Evaluating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
A new report by Johan Brosché of Uppsala University, in tandem with the UN’s Mediation Support Unit, evaluates the CPA, focusing on power-sharing aspects of the accord. Also, the paper seeks to answer what lessons can be learned from the CPA, with regards to sharing power to enable peace. In the paper a broad approach is applied which includes all four different types of power sharing: political, economic, territorial and military. The methodology used for this paper mainly comprises interviews with politicians, academics, policy-makers, diplomats and observers involved in the negotiation process leading up to the signing of the CPA on January 9, 2005, as well as people engaged in the implementation phase. The interviews were primarily carried out during a field-trip by the author to Khartoum, Juba and Nairobi in July 2009. But also preparatory interviews prior to the field-trip, as well as complementary interviews after the trip, have been conducted. In addition, a wide variety of academic and policy literature has been consulted so as to gain as broad and deep understanding of the situation as possible.
The key lessons to be learned from this report are as follows: The CPA process suggests that involving both regional actors and the broader international community can constitute a fruitful approach towards reaching an agreement. Also, the CPA shows the importance of not getting stuck with details and therefore a call is made to focus on the functioning of the agreement.
In addition, the CPA is an example of how a lack of capability among the parties severely increases the problems at hand; capacity-building of the parties should thus be a focused area. Furthermore, one positive asset with power sharing is that it can build trust between former enemies, but if an exit option of this co-operation is included in the agreement, the potential for trust-building is reduced; power-sharing agreements should thus preferably not include such options.
Moreover, power-sharing accords can have unintended effects for other regions, so such potential consequences have to be examined.
Additionally, the constituencies that are represented at the negotiations influence the legitimacy and implementation of the agreement; consequently, issues of inclusion and exclusion have to be carefully scrutinized. Also, it is important to convey the message of an agreement to various constituencies, and to bring peace dividends to the people to increase the legitimacy of the agreement.
Regarding the implementation phase, three key lessons are learned. First, for a successful implementation it is essential to keep up the momentum of the signing. Secondly, this paper wants to emphasize that the signing of an agreement is the start, and not the end, of building peace. Finally, this report emphasizes the importance of striving to keep the moment ripe during the implementation process.
Johan’s report raises a lot of interesting points about the dilemmas posed in the process and substance of the CPA.
Central is the question of trust (p. 31). The CPA was possible because of the rapport that had been established between John Garang and Ali Osman Taha. The two men did not agree on a vision for the future of Sudan, but they agreed that the country could only have a future if there was a dynamic leadership, from the collegial presidency, that actively and energetically addressed the future. That rapport was not enough for the peace agreement to be possible: the SPLM insisted on extremely detailed provisions, anticipating that the NCP would try to renege on many of them. In the absence of the Garang-Ali Osman partnership and an active collegial presidency, the CPA has fallen back upon the immensely complicated but ultimately mechanical provisions spelled out in its 240 plus pages. That is sure to be an unworkable formula.
The question of the inclusiveness of the CPA process is important and controversial (pp. 32-3). Brosche’s report deals in particular with the debate over whether to bring the issue of Darfur into the CPA negotiations during 2004. The factor that swung this in favour of prioritizing the CPA was the anticipation that John Garang, once in office, would have the clout and credibility to bring the Darfur rebels into a deal. That was a realistic option that never, or course, came to pass.
Brosche doesn’t address the debates over inclusiveness right at the beginning of the active negotiations in 2000-01. At that time, a small group (including myself) advocated that the parties in the National Democratic Alliance be brought into the negotiations. We feared for the implications of excluding the Beja (especially, at that time) and the Darfurians. We brought representatives of these groups (in the case of Darfur, Ahmed Diraige and Sharif Harir) to Kampala and Nairobi to try to bring them into the IGAD process. Neither the GoS nor the SPLM was favourable, despite some rhetoric from the SPLM. We were also blocked by the U.S., most critically by an official in the Clinton Africa team.
I am intrigued by the comments, on p. 32 and 40-1, that the CPA is not really a post-conflict deal, but pending the referendum, is more akin to holding south Sudan in limbo, and that including an “exit option” is an error in general, though unavoidable in this case. Is there an alternative framing of these options that would have been preferable?
In addition, the following lines deserve attention (p. 34):
“The connections between CPA and the fighting in Darfur is also emphasized by the Darfurian rebel Abdallah Nouri who states with respect to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) from May 5, 2006, that it falls short of their demands and in comparison with the CPA it is not even close. He continues to state that if it takes 22 years of fighting, then let it take 22 years of fighting, that is better than to agree on the terms offered in the DPA.”
This individual is, I suspect, the same Nouri Abdalla, Canadian citizen, who was part of Abdel Wahid’s team in Abuja and who advocated strongly against signing the DPA. Others in the team said he had never been to the field. I don’t know if this is correct but it was striking that the most adamant opponents of signing the deal were two exiles of Canadian citizenship. Presumably they did not envisage the “22 years of fighting” involving them personally.
I think Dr. Johan Brosche analysis deserves more comments and I would have wanted him to come out with more concrete ideas on how to redress this situation.
I however feel it is necessary to comment on his statement in page 17:
“The northern part of the country was under Egypt whilst the Southern was controlled by the United Kingdom”.
The reconquest of the Sudan, was, by all objective measures, a pure British Design,and in no point can one talk of a real Egyptian control, as the British virtually controlled Egypt itself. I hope Dr.Johan would reconsider this statement , I am not questioning his intentions nor drawing any conclusions.
I believe that many in the Sudan,North,South, East and West, had great hopes, admiration and confidence in the Late Dr. John Garang’s leadership and indeed his death was a very serious blow to the peace efforts and reform in Sudanese politics.
But then one can’t but raise an issue about Dar Fur, is it that some considered it part of the struggle within the Islamic Movement, i.e. the NCP of President Bashir and the PCP of Dr. Hassan Alturabi,the latter thought to be the force behind the JEM?
Yet many thought that Dr. Garang would bring in the Dar Fur Groups, the movements in the East, but sadly all those hopes went down in that doomed helicopter, with the champion of the New Sudan.
To-day it seems to me that the CPA has come to mean one thing for some:
“A referendum in 2011 which will lead to Independence.”
And I ask,should we hostages to the text, or rather act out the context?
Which is more important for the Sudanese to-day, fulfill the time-frame of the CPA,or the spirit of the CPA?
Would it not be possible for the two main Parties to CPA, to take a step back, and together with the other forces of the National Democratic Alliance, the and the other that Alex refers too?
If time and other complexities demand, would it not be wiser to seriously consider other options? One step backward helps us take two forward,after all we owe to the Sudan and its people and to Africa.
The Sudan, holds the destiny of Africa in its hands, said Toynbee, will its elite, in the South, the North,the East and the West, realize this?