The culmination of two years of bilateral negotiation shepherded by former South African President Thabo Mbeki's African Union High Level Implementation Panel, the September 2012 agreements between Sudan and South Sudan were heralded as a landmark success. President Obama lauded the peace deal, remarking
This agreement breaks new ground in support of the international vision of two viable states at peace with each other, and represents substantial progress in resolving the outstanding security and economic issues between Sudan and South Sudan.
However, almost five months later, the September agreements have yet to yield a peace dividend for the people of Sudan and South Sudan. The final status of Abyei remains in limbo, cross-border incursions continue unabated, oil production and export has not restarted, and every day 300 refugees fleeing the grave humanitarian crises in Sudan's Two Areas cross into South Sudan.
The nine cooperation agreements between Sudan and South Sudan represent the start, rather than the end, of the bilateral peace process. Instead of codifying agreed upon compromises, these agreements set out a framework for 17 committees and commissions tasked with building consensus around politically sensitive issues and eventually implementing a durable peace. As a consequence, these committees are now ...[view whole blog post ]