UN Secretary-General On Conflicts In Africa: Addressing The Root Causes
| 'Love is a law.'
By: Dedenyo Akadjah
This year, more than 20 African countries hold elections.
I thank the Security Council for its engagement in the committed efforts of the United Nations to address the root causes of conflict in Africa.
Sudan and South Sudan Agree on a Number of Banking Issues
The two delegations decided to continue their meetings in the South Sudan's capital of Juba on April 25.
The agreements between the central banks of both countries reached in Khartoum affirm the intent of the leadership of both countries to implement the cooperation agreements signed in Addis Ababa to serve the populations of Sudan and South Sudan.
Following the talks in Khartoum, the deputy governor of the central bank of South Sudan John Door said the joint committee has agreed on important issues and formed committees to study and review the issues that are in need of review.
He said: "It was agreed that commercial accounts be opened in both countries and encourage commercial banks to open mutual accounts to facilitate international trade, border trade, and commercial transfers."
He also said that some of the agreements that have been reached deal with assets and labor compensation and it was also agreed that the Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) will supply technical support to the Central Bank of South Sudan.
He pointed out that subcommittees were formed to study subjects related to monetary and banking policies, exchange rate, banking monitoring policies, and the right of commercial banks to open branches in both countries.
These committees, he confirmed, will start their work as of today, Sunday and will continue their meetings regularly until they report back to the joint committee on its second meeting in Juba on April 25.
Door affirmed that the two countries will go on reaching agreements to implement and fulfill what was agreed upon in Addis Ababa and pointed out the positive economic effect the agreements will have on the economies of both countries. He added: "Opening accounts will help provide funds and foreign currency and facilitate transfers between individuals and institutions. We will implement what we agreed upon instantly."
There are 20 banks in South Sudan, he added, 16 national ones and 4 foreign ones. The transactions between the two countries will be conducted in a way to be agreed upon later through a formula which will also be agreed upon later, but for the time being, transactions will be conducted in US Dollars.
For his part, deputy governor of the CBOS and head of the Sudanese delegation to the meetings Badr Aldin Mahmoud said the two parties have agreed on a methodology for the operation of the joint committee and determined the constants with which to run the meetings, form subcommittees, and report what is agreed upon, they also determined the topics of importance to both parties pertaining to joint cooperation between the central banks in both countries.
He said: "We started practically putting what we agreed upon in effect regarding the opening of accounts and transactions between the two central banks. Instant orders will be issued to commercial banks for transfers and swapping account key information considering that they are handled through the (switch) system. We also started achieving breakthroughs regarding some of the outstanding issues from the past period pertinent to the separation of assets and handing over documents and asset values to South Sudan to enable them to keep correct accords."
He added that they also agreed on resolving the issue of labor compensation and to supply technical support to the Central Bank of South Sudan in the areas needed.
Regarding the way in which Sudanese banks can operate in South Sudan; Mahmoud said a problem arose pertaining to Islamic banking system Sudanese banks use and added: "We have discussed the issue and presented suggestions for the committees to study including operating through outlets. A suggestion was discussed stating that Sudanese banks can function based on the participation principle common in the Islamic and traditional banking sectors in financing operations and the other banking operations; leaving the issue of interest rate in financing and investment operations as the only obstacle, but it can be solved through joint formulas or double outlets."
He pointed out that there are some South Sudanese banks operating in Sudan such as Ivory Bank and Sudanese banks operating in South Sudan such the Bank of Khartoum, Qatar Bank, and Abu Dhabi Bank.
He affirmed that cooperation between the two countries will have positive effects on the economies of both countries in what regards minimizing inflation, stabilizing exchange rates, activating commercial exchange, swapping benefits, and facilitating the movement of capital.
Regarding Sudan's foreign debt; he clarified that there is an agreement to deal with them where Sudan pays debt installments for two years while the two parties seek to cancel these debts with creditors and in case they are not wiped out the two countries will divide the debts between them according to known basis.
He said the two parties have agreed to preserve the rights of commercial banks and the rights of individuals in commercial banks and agreed on payment system from a technical point of view.
He also affirmed that the two delegations agreed on having joint foreign correspondents to handle the transactions regarding foreign commercial processes; especially facilitating the collection of Sudan's oil revenues and such.
He pointed out that there are issues of special nature for which a separate body of four members was formed to look into them; saying that there are issues where the two countries will need the cooperation of international institutions and the International Monetary Fund.
By Afaf Mahjoub, Al-Sammani Awadallah, 30/03/2013
He went on to say that the agreements will realize financial stability in Sudan and South Sudan in such a way as may contribute to the development process, minimize inflation, and stabilize exchange rates.
He also affirmed that the two delegations agreed on having joint foreign correspondents to handle the transactions regarding foreign commercial processes; especially facilitating the collection of Sudan's oil revenues and such.
1. The net oil revenue extracted from wells in southern Sudan (75% of Sudan oil is located in southern Sudan) shall be divided equally between the government of southern Sudan (GoSS) and the national government (50% to each), after giving out 2% to the region in which the oil is produced.
2. The national government, the government in the South and state governments are entitled to legislate, raise and collect taxes as listed in the CPA.
The security arrangements allowed the two armies, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLA, to continue as separate forces, the first will be deployed in the North and the second in the South. That was a big concession to the SPLM, which allowed it later to go smoothly for secession. A Joint Integrated Units (39000 soldiers) will be formed from SAF and SPLA and be stationed in the South, southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Khartoum. A Joint Defense Board (JDB) under the supervision of the presidency shall command the integrated units. The provisions and principles governing the ceasefire, disengagement and redeployment are written in meticulous details.
The international community hailed the agreement as a model of peaceful resolution to the longest conflict in Africa, the signing ceremony was witnessed and signed by the presidents of Kenya and Uganda, and senior representatives from Egypt, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, United States of America, African Union, European Union, IGAD partners, Arab League and United Nations. It was an impressive occasion that took place in the national stadium of Nairobi on the 9th of January, 2005.
c) Public service;
d) Position of Joint Integrated Units, national security and intelligence;
e) International agreements and covenants;
f) Assets and debts;
g) Oil fields, production, transport and export of oil;
h) Contracts and environment in oil fields;
k) Any other issues to be agreed upon by the two parties.
The two governments accepted the PSC decision and started acting upon it: they withdrew their armed forces from Abyei, and accepted the invitation of AUHIP to a meeting in Addis Ababa on 29th of May to start the negotiations.
On the currency issue, the two parties agreed before the secession to use the old currency in the new state of South Sudan for a period of six to nine months, then it would be gradually exchanged in agreement between the two central banks of both countries. However, each country was secretly printing a new currency of its own before the fixed period is over. The Central Bank of Sudan introduced the new currency earlier than South Sudan, leaving the old currency in the South without value. At present each country is using its own new currency, but the store of old currency in the South has to be compensated in one way or another. It was an example of mistrust and lack of commitment on behalf of the two governments to honour their agreements.
The issue of international agreements and covenants was not important, the two parties agreed that the predecessor state (Sudan) should continue bearing the entity of the old Sudan with all its international and regional agreements. The successor state (South Sudan) will make its own new international and regional treaties.
At the beginning, the government of the North was strict about giving its nationality or residential concession to the hundreds of thousands of southerners living in the North, while the government of the South was ready to do that to a far less number of northerners in the South. The two parties agreed to give nine months, after secession, to the nationals of the other country to leave or regularize their stay according to the laws of the country where they want to stay. The period expired on the 8th of April 2012, but besides some strong statements in the media the government of Khartoum did not attempt to enforce the decision against the over-staying southerners. The government of the South never threatened to push northerners out, they were only asked to get a residential permit which is easily given against 100 US dollars. Eventually a breakthrough was reached in the negotiations at Addis Ababa on the 13th March 2012. The parties agreed to allow the nationals of the other state to enjoy the freedoms of residence, movement, economic activity, and ownership of property. A joint high level committee would be established to oversee the adoption and implementation of the agreed measures relating to the status and treatment of the nationals of each state in the territory of the other state. The two states shall negotiate an agreement to elaborate the four freedoms mentioned above.
On the delimitation and demarcation of the boundary between the two states, a joint technical committee was established since the beginning of the interim period to draw the border between North and South as left by the colonial administration on the 1st January 1956. The process should have been finished before the referendum of the South took place, but it dragged on till the secession. The joint committee agreed to about 70% of the border between the two countries, which consequently the presidency affirmed. According to the committee only four regions were disputed: 1. Jodah or Dabat al-Fukhar, a rich mechanized agricultural land between Upper Nile and White Nile; 2. Megenis Mountains between Upper Nile and South Kordofan; 3. Kaka town which lies between Upper Nile and South Kordofan, a small piece of land but strategically important for its access to the Nile and to oil producing areas; 4. Kafia Kinji, a rich area between South Darfur and Western Bahr al-Ghazal. The delegation of the GoSS asked JPSM by the end of 2010 to add a fifth area to the disputed ones, Safaha grazing area which extends 14 kilometers south of Bahr al-Arab, it lies between South Darfur and Northern Bahr al-Ghazal, the presidency accepted the inclusion of the new area. In the late negotiations of 29th May in Addis, the South delegation demanded the inclusion of five areas to the disputed regions, that includes Heglig, Abyei and almost all the oil-producing fields in the North. It came with a self-made map, including the claimed areas, asking that it should be considered as the reference map; it was immediately rejected by the Sudanese delegation. That was a non-starter position which practically led to the failure of the first round of negotiations after the SC resolution 2046. The High Panel tried a compromise by proposing a new map, but that was refused by the GoSS delegation. It seems that the South delegation was seeking a bargaining position against the North by increasing the number of disputed areas. The GoS accused the GoSS of avoiding to settle the question of border before secession in order to take the whole issue to international arbitration, which may rule in its favour or seek a compromise settlement between the two countries. A complicating factor to the issue of border is that the two parties, like all African governments, accepted the territorial boundary as left by the British colonial administration on the 1st January 1956, but the British left no map on that date to show the exact border. Moreover, the British administrators used to shift certain regions, for security or administrative reasons, from one province to another irrespective of the ethnic group living in that area. This happened in the cases of Abyei, Heglig, Kafia Kinji, Kaka and others. The GoSS claimed Abyei not on the basis of its location in January 1956 but on the ethnicity of its population in 1905, when it was transferred from Bahr al-Ghazal in the South to Kordofan in the North. However, in the agreement between the two parties on the demarcation of boundaries, in Addis Ababa on 13 March 2012, the parties affirmed the definition of the agreed boundary in accordance with the physical description and delimitation, and corresponding recommendations of the Technical Committee for the 1/1/1956 border line demarcation between North and South Sudan, which was affirmed by the presidency of the Republic of the Sudan prior to the secession of southern Sudan. In the March meeting, the parties also agreed to establish a Joint Demarcation Committee, a Joint Technical Team, a Joint Border Commission in order to finalize the question of border between the two countries. It is strange that in the first round of negotiations at Addis Ababa (17/5/2012 to 7/6/2012) the border line created much disagreements between the two delegations. I have the feeling that the real interest of GoSS is to have Abyei at any cost, thus it might be hoping to swap the disputed areas for Abyei. It is worth mentioning that all the borders of the old Sudan with its eight neighbours have never been demarcated and most of them have not yet been delimited since independence till today!
The issue of popular consultation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile was part of the CPA; the people of the two states are supposed to give their opinion on the status granted to them in the CPA and how it was implemented during the interim period. The consultation in Southern Kordofan never took place because the state election was delayed till May 2011, then the armed conflict started immediately in the next month. In the Blue Nile, the process started but was not completed because the state joined the conflict of Southern Kordofan in September of the same year. An attempt was made to solve the conflict peacefully by the Framework Agreement on Political Partnership between NCP and SPLM-N signed by the leaders of the two parties, Nafi A. Nafi and Malik Agar, in Addis Ababa on 28th June 2011. However, the leadership of the NCP was quick to reject the agreement allowing the conflict to drag on till today. The other side sought to broaden the rebellion against the government, by allying itself with another militia group ‘the Justice and Equity Movement’ of Darfur under the name of Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). The aim of the new organization is to overthrow the NCP government by political and military means. The decision of the PSCAU asked GoS and SPLM-N, in cooperation with AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD, to reach a negotiated settlement for the two states on the basis of the Framework Agreement mentioned before. The issue of popular consultation became entangled with the questions of peace, security, the North-South border, and the wider issue of good governance in all the Sudan.
The Abyei status remains to be the most difficult and complicated issue, even reaching a temporary arrangement and implementing it proved to be not possible. The inclusion of Abyei in the CPA was against the principle of the border according to the January 1956 status; the American senator John Danforth played an important role in trying to solve the impasse between the two parties by authoring the problematic and vague protocol of Abyei as it exists. The first dispute between the two parties was about the area of Abyei which they took after much wrangling to the PCA in the Hague, the second was about the person who is eligible to vote in the referendum to decide the future of Abyei, whether to remain in the North or join the South as SPLM wants. The SPLM defended the right of Dinka Ngok, being the original residents of the region, to decide its future; the NCP argued that the protocol defined the residents of Abyei Area as: “the members of Ngok Dinka community and other Sudanese residing in the area”, and that allows the Misseriya nomads who live up to 8 months in the region to take part in the voting. That was unacceptable to the SPLM, because it simply means that the Misseriya who are the majority in the area will surely keep it in the North. A number of proposals to solve the problem were advanced by the American envoy and AUHIP, but none of them got the approval of both parties. Two serious clashes took place in Abyei between SAF and SPLA which led to the displacement of the majority of its population. The AUPSC in its late decision asked for the implementation of the Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for the Abyei Area, in particular the redeployment of all Sudanese and South Sudanese forces out of Abyei. The local administration will be formed from the two communities in the region under the protection and supervision of the Ethiopian force introduced by the United Nations (UNISFA).
The resolutions of both PSCAU and UNSC, under chapter 7, will put a tremendous pressure on both governments to behave themselves and reach agreements on time. It is unlikely that any of them would dare to oppose the two august bodies headlong; the quick withdrawal from Heglig and the beginning of negotiations on time in Addis Ababa prove this assumption. The AUHIP, as usual, was quick to take the lead and facilitate the negotiations between the two parties in Addis Ababa. This time it is armed with a comprehensive and detailed resolutions from the PSCAU and UNSC, under chapter 7, which threatens “any or all of the parties have not complied with the decisions set forth in this resolution, to take appropriate additional measures under Article 41 of the Charter as necessary;”. The Sudan, before the voting on the resolution, was hesitant to accept it, but after consulting with Russian government found out that it would get no support in case it refuses the resolution. The resolution was passed by consensus in the UNSC. In order to prevent prolonging the process, the resolution gave fixed dates for the various actions which are supposed to be implemented by the two parties, including the conclusion of the negotiations on all issues within three months. In the event these negotiations fail to result in an agreement, it asked the Secretary General in consultation with the AUHIP, the Chair of IGAD, and the Chairman of AU Commission to report within four months of the resolution, including detailed proposals on all outstanding issues. That means, the UNSC is considering to enforce its own solutions for the problem of Sudan and South Sudan. It may be a good idea for the AUHIP to involve in the coming rounds of negotiations some political forces other than the two ruling parties, some active civil society organizations and neutral experts. One of the obvious shortcomings of the CPA, it was a closed club for the NCP and the SPLM, and whenever they disagreed on something they had to take it to a third party outside the country. Surely the big powers have other concerns and problems to care about, than stuck themselves to the North-South endless conflict. Involving other Sudanese and South Sudanese would broaden the popular base of the agreement, give a better guarantee to the fulfillment of what agreed upon, and assuring each party that its political rivals would not exploit the unpopular parts of the agreement against it. The approach to negotiate the issues should be in the form of a package deal rather than on single issue basis. It is not necessary that all outstanding issues should be solved at once, some of the sensitive and complicated ones, like Abyei status or the disputed areas, may be postponed to a fixed time in the future. Both parties should be given tangible incentives by the world community on the conclusion of a peaceful settlement. The fixed dates give in the SC resolution should not be taken literally as long as positive progress is achieved.
1. Assessment & Evaluation Commission, Final Report & others, 2009-2011.
2. The Agreements between the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan on: Demarcation, Status of Nationals of the Other State, March 2012.
3. AUHIP, reports, statements and proposals.
4. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Sudan and SPLM/A, Nairobi, 9th January 2005.
5. Concordis International, More than a Line: Sudan’s North-South border, September 2010.
6. The Government of Sudan, reports on the negotiations, 2010-2012.
7. Joint Political and Security Mechanism, Joint Decision for the Reduction of Tension between the Republic of the Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, Addis Ababa, 4 April 2012.
8. Mahgoub M. Salih, ‘The Outstanding Issues and the Future of North-South Relations, unpublished article (Arabic), March 2011.
9. Marcelo Giugale (director in the World Bank), ‘Analysis of the Likely Economic and Social Impact of the Shutdown of Oil in South Sudan, March 2012.
10. PSCAU, COMMUNIQUE’, 319th Ministerial Meeting, 24 April 2012.
11. The Republic of South Sudan, Press Release, 1 April 2012.
12. The Republic of South Sudan, Presidential Statement on the Current Crisis, 13 April 2012.
13. UN Security Council, Resolution 2046 (2012) on Sudan & South Sudan, New York, 5 May 2012.
Basil Davidson Hosts African History Series
Silva Kir, the leader of south Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. The President said he would recognize the south if it voted for separation from the central government. Factional fighting in the south may jeopardize their independence., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
KHARTOUM, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Sudan and South Sudan on Saturday reiterated their commitment to resolve outstanding issues between them and not to return to war again no matter what the reasons were.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit on Saturday held joint talks in Khartoum to reach solutions for the outstanding issues between the two countries.
"We reiterate our commitment not to return to the war square. We will work together to enhance peace and establish good relations on bases of good neighborliness and mutual respect," said al-Bashir in the talks, quoted by local media.
"Realization of security and stability is associated with defusing the conflicts and preventing foreign intervention in our affairs. We should depend on our self-abilities and work together to establish a good relationship on bases of the historical ties between our peoples," he added.
He went on saying that "if we lost unity, at least we should win the peace. The international law abides us to observe the good neighborliness. It is important that we work together to secure our borders and make them flexible to facilitate the movement of the citizens and commodities."
The Sudanese president further called on the experts from the two countries to work out a formula for strategic cooperation in the field of petroleum according to the international standards and in a manner that achieves the interests of the two peoples.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, for his part, said that "we are committed to no going back to war again. This is a station that we left a long time ago since 2005 when the Naivasha agreement was signed."
"Now if it happened that there are any elements that are taking us back to that square, I think all of us should then take such people as the enemies of our peoples," he added.
He reiterated the importance of finding settlements for all the outstanding issues between the two countries, saying that any mistake, even if slight, could lead to a disaster.
Kiir arrived in Khartoum on Saturday in his first visit to Sudan since the independence of South Sudan on July this year.
The two countries are discussing outstanding issues between them including oil revenues sharing, border demarcation and disputed Abyei issues.
Sudan and South Sudan earlier agreed to open 10 passages on their joint border to facilitate the movement of citizens after the border was closed before the declaration of South Sudan independence.
Khartoum accused the newly born South Sudan of supporting the rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan areas which have witnessed armed clashes between the Sudanese army and fighters of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
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