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Sudan: Framework Accord Between Government and Liberation Movement

(July 1, 2011) On June 28, 2011, the “Framework Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM-North) on Political Partnership between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the SPLM-North, and Political and Security Arrangements in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States” was concluded. (Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Situation in Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan, United Nations website (June 29, 2011).)

The two states involved are located at the border of the northern and southern portions of Sudan. The accord was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and calls for the creation of a Joint Political Committee, with participants from the two parties to the agreement, to consider security matters for the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. (Ban Welcomes Accord on Sudan's Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States, UN NEWS CENTRE (June 29, 2011).)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement commending the parties to the accord, urging an end to current hostilities, and expressing appreciation for the work put into achieving this accord by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), led by former South African President Thabo Mbekim, with support from the U.N. Mission in Sudan and other partners. (Statement, supra.) The two states had been mandated to hold public consultations about their future status under Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Southern Sudan's independence becomes official on July 9 of this year. (UN NEWS CENTRE, supra.)

Among its provisions, the new Framework Agreement states that soldiers formerly allied with the southern portion of Sudan but located at present in the north should either be disarmed or be incorporated into the armed forces of the north. Furthermore, it calls for the two parties to work toward a ceasefire and to permit humanitarian groups to aid the estimated 73,000 persons displaced in Southern Kordofan by fighting in recent weeks. (Id.)