Xanthe Scharff, Dan Alila and Khalid Ahmed
As Sudan works towards democratic elections, observers fear that unresolved security issues will instigate renewed hostilities. This report includes three papers which were presented during a workship in Juba in support of the Building Capacity for Sustainable Peace in Sudan, a joint project of Project Ploughshares and Africa Peace Forum. All papers address the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan.
The first paper, written by Xanthe Scharff, examines the rationale behind DDR (Demobilization, Disarmament, Reintegration and Reconciliation) program design, highlights key accomplishments and explains the challenges of the implementation process. A key issue that arises from this analysis is the need for clear definition and communication of DDR objectives. Unlike many other DDR programs, Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement recognizes Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in southern Sudan as a formal army. Recognizing the SPLA as legitimate, combined with an anticipated return to hostilities in 2011, limits the agreement’s potential for success. Given the unique context in Sudan, DDR should be evaluated with an understanding of the particular challenges that implementers face. Primary among these challenges are ongoing security concerns in both the north and south, which have generated a lack of political will for full-scale DDR.
The second paper, written by Dan Alila, aims to analyze existing legislation for the control of SALW in Sudan and to assess the government’s commitment to SALW control mechanisms. It concludes by linking effective SALW control to peacebuilding efforts and community security, protection and development. Sudan is plagued by serious legislative and policy deficits on small arms and light weapons (SALW). Not only is the justice system ineffective and limited, but it is also characterized by intrinsic discord: while the north is governed by principles of sharia law, the south espouses common law. Such disharmony diminishes the effectiveness of SALW regulations. Lack of commitment is also problematic. Though the government of Sudan has signed a number of international and regional SALW control protocols, such agreements have proved to be only symbolic, diplomatic postures.
The third paper, written by Khalid Ahmed, argues that the CPA is inadequate as it is neither comprehensive nor inclusive. The CPA fails to acknowledge the economic, political and social reasons for militia formation. It also fails to recognize the status of militia groups or to encourage sincere dialogue with them. To achieve genuine and sustained peace, the CPA must take into account the many factors and actors involved in conflict.