As it turns out... other countries and military threats aren't actually needed to help bring an end to conflict.* Africans solving African problems.....its beautiful:
The "Framework Agreement between Government of Sudan and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (North) on Political Partnership between NCP and SPLMN, and Political and Security Arrangements in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States" was signed yesterday and should hopefully bring an end to the violence in the region.
Now this is only a framework agreement, which means a lot of negotiating still needs to be done and that there is still a high chance of violence breaking out. Abyei has been in negotiations for like forever and still escalates to violence when things go sour at the table. Nonetheless, negotiations are definitely better than bombs.
The agreement only consists of 2 sections, political arrangements and security arrangements. Some highlights of the agreement:
2. The Parties affirm the right of the SPLMN to continue as a legal political party in Sudan.
4. The Parties shall convene the Joint Political Committee immediately. The issues of governance in Southern Kordofan shall be discussed and resolved amicably by the Joint Political Committee within thirty days.
5 c. Without prejudice to the bilateral discussion between the two Parties on issues to be addressed through the process of popular consultation, the Popular Consultation process shall be extended beyond 9 July 2011 through an agreed amendment by the National Assembly.
9. The Parties agree on the following principles, which shall be the basis for the work of the Joint Security Committee:
a. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Sudan and the inviolability of its national borders.
b. Securing sustainable peace and stability and ensuring the safety and security of communities of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.
c. SPLA members from Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile are citizens of the Republic of the Sudan and their future lies in the Republic of Sudan.
d. The Republic of Sudan will have one national army.
e. The SPLA forces from Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile shall be integrated, over a time period and with modalities to be agreed, into the Sudan Armed Forces, other security institutions, and the civil service, or DDR.
f. Any disarmament shall be done in accordance with agreed-upon plans and without resorting to force.
*Yes, I do realise that the NCP may not have signed the agreement if the US had not gone ahead with its carrots and sticks policy, but I like to dream.....also there is this too:
Separately, Qutbi Al-Mahdi distrusted promises by the U.S. administration to help relieve Sudan’s hefty external debts in exchange for de-escalating the situation in the country’s North-South border state of South Kordofan, where the Northern army has been fighting elements aligned with South Sudan army.
Al-Mahdi told reporters in Khartoum on Monday that the NCP does not pay any attention to U.S. promises whether on the debt issue or other issues because the government realises that the U.S. administration “spews such promises to achieve particular ends then reneges on its commitments.”
“The failure to fulfill promises and commitments is a moral issue and we know to which extent does America honors its promises,” the ruling party official said.
Al-Mahdi went on to fulminate against the U.S. policy know as the “carrot-and-stick,” saying that no free people would accept to deal with America in accordance with this “nefarious” policy.
“That’s why we in Sudan do not afford America’s promises any attention,” he added.
The U.S. Administration is currently in the process of removing Sudan’s name from its blacklist of countries sponsoring terrorism, but the administration has warned Sudan government that the process of normalisation of ties would be jeopardised if the Northern army does not withdraw from the contested region of Abyei which it seized last month.