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  • Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: Bush’s Legacy in Africa

    Contributing to the peace and development of Africa, Sudan in particular, was a major priority for the Bush Administration and now looms as the single largest African issue on the Obama White House’s agenda. On January 9, 2011, the final and most significant step of the peace agreement will occur when an estimated 4 million southern Sudanese will vote to decide whether to remain part of a unified Sudan or establish a new, independent country.

    With one of the most diverse populations on the continent, Sudan has suffered near constant conflict since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1956. Historically, much of the violence involved clashes between Sudan’s northern Muslim, Arab-speaking governance and the black African, non-Arab-speaking south. This has resulted in more than 2 million deaths and displacement of millions more and has contributed to deep-seeded religious and cultural divides.

    In 2005, the Bush Administration helped broker the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), ending a horrific, decades-long civil war and creating a path to peace between northern and southern Sudan. Since then, Sudan has limped through successive CPA milestones. When President Bush assisted in developing the CPA, his goal was to partner with the Sudanese in developing a peace process that fit the needs the various Sudanese parties. As Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President Bush summarized: “We are not going to do it for them; we will do it with them. We can’t replace African leadership. We can’t replace African initiative. What we can do is empower it, facilitate it and support it.” Ultimately, the Sudanese people are responsible for establishing peace. However, the United States and international partners should also be prepared to provide long-term assistance.

    Despite increased diplomatic activity in the months leading up to the referendum, however, the Obama Administration and most observers remain concerned. Unresolved issues surrounding voter registration, border demarcation, oil rights—among countless other potential stumbling blocks—have caused a fear that a “yes” vote for independence will lead either to renewed north–south war or a humanitarian disaster amid political instability.

    There are also questions about Khartoum’s commitment to the referendum or to peace in Sudan. Despite the Islamist government in Khartoum grudgingly following the CPA framework, president Omar al-Bashir and his supporters have repeatedly defied the dictates of the international community with acts of genocidal brutality in the western Sudan region of Darfur.

    On January 9, southern Sudan faces a crucial event. All indications are that the referendum will yield overwhelming support for independence. The U.S. and other partners—particularly those in Africa—should focus their efforts on supporting the outcome of the referendum and be prepared to ensure that peace is established and that the rights of self-determination and religious, cultural, and economic freedom of the southern Sudanese are respected.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: Bush’s Legacy in Africa

    1. Pingback: World Spinner

    2. Rudy, Wisconsin says:

      In my view it is unlikely that the Muslim government in Khartoum will crow that the southern population has willingly submitted to dhimmitude if they vote "no" on independence, but will refuse to accept being ousted from power over that population if they vote "yes" for independence. Either way the violent suppression of non-Muslims in Sudan will continue.

    3. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      This is the first article I read about this Sudan CPA. All I ever heard about Sudan was "Save Darfur" but assumed nothing was being done.

      Does the 5-year silence on this issue from the MSM indicate yet another successful Bush policy and one for which Obama will take credit if all goes well? You would conclude from the MSM that Bush is a warmonger.

    4. MAJ Gerard M. Acosta says:

      The article provides the argument of the United States Government and particular the Department of Defense's, as the lead executive agent, role in Genocide prevention and progressive role in the African continent. The African continent is becoming a platform for economic opportunity, but haven for terrosit activities. I wonder how an increased U.S. Africa Command presence can improve the regional stability.

      The views expressed in this blog comment are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.

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    6. MAJ Gerard M. Acosta says:

      The 2025 World Report discusses the emergence of non-actor states and increased role of multipolar government hierarchy in the next decade. The Report further discusses the importance of the United States in investing in these unstabe regions to increase globalization and improve global security.

    7. MAJ Elliot Olmstead, says:

      As we watch the elections in Sudan today with anticipation, millions of Sudanese are taking to the streets to expres their voice in a historic landmark event. The days and weeks to follow willl llikely confirm or deny polticians' arguments regarding the stabilty and feasibility of the Sudanese government.

      If the election goes well with limited occurences of violence, it will boost the perceived relative legitimacy of the Sudanese electoral process. If internal Sudanese representative themselves express claims of outright fraud, tensions may lead to renewed violence between the North and South, which will stigmatize the election process.

      The challenge for external elements, to include the UN, the United States and most importantly regional African neighbors lies in exercising restraint while supporting Sudanese security elements and of course, accepting the results whether or not they like them. Although international observers can bolster awareness of pending friction to qwell frustrations during the voting, it is ultimately the responsibility of the Sudanese to lead the way through the electoral process. The less that foreigners and outside actors are perceived as interfering with the election, the more that Sudanese nationals will accept the legitmacy of the process.

      The views expressed in this comment are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or US Government.

    8. Pingback: Sonoran Alliance: Arizona Politics for Conservatives » Historic VOTE: Bush’s Africa – Referendum SOUTH SUDAN

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