The Comprehensive Peace Agreement

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement: A Landmark Agreement for Sudan

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed on January 9, 2005, marked a significant turning point in the history of Sudan. The agreement ended Africa`s longest-running civil war, which lasted for 21 years, between the northern-based Government of Sudan and the southern-based Sudan People`s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The CPA was the culmination of several years of negotiations between the Sudanese government and the SPLM. It was brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization of East African countries. The agreement aimed to resolve the long-standing conflict between the two sides by addressing the root causes of the conflict, including issues of governance, religion, and oil.

One of the most important provisions of the CPA was the creation of a new government structure for Sudan. The agreement established a federal system of governance, with two autonomous regions — Southern Sudan and the Blue Nile — and a national government. It also provided for power-sharing between the northern and southern regions, with the SPLM receiving a 50% representation in the national government.

Another significant provision of the CPA was the recognition of the right to self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan. The agreement stipulated that a referendum would be held in Southern Sudan in 2011 to determine whether the region would become an independent state or remain part of Sudan. In 2011, the people of Southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession, and South Sudan became the world`s newest country.

The CPA also addressed the issue of oil, which was a major source of contention between the two sides. The agreement stipulated that the oil revenues would be shared equally between the national government and the two autonomous regions. It also provided for the demarcation of the boundary between the two regions, which was a major source of conflict.

The CPA was hailed as a significant achievement for Sudan and a model for conflict resolution in Africa. It demonstrated that peace could be achieved through negotiations and compromise, even in the most protracted and complex conflicts.

However, the implementation of the CPA has been uneven, and several provisions of the agreement have yet to be fully realized. The partnership between northern and southern Sudanese parties has not always been smooth, and there have been several instances of violence in the south, particularly in the years following South Sudan`s independence.

Despite these challenges, the CPA remains a landmark agreement for Sudan and a testament to the power of diplomacy and negotiation in resolving conflicts. It represents a significant milestone in Sudan`s history and offers hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future for the country.