On the occasion of the first anniversary of the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement by the Sudanese government and a number of rebel groups, the Sudan Troika congratulated the Sudanese and commended the signatories for upholding their partnership. The Troika, as well as the president of the Sovereignty Council and the chairperson of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance called for a rapid implementation of the agreement.
The signatories must recommit to fully implement the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA), the Troika, consisting of the USA, the UK, and Norway, said in a statement on Sunday.
The three countries praised “the steps that have been achieved in implementing the Juba Peace Agreement in the field of transitional justice, including cooperation with the International Criminal Court, and the commitment to hand over former President Omar al-Bashir and others.
The Troika however states it is also “deeply concerned” about the delays in the implementation of the agreement. “This includes establishing the Peace Commission, the Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism, the Transitional Legislative Assembly, and establishing the Darfur Security Keeping Forces and JPA security arrangements.
“Progress is needed now. We urge all JPA signatories to demonstrate leadership and work together to refocus on implementation to deliver much needed peace and security for the people. Special efforts should be made to meet the ambitious goals set in the Constitutional Declaration and JPA for the involvement of women.”
The Troika countries further expressed their disappointment with the loss of momentum in the peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu). “We urge Chairman Alhilu and the Government of Sudan to return to Juba and negotiate on the basis of the March 2021 Declaration of Principles,” the statement reads.
'Progress is needed now. We urge all JPA signatories to demonstrate leadership and work together to refocus on implementation to deliver much needed peace and security for the people.” – Sudan Troika
“Lastly, the Troika note with concern the growing unrest in Eastern Sudan and condemn actions that threaten Sudan’s stability and economy. We encourage the government and all Eastern parties to engage in dialogue to address legitimate grievances on the basis of the Constitutional Declaration and the JPA”.
The head of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, pledged “to maintain the partnership that protects the transition and leads to free and fair elections” in a press statement yesterday on the occasion of the first anniversary of the JPA. He urged the signatories to the agreement “to exert more efforts to complete the implementation of the agreement's provisions, especially concerning the security arrangements”, and called on rebel leaders Abdelaziz El Hilu and Abdelwahid El Nour, head of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement, to join the peace process.
El Hadi Idris, Chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF, an alliance of a number of rebel factions) and member of the Sovereignty Council accused the government of a “weak will” regarding the implementation of the security arrangements of the Darfur Track protocol of the JPA.
In a press conference on Sunday, Idris pointed to the delay in the Governance and Administration Conference, which was supposed to be held within six months after signing the JPA, and in establishing mechanisms for implementing the agreement, including the International Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. The challenges facing the peace process include “the funding of the process, the fragility of the social fabric, the nature of the partnership, and the interactions between partners and the signatory parties”.
According to the rebel leader, the international community has not provided adequate support for the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement so far.
The UN Special Representative for Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, in September appealed to the international community to help funding the Sudanese peace process. On Thursday last week, the UN and the Government of Norway convened a High-Level Side Event on Sudan in support of the transition process. Delegations from a large number of member states, UNITAMS, and international and regional organisations, attended the meeting.
Thousands of people took part in demonstrations in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and other places in the country on Thursday, in support of the democratic transition in the country. The demonstrators called for the establishment of a civilian government. The actions came in response to the tensions between the military and civilian components of the government that surfaced following an aborted coup on September 21. They openly blamed each other for the continuing crises in the country.
Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Sovereignty Council President and Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces and Lt Gen Mohamed Dagalo ‘Hemeti’ Sovereignty Council Deputy President and Chief of the Rapid Support Forces militia, accused the civilian politicians of squabbling and quarrelling over positions, and condemned the lack of respect for the military. Civilian members of the government criticised the military for “claiming a monopoly of guardianship over the country and the sole right to lead it through the transitional period”.
Envoys from South Sudan, France, and the USA arrived in Sudan this week in an attempt to defuse the political crisis.
In June, PM Abdallah Hamdok launched his initiative The Way Forward, “to find a way out of the national crisis and issues of democratic transition” in the country and “to develop a clear a national programme to unify the transitional bloc, and achieve a comprehensive peace by expanding its base”.