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Kitchener's Ghost Stalks Africa—Danger of Renewed Civil War in Sudan

From Volume 6, Issue 42 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 16, 2007
Africa News Digest

Kitchener's Ghost Stalks Africa—Danger of Renewed Civil War in Sudan

Oct. 11 (EIRNS)—BBC reported today that the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has announced that it is suspending its participation in the government, until a solution to their differences can be reached. The SPLM charges that the national government has failed to implement parts of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a power- and wealth-sharing agreement that was signed in 2005, ending the 21-year civil war. As a result of that agreement, the SPLM, led at the time by the late John Garang, was brought into the government as part of the peace agreement.

Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the SPLM, and a former member of the SPLM negotiating team for the CPA, said the decision was not intended to renew conflict, but was being done to push for better implementation of the CPA. "We are working to avoid a return to war," he said. "We want to make sure the CPA is implemented rather than dishonored." Khalid al-Mubarak, spokesman at the Sudan Embassy in London, said today that the move by the SPLM was a suspension, not a withdrawal, as reported by some media. "It is a suspension which is temporary and, pending discussions, hopefully this cloud will disappear," he said.

The SPLM is charging that the National Congress Party (NCP), the northern party which dominates the Sudanese government, has not implemented parts of the CPA, including boundary demarcations and the redeployment of northern troops from the South. The SPLM is also charging that the NCP is not consulting SPLM leader Salva Kiir (who is Vice President of Sudan), or the SPLM's ministers in the government, and making decisions such as expelling UN and other diplomats from Khartoum without taking into account the SPLM's views. The lack of an agreement between the North and South means the division of the proceeds of Sudan's oil production cannot be resolved.

While Kiir had warned recently, according to reports, that there could be a return to war if the deal is not held to, in late September, he criticized elements in both northern and southern Sudan who did not want peace. Sources have told EIR that the North-South agreement was on the verge of collapse. In addition, U.S. envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios, who has just returned from Sudan, is quoted by BBC as saying there's a real possibility of a return to conflict, claiming that the northern and southern leaders may make miscalculations about each other's intentions.

When the Bush Administration added several more Sudanese companies to the sanctions list on May 29, thus preventing American companies from doing business with the companies, the Sudanese Ambassador to the United States told EIR that this action by Bush would undermine the implementation of the CPA.

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