15 May 2002
Danforth Report Outlines International Peace Efforts in Sudan
(U.S. participation should be "collaborative and catalytic," report
Now is the time for a major push by the United States and other
countries for a compromise settlement in Sudan, a report from the U.S.
special envoy to Sudan concludes.
Senator John Danforth submitted the report April 26 to President Bush,
who named Danforth his Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan September 6,
2001. In the report, Danforth outlines his findings and
recommendations based on months of negotiations with the Sudanese
parties embroiled in an 18-year civil war, key European partners and
neighbor countries of Sudan.
Stating that the war is "not winnable by either side," the report says
a sustained international effort could be most successful in achieving
a workable settlement for both sides. The report stresses that U.S.
participation must be both "collaborative and catalytic," finding
effective means for Sudanese parties themselves to reach and implement
The report stipulates that the United States should not establish its
own peace initiative, but rather should support and consolidate the
existing initiatives. The Danforth report applauds the cooperative
efforts of Kenya and Egypt, as well as support from Canada, Norway,
Switzerland and members of the European Union to bring peace to Sudan.
Coordinating with other countries as well as the U.S. Agency for
International Development, the report says, Danforth presented to the
Sudanese parties four proposals, which focus on the implementation of
a cease-fire, the establishment of "days of tranquility" to allow for
humanitarian aid, the prevention of attacks against civilians and the
abolishment of slavery.
International efforts have yielded success on several fronts, the
report states. Both sides of the conflict, the Sudanese government and
the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), have expressed their
desire for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and have encouraged
American involvement, the report says. More importantly, the report
says the parties have implemented a cease-fire in the hotly contested
Nuba Mountains region and have allowed international monitors into the
The Danforth report underscores that any continued U.S. involvement in
Sudan should include humanitarian assistance and should focus on the
key remaining issues of contention, namely: religious and cultural
freedoms, effective monitoring mechanisms, and revenue-sharing. The
report also says, "the United States should continue to accord Sudan a
Following is the text of the Danforth report:
For Immediate Release May 14, 2002
The Outlook for Peace in the Sudan
Report to the President of the United States
John C. Danforth, Special Envoy For Peace
April 26, 2002
Report to the President
When you introduced me at a Rose Garden ceremony as your Special Envoy
for Peace in Sudan, you eloquently expressed the anguish felt by many
Americans for the suffering of the Sudanese people. You said that it
was time to bring some sanity to Sudan. You gave me a mandate: to
determine the commitment to peace by the parties to the Sudan
conflict, and to recommend whether the United States should engage
energetically in efforts to bring a just peace to that country.
Afterwards, I discussed possible approaches to fulfilling my mandate
with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Assistant Secretary of State
Walter Kansteiner, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and
others. Based on these discussions, I decided that the most effective
approach would be a catalytic one that encouraged and harmonized the
peace initiatives of countries neighboring Sudan, especially Egypt and
Kenya, and that engaged interested countries such as Canada, Norway,
Switzerland, certain members of the European Union and others in a
common effort to support peace. The United States would not create its
own peace plan to compete with those plans already in existence.
Instead, we would encourage advocates of existing plans to move
forward in cooperation with one another. Nor would we attempt to
arbitrate the competing claims of the parties in Sudan. Rather, we
would test the prospects for a dynamic peace process in which the
United States might be a participant.
During these preliminary discussions, we also agreed that my
responsibilities might include two trips to Sudan and its neighbors,
and a trip to Europe; that I would issue a report in approximately six
months; and that, if you so directed, I would be available as needed
in future peace negotiations.
An outstanding group of professionals assisted me in carrying out my
mission, led by retired Foreign Service Officer Robert Oakley. The
team also includes Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlie Snyder,
Coordinator for Sudan Affairs Jeff Millington, Director for African
Affairs at the National Security Council Michael Miller, and U.S.
Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator Roger
ENGAGING THE PARTIES
To fulfill my mandate, I twice traveled to Sudan to meet with the
senior leadership of the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's
Liberation Movement (SPLM), the chief antagonists in the Sudan
conflict, as well as numerous other groups and individuals of civil
society. I traveled extensively in Sudan, visiting areas affected by
the war, drought and human dislocation. The human suffering I
witnessed was staggering. I talked to people who had been attacked by
government helicopters and had fled to the bush with nothing but the
clothes on their backs. I talked to others who had been abducted by
marauding Arab raiders, subjected to unspeakable brutality, separated
from their children and reduced to lives of servitude. I also met many
Sudanese who were struggling to hold to their faith in the face of
privation and attack. One of my most memorable experiences was an open
air Episcopal service near a bombed out church in the small southern
town of Rumbek. The faith of the congregation was something that I
will always treasure.
I met with President Moi of Kenya, President Museveni of Uganda, and
President Mubarak of Egypt to discuss their countries' efforts to help
bring a just peace to Sudan. All expressed the belief that the active
engagement of the United States offered the only hope for finally
bringing this conflict to an end. In Europe, I coordinated with our
British, Norwegian and Italian allies, and discussed the religious
situation with the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury. In New
York I reviewed UN humanitarian efforts in Sudan. I also reached out
to members of Congress and activist groups engaged in Sudan. While
there were differences about how we could best contribute to ending
the conflict, the underlying message was one of support for your peace
initiative and a plea for committed United States engagement.
DEVELOPING HUMANITARIAN PROPOSALS TO "TEST" THE PARTIES
I decided to take a different approach to the Sudanese parties in
fulfilling my mandate. The history of Sudan is littered with dozens of
proposals and agreements to end the fighting. These agreements all
have one thing in common: none was implemented, and none brought Sudan
closer to peace. After 18 years, with over two million dead and over
4.5 million refugees and internally displaced, the war continued.
Therefore, instead of drafting yet more new comprehensive peace
agreements, I decided to test the parties' commitment by submitting to
them a series of concrete proposals that would challenge them
politically while at the same time reduce the suffering of the
Sudanese. I worked closely in developing these proposals with
Administrator for the Agency of International Development Andrew
Natsios, your Special Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, and
especially with one of his chief assistants, Roger Winter. Natsios and
Winter are very experienced with Sudan. They agreed with me that it
was vital that we coordinate the humanitarian and development programs
of USAID and other donor countries with my mission to demonstrate to
the Sudanese that movement toward peace would produce both short-term
benefits and the prospect of long-term rewards.
We devised four proposals, all based on three basic premises. The
proposals focused first and foremost on protecting ordinary Sudanese
civilians who often find themselves caught between the two opposing
parties. Second, they obliged the parties to change past patterns of
behavior and to make tough political choices. Third, the proposals
provided for international involvement and monitoring so as to
maximize the chances of being respected. Previous agreements did not
provide for international involvement and often collapsed because of
the intense distrust of the parties who could not monitor compliance
and verify implementation. Our proposals were designed to avoid this
failure. (International involvement has the added advantage of making
it harder for the world to turn a blind eye to the suffering and
injustice that is the reality in Sudan.)
The four proposals addressed specific areas of human suffering in
Sudan. I presented the outlines of these proposals to the parties
during my November visit to the region. Three weeks later a joint
State/USAID/DOD team returned to Sudan to follow up. The negotiations
were intense because we were asking both sides to put the well-being
and protection of the people and the prospects of peace above
considerations of short-term military advantage. After eighteen years
of war, this was not easy. Nevertheless, by dint of persuasion,
pressure and perseverance, we were eventually able to secure agreement
to all four of the proposals, as discussed below.
During my first trip, however, we received only vague verbal
commitments on three of the four proposals. We encountered stiff
resistance to our proposal to end intentional military attacks against
civilians, particularly bombing by Sudanese Government aircraft and
use of helicopter gunships. Both sides were prepared to commit
themselves verbally to not attacking civilians, but the Government
resisted setting up an international mechanism to ensure compliance.
It took over three months of intensive, painstaking negotiations, but
in late March we were also successful in reaching agreement on this
As difficult as it has been to reach agreements on paper, it is
essential to recognize that the end product of past efforts has been
paper agreements and nothing more. The history of Sudan is replete
with paper agreements that the parties have quickly ignored.
Repeatedly throughout my mission, starting with the first visit, I
told both sides that I was far less interested in what the parties
promised than in what they did. Implementation was what would count.
This distinction between promises and action was clear throughout my
mission. Prior to my November trip, the Government of Sudan promised
that I could travel to the Nuba Mountains. Two days before my visit
(which did occur despite the warnings), government artillery shelled
the landing strip on which I was scheduled to arrive. In another
instance, the Government of Sudan tentatively agreed to our proposal
not to intentionally attack civilians. Three days later, a military
helicopter strafed a World Food Program feeding site, killing at least
seventeen civilians. In light of these incidents (and many more), I
would condition participation by the United States in a peace process
upon concrete implementation of and full compliance with all
Here is a brief description of the four proposals and their
implementation to date. The texts of the four agreed proposals with
more details on the implementation are contained in the annex.
-- Cease-fire and comprehensive relief and rehabilitation program for
the Nuba Mountains region
This area of African and Christian influence had been under siege for
almost two decades by the Government, which used military force and
starvation as weapons, and which applied cultural and religious
pressures against the people who live there. The government had
allowed no relief into certain targeted areas of the Nuba Mountains
for thirteen years to reinforce food pressures upon the population.
We first proposed and obtained a four-week cease-fire to allow for
food drops. I then proposed during my first visit to extend the
stand-down from military action to allow the relief agencies to work,
to establish a formal, internationally monitored cease-fire, and to
implement a comprehensive relief and rehabilitation program for the
entire region. We also had a broader objective: to educate the parties
as to what would be involved in a comprehensive cease-fire, and to
begin to develop their confidence in working with each other and with
us in a practical, non-political manner.
The Government and the SPLM both agreed to a written proposal during
the December visit of the State/USAID/DOD team headed by Jeff
Millington. Subsequent, detailed negotiations to work out the
verification procedures, international monitors and the Joint Military
Commission combining Sudanese parties and the international observers
were held successfully in January in Switzerland, under Swiss
chairmanship, with Swiss and American facilitators. The cease-fire
continues to hold on the ground. Some freedom of access between GOS
and SPLM controlled areas has also developed.
The Norwegian Government has taken the lead with our support in the
international monitoring effort that will put from 15 to 25 monitors
on the ground in the region to ensure the compliance of the parties.
The first monitors have arrived and the Joint Military Committee has
begun to function satisfactorily. Monitors and funding to date have
come from Italy, France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the
United Kingdom and the United States. USAID also worked with UN relief
agencies to complete the survey of relief and rehabilitation
requirements. Relief and development supplies have begun to flow into
the region with locally granted flight clearances. This is a complete
departure from the previous Sudanese Government refusal to grant
access except under great pressure with approval at the top level of
-- Days of Tranquility
This proposal was aimed at enhancing the provision of relief to needy
Sudanese by having the parties agree to specific periods when they
would stand-down military action to allow the relief agencies to work.
The proposal focused on eradication programs for polio, guinea worm
and bovine rinderpest. Sudan contains some of the largest remaining
reservoirs in the world of all three diseases.
For the parties to stand-down militarily and to allow relief personnel
unhindered and continuing access to specified areas during specified
periods to implement eradication programs.
There has been a great deal of confusion concerning the three elements
of the Days of Tranquility proposal and where the responsibility lies
for delays. In some cases, bureaucratic misunderstandings on the part
of implementing donors as well as the Sudanese Government and the SPLM
are at fault. In the case of Guinea worm, the program is not yet ready
to move ahead even though the parties approved it in January.
Nevertheless, in the case of the polio program, which was initially
held up by GOS flight denials and an incident in which SPLM militia
captured, beat and robbed one group of polio vaccinators,
implementation is now steadily improving. The bovine rinderpest
program has also been completed. However, given the continuing
uncertainty about this proposal, I recommend that the United States
engage directly with the parties to remove the confusion over Zones of
Tranquility and to ensure that its implementation proceed without any
interference by either the GOS or the SPLM. The uncertainties, delays
and doubts highlight the need for greater clarity and care on all
sides in preparing, presenting and carrying out humanitarian
activities in regions of military and political sensitivity.
-- Attacks Against Civilians
This proposal was intended to prevent intentional, wanton attacks
(often by government bombers and helicopter gunships) against innocent
civilians. As stated earlier, Government helicopters recently fired
into a crowd of 4,000 Sudanese villagers waiting to receive food at a
World Food Program feeding site, killing at least seventeen and
wounding many more. The Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and
associated militia have also targeted relief operations and civilian
For the parties to reconfirm their commitment not to intentionally
attack civilians and civilian facilities such as schools, hospitals
and relief sites, and to establish an international verification
mechanism to confirm compliance.
Both parties have signed the agreement. The United States is now
pulling together an international consortium to establish the
verification mechanism and will take the lead in providing both
financial and personnel support to ensure success. The mechanism will
be headquartered in Khartoum with a secondary office in Rumbek and
will be staffed by approximately 15 experienced professionals.
-- Anti-Slavery Initiative
There is probably no issue other than civilian bombings that concerns
Americans more than the continued existence of slavery in Sudan. The
record is clear: The Government arms and directs marauding raiders who
operate in the south, destroying villages and abducting women and
children to serve as chattel servants, herders and field hands.
The proposal commits the Government to strengthen and make effective
its own anti-slavery commission. It further commits both parties to
facilitate the visit of a U.S.-led, internationally supported mission
of eight eminent persons to undertake an assessment of the situation
and make recommendations to the parties and others on practical
measures that can be taken to end such abuses.
The Government has strengthened its commission by bringing it under
the direct control of the President of Sudan, and by selecting a
respected vice-minister as the new Commission Chairman. For our part,
the U.S. Department of State has organized the Mission of Inquiry
under the leadership of former Voice of America Deputy Penn Kemble and
Ambassador George Moose. The British, Norwegians, Italians and French
have very experienced and eminent persons participating in the Mission
that completed its first visit to the region on April 18. The Mission
is expected to make specific action recommendations whose
implementation will be encouraged, supported and observed by its very
capable team of Technical Advisors headed by an American, Elizabeth
Jackson. In addition, USAID and the Department of State are making
funds available to promote reconciliation between the southern Dinka
tribe (the victims of the slave raids) and the tribes of the marauding
EFFORTS TO END THE CONFLICT
I made it clear throughout that the United States does not intend to
launch a new ""American"" peace initiative. There are already too many
peace initiatives for Sudan and our objective should be to consolidate
these initiatives, not add to them. Also, rather than denigrating the
work of the Kenyans, the Egyptians and others, we should encourage
them to cooperate with each other and build upon their past efforts.
I have been impressed with the efforts of President Moi to breathe new
life into the peace process Kenya is spear-heading for the
Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the regional
grouping of East African states. President Moi met me three times to
discuss peace and could not have been clearer in committing his own
personal prestige to an early peace agreement in Sudan. He received a
reinforced mandate from the IGAD Summit in Khartoum in March and has
appointed the very capable Army Chief of Staff, General Lazarus
Sumbeiywo, to be the Kenyan Envoy to the peace process. General
Sumbeiywo is working hard to bring the Sudanese Government and the
SPLM together around a negotiating framework that seeks to address the
legitimate grievances and aspirations of the southern Sudanese in the
context of efforts to maintain the unity of the country.
Egypt had also developed its own initiative to bring peace to Sudan.
This Joint Initiative (with Libya) focused more on broader national
issues than that of the Kenyans. In the past, the two have appeared to
be at odds, and the existence of two peace initiatives allowed the
Sudanese parties to favor one or the other to advance their own
interests and avoid difficult decisions about peace.
I spoke to both President Moi and President Mubarak about coordinating
their efforts to make them complementary rather than competitive. Both
reacted positively. President Moi emphasized the importance of Egypt
to peace in Sudan, and asked the help of the U.S. in seeking to
harmonize their two initiatives. President Mubarak assured me he
wanted to work with Kenya, that he was prepared to harmonize the
Egyptian initiative with that of IGAD, and that he would welcome
direct discussions to this end. He reviewed with me his view of the
situation, especially in light of the terrible events of September 11,
which make Muslim-Christian agreement all the more important. I
consider President Mubarak's views on Sudan and the Egyptian
commitment to increased cooperation with IGAD to be a major advance.
Since my meeting with President Mubarak, General Sumbeiywo has visited
Cairo to discuss better coordination. He is now working on how to
bring Egypt into the negotiating process, an effort we should support
The newfound cooperation and coordination between the U.S. and
interested European governments is, I believe, another positive
development. In the past, exaggerated differences in approaches
between the United States and Europe have had an impact upon the
Sudanese to the detriment of efforts to encourage peace. Recently,
greatly improved communication and coordination between the United
States and Europe have increased our joint and separate potential to
work for the relief of suffering in Sudan, and to encourage progress
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The principal conclusion of my mission is that the war is not winnable
by either side in terms of achieving their present objectives.
Therefore this is the time for a major push for a compromise
settlement. I believe that both the Government of Sudan and the SPLM
have given sufficient indications that they want peace to warrant the
energetic participation of the United States in a long-term peace
process. Leaders of both sides have stated their desire for a peaceful
resolution to the conflict, and have encouraged American involvement.
During April, both sides have offered proposals to IGAD that suggest
rethinking of previously held positions. With respect to the four test
proposals, both sides have shown that it is possible to agree on
contentious issues and to permit international monitoring of the
implementation of their agreements.
The Nuba Mountains agreement, relating to one of the most hotly
contested regions of the country, is extraordinary. The cease-fire in
the Nuba Mountains is holding; international monitors are arriving;
and a long-term relief and rehabilitation effort is beginning. The
impact of this successful agreement has given the people of the Nuba
Mountains a new life, and in other parts of Sudan it has provided a
powerful argument for peace that is not lost upon the Government or
the SPLM. Agreements on the slavery mission and attacks against
civilians are equally encouraging. With sustained implementation, they
will provide further evidence that peace is possible.
However, progress even on the four test points has been exceedingly
difficult, and such agreement as has been reached has been grudging.
Both sides want the conflict resolved, but on their own terms. Great
suspicion still exists on both sides, and the fighting continues,
centered at present in the Upper Nile Province. Both sides view
progress as a zero sum game, with any advantage to one side seen as a
disadvantage to the other.
Difficulties with the Days of Tranquility initiative illustrate the
problem. We see the Days of Tranquility as improving the health of
Sudanese and building confidence between the combatants. However, the
Government of Sudan tries to manipulate the process to tighten control
of supplies going to SPLM areas, and the SPLM insists that UN operated
flights neither originate in nor fly over land controlled by the
The extreme difficulty of reaching agreement between the Government of
Sudan and the SPLM underscores the essential importance of outside
intermediaries in a peace process, including the United States.
However, the usefulness of outside assistance will depend on the
willingness of the parties to live up to the commitments they make. I
believe that any participation by the United States should be reviewed
continually in light of the ongoing willingness of the parties to
implement their agreements, and that a breakdown in the implementation
of the four test agreements would bring into question the parties'
commitment to peace.
MY OBSERVATIONS ON KEY ISSUES
In the event that the United States will opt to participate in a
sustained peace process for Sudan, I offer the following thoughts on
substantive issues that must be addressed and on some procedural steps
we should take. It is up to the parties to determine their own
positions on these issues on which they have strongly held views. It
is not up to me or the United States or other outside parties.
However, they are critical issues that the U.S. as well as the parties
need to consider carefully. In the course of genuine movement toward
peace the views of the parties may evolve.
I. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
Both the discovery of significant oil reserves, especially in the
south, and the advent of serious production in 1999 have reshaped
Sudan's civil war. (Sudan has proven oil reserves of over one billion
barrels and prospects of an additional one to four billion barrels.)
No enduring settlement to Sudan's war can be achieved unless the oil
dimension is effectively addressed. The SPLM regards oil as a southern
endowment that the government has forcibly exploited to finance a war
strategy that relies increasingly on expensive, highly lethal weapons.
For its part, the government regards oil fields as vulnerable,
strategic assets, which it seeks to defend preemptively through
attacks upon southern insurgents and their alleged civilian
supporters. The recent reconciliation between John Garang and Riak
Machar, and Garang's statements on impending attacks by the SPLA, are
seen by the Sudanese Government as a serious Nuer-Dinka threat to the
oil fields, justifying a military response including attacks on
Any peace process should address the oil issue in order to resolve a
major cause of conflict and to serve as the basis for a just peace.
The fair allocation of oil resources could be the key to working out
broader political issues if it were possible to find a monetary
formula for sharing oil revenue between the central government and the
people of the south. It might be possible to find some formula
acceptable to both the SPLM and the GOS for cessation of the current
conflict over the oil fields before a final peace agreement.
International oil companies and foreign investors capable of making
the investment needed to realize Sudan's oil potential are more likely
to venture into Sudan if there is peace and political stability than
in current circumstances. That fact should serve as a powerful
incentive for the Sudanese Government and the SPLM to reach agreement.
Any such arrangements will, however, require extensive discussion and
analysis and will require reliable mechanisms with international
monitoring to guarantee the integrity of whatever revenue-sharing
formula is agreed upon.
Since shortly after my appointment as Special Envoy, I have urged our
government to draw upon experts in various departments to develop our
best thinking on how the distribution of oil revenues might further
the cause of peace in Sudan. Some promising work is being done by
non-governmental organizations to assemble a profile of Sudan's oil
sector and explore revenue-sharing options. I continue to believe that
such a work product would be valuable for consideration in a peace
Southern Sudanese have consistently experienced mistreatment at the
hands of governments in the north, including racial, cultural and
religious intolerance and restricted access to the nation's resources.
Any peace agreement must address the injustices suffered by the
southern Sudanese people.
Southern Sudanese have claimed the right of self-determination as a
means of protecting themselves against persecution; however, there are
different views of what self-determination means in Sudan's future.
The view that self-determination includes the guaranteed option of
secession is contained in the IGAD Declaration of Principles, and is
supported by many Sudanese. However, secession would be strongly
resisted by the Government of Sudan, and would be exceedingly
difficult to achieve.
A more feasible, and, I think, preferable view of self-determination
would ensure the right of the people of southern Sudan to live under a
government that respects their religion and culture. Such a system
would require robust internal and external guarantees so that any
promises made by the Government in peace negotiations could not be
ignored in practice.
In Sudan, no single issue is more divisive than the relationship
between religion and the state. Differences between Muslims and
Christians are so sharp that there is no communication or
understanding between the two faiths.
The depth of the problem first became clear to me at a joint meeting
of Muslim and Christian clergy during my November 2001 trip to
Khartoum. Muslim clergy insisted that religion is not an issue in
Sudan, that Shari'a law has no application to non-Muslims, and that
all Sudanese are free to practice their faiths. The Christian clergy
responded to the Muslims' assertion with vehemence and anger, reciting
a list of grievances, including the teaching of Islam and Arabic in
schools and the government's tear-gassing of the Episcopal cathedral
during Holy Week, 2000.
As striking as the contentiousness of the meeting were the words of
appreciation separately expressed afterwards. Both Muslims and
Christians said that, before the meeting, they had not known each
other, and had not previously heard the other side express its views.
The hostility of Christians to the Islamic government was strongly
expressed by Christian clergy at a meeting I had with them during my
January 2002 trip. I convened the meeting to explore whether they
would support the creation in the near future of a system for
mediating religious grievances, even before a peace agreement. Their
very negative response was that such a system would not work, and that
the only way for Christians to deal with the government was by
""self-determination."" By including the right to self-determination
in any peace agreement, they believed they would be protected in the
event the elements of an agreement on religious rights were not
Whatever the assertions by the government and by Muslims that
religious freedom exists in Sudan, I do not believe that an enduring
and just peace will come to the country if a substantial number of
citizens believes the government persecutes them. A number of people
told me that their sense of being persecuted involves race, ethnicity
and culture, but it clearly involves religion.
Any peace negotiation must address the relationship between religion
and government openly, frankly, and at length, perhaps with the
mediation of Muslim and Christian leaders from outside Sudan. Because
the political division of the country is not a practical solution to
the problem of religion, it is also important to explore other ways of
guaranteeing religious freedom. Mere verbal assertions of tolerance
will not satisfy non-Muslims, for the existing constitution of Sudan
purports to assure religious freedom.
The key will be to create guarantees of religious freedom, which could
be either internal or external. Internal guarantees would entail a
judicial means of enforcing religious rights, which may be unrealistic
in the short-term. External guarantees would include international
monitoring of religious freedom with a system of ""carrots and
sticks"" for enforcing religious rights.
Drafting a comprehensive peace agreement that assures religious and
cultural freedom and the equitable distribution of money from oil
revenue, or provides the other functions of government would require
careful thought. Subjects that must be considered include the division
of power between central and regional governments, the method of
selecting government leaders at all levels, and ways of enforcing
I have been told that there are at least a dozen different significant
politico-tribal factions in southern Sudan as well as influential
religious and other civil society groups. A similar situation prevails
in northern Sudan where there are a number of influential
politico-religious parties, ethnic, regional and civil society groups
and a politically powerful army as well as the existing government. It
will be important to ensure that these various groupings have the
ability to make their views known and to participate in decisions
relating to peace and the political future of Sudan.
e) Internal and external guarantees.
As pointed out elsewhere in this report, agreements reached on paper
have little value in Sudan unless there are mechanisms for
enforcement. Without enforcement, the United States could invest much
effort and prestige in working out an arrangement that, while sounding
good when it is announced, would soon evaporate. Internal guarantees,
enshrined in Sudanese law, are worth pursuing. But until Sudan has a
credible legal system and an enforceable constitution with political
and popular commitments to respect it, meaningful complementary
guarantees will have to be provided by other countries or regional or
international organizations. The United States should consider in
advance the form and extent of whatever guarantees it is willing to
provide and which other countries and organizations could usefully be
involved. This could include IGAD, the Organization of African Unity,
the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as well
as an ad hoc group of states. An idea that might be worth considering
is the establishment by the UNSC of a special committee to monitor the
implementation of a peace agreement and report at regular intervals to
the Council on any problem that warrants consideration and possible
action to correct.
II. HOW TO PROCEED
I believe the same principles that have governed my work as Special
Envoy should apply to any further participation by the United States
in a peace process.
At the time of my appointment, we realized that, while the United
States could be a catalyst, it could not impose a solution on Sudan.
Peace in Sudan will depend on the degree to which the combatants want
it, and that, in turn, will be determined by actions not promises. It
is also they, not the U.S. or other outsiders, who must decide upon
basic issues such as those discussed above.
We have put forth four tests of the will of the combatants, each of
which meets humanitarian needs, each of which requires sometime
difficult political decisions, and each of which entails external
monitoring of compliance. Collectively, their continued implementation
will constitute significant movement towards a peace agreement as well
as reduction in hostilities. Those four proposals should continue to
measure the commitment of the Sudanese. Other, limited proposals may
emerge which could provide more stepping-stones towards a full, just
We have correctly decided that the United States should not develop
its own peace plan. We should continue to actively encourage and
assist other countries in the region that have advanced peace plans to
work together, especially Egypt and Kenya. We should continue to urge
European and other countries interested in peace in Sudan to
participate in measures such as monitoring the cease-fire in the Nuba
Mountains and verification of the agreement protecting civilians, and
to support regional efforts to promote an overall agreement on just
peace. The considerable progress made to date needs to be pursued
without any loss of momentum. I believe any future participation by
the United States in a peace process should follow this catalytic
The participation by the United States in the search for peace, while
being collaborative and catalytic, must also be energetic and
effective. At the least, this means that we would have to enhance our
presently light diplomatic presence in Sudan in order to be effective
participants in a sustained, intensive peace process. Also, we should
strengthen the amount of interagency personnel resources in Washington
dedicated to Sudan and consider increasing our support for the IGAD
Finally, through USAID, the United States should continue to accord
Sudan a high priority, especially by providing humanitarian and
developmental assistance in the south of Sudan. In so doing, the U.S.
should coordinate closely with other donors. Also, we should work with
other donors in the north, where legally we may provide only
humanitarian aid, and if the prospects of peace improve, we should
consider removing restrictions on the form of aid we could offer to
John C. Danforth
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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