Sudan. U.S.
policy should remain focused on a comprehensive peace based on
the DOP that incorporates all parties. Efforts to resolve the
internal war must not lose sight of the larger regional
2.2 Because of the GOS' divide and rule tactics, there remains
a potential for increased fighting between the dominant rebel
movement in the south (the SPLM/A) and the principal splinter
faction which holds much of the territory in Upper Nile
province (the SSIM/A). Further violence against civilian
populations will be caused by other GOS-supported militia
throughout the south. International pressure and diplomatic
effort should be expended to prevent the escalation of
intra-south fighting, which would cause great human
suffering, undercut peace efforts, and play directly into the
GOS' military and political strategy.
2.3 To reduce, as much as possible, military conflict and
intercommunal raiding between southern factions and
communities, local-level negotiations and meetings between
chiefs in areas with the largest potential for violence, such
as the Dinka-Nuer borders, should be encouraged, facilitated
and resourced. The initiatives of other civil society
organizations within southern Sudan which might contribute to
peace-building should also be supported.
3. Civil Structures
3.1 Aid should consciously support fledgling civil
administration structures and increase its support for the
civilian institutional capacity within the south. Aid should
particularly expand for the structures at the lowest unit of
social organization, whether village liberation councils or
community organizations. Aid should include support for local
justice systems and ensure that civil structures in the Nuba
Mountains also receive assistance.
3.2 Aid agencies should build on their important support for
capacity building efforts in the south. The process of
developing a political alternative in northern Sudan should be
assisted through support for political and civic organizations
in the north.
4. Long Term Development in Southern Sudan
4.1 U.S. development aid to Sudan is currently prohibited by
a number of laws. These restrictions should be waived for
areas of Sudan outside the control of the GOS. Capacity
building and development assistance to areas not held by the
government should be used as incentives to increase
accountability, enhance local management of crisis response,
and reduce intra-south conflict.
5. Multilateral Banks
5.1 The U.S. Government should oppose all loans and credits
to Sudan from the IMF, World Bank and African Development
6. Ensuring Humanitarian Access
6.1 The GOS is attempting to effectively restructure and
control Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) by routing all aid
through Government-controlled areas and closing the southern
sector of OLS. Donor governments and agencies should resist
all these efforts. Reforms should focus on reducing the
ability of any party to restrict humanitarian access for
6.2 When humanitarian access is threatened or continuously
denied to certain areas (such as the Nuba Mountains), the UN
Security Council should act to ensure that relief is not held
hostage to GOS consent processes.
6.3 Emergency preparedness in the east should be enhanced as
a contingency in case of increased conflict along the
Sudan-Eritrea and Sudan-Ethiopia borders.
6.4 The absence of conditions on humanitarian aid has
promoted the abuse of aid and left international donors with
little leverage. The OLS Ground Rules -- a mechanism to
require adherence to international humanitarian principles by
the SPLM/A and SSIM/A -- should be expanded to the GOS.
6.5 One of the great failures of OLS and the donors has been
the inadequacy of the response to the needs of internally
displaced persons in northern Sudan. More forceful advocacy
should be expended on behalf of these forgotten populations.
7. Human Rights Advocacy
7.1 Although the GOS is clearly -- by virtue of scope and
intensity -- the largest violator of human rights in Sudan,
all parties to the conflict should be held accountable for
abuses. Therefore, the U.S. Government should continue to
consistently and strongly advocate for access for human rights
monitors to all areas of Sudan. The U.S. Government should
support the efforts of the UN Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights in the Sudan.
7.2 The U.S. Government should call for an international
commission of investigation to address slavery in Sudan.
7.3 At its April 1996 conference on civil structures, the
SPLM/A has invited NGOs and others to help them establish a
local mechanism for protecting and monitoring human rights.
This initiative and similar ones should be supported.
We envision a future Sudan which is not destabilizing its
neighbors, exporting terrorism, and repressing segments of its
own population. The pre-requisites for such a future include:
coordinating a more comprehensive strategy with multilateral
actors, donor governments, IGAD, aid agencies, religious
institutions, and Sudanese organizations; staying the course
on that strategy for an extended period of time; and acting
with the courage of conviction.
Signed: The Sudan Working Group Policy Committee, consisting
of Africa Faith and Justice Network, Center of Concern, Church
of the Brethren, Maryknoll, Missionaries of Africa,
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), World Vision
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
Washington Office on Africa (WOA), a not-for-profit church,
trade union and civil rights group supported organization
that works with Congress on Africa-related legislation. WOA's
educational affiliate is the Africa Policy Information Center