Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Sudan: the stick and carrot

The US and its allies are trying to get the government and the SPLA/M to sign a comprehensive deal. (Note: This is a North-South conflict, distinct from the conflict in Darfur.) The US is threatening to withdraw some (unspecified) economic goodies if the factions don't sign a deal soon.
The U.N. Security Council is conducting a rare formal session in Nairobi Nov. 18-19 to pressure all parties to sign an agreement in the south by the end of the year and solve the crisis in Darfur in western Sudan.

[...] A draft resolution to be adopted in Nairobi "encourages" the World Bank and others to develop a reconstruction and economic development package, including debt forgiveness, once an agreement is reached in the south.

[...] Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking on Monday with reporters en route to Mexico City, cited unspecified "progress" in talks to resolve the North-South dispute in Sudan, saying: "We might be able to provide a little electricity to those proceedings when the Security Council meets in Nairobi."

U.S. Ambassador John Danforth, the current council president and organizer of the trip, said some offers would not last forever.

[...] Six protocols have already been signed between Khartoum and the SPLM, but are not in force. They include agreements on governmental power sharing, the country's oil wealth as well as integrated security forces in southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, the Southern Blue Nile and Khartoum.

In six years, southerners would be entitled to a referendum to determine whether they wanted to form their own state.

[The UN envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, told the council that ...] the main obstacle was the financing of an army in the south and the "parties seem reluctant to move."

"Strong political language is needed. They will listen to it if the big powers say it," Pronk said, referring to the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France. (source)