Focus on Uganda’s neighbors: Lack of CPA implementation threatens south Sudan
In our continuing Wednesday coverage of Uganda’s neighbors, we focus today on the troubling news of the last week in southern Sudan. Last Thursday, we reported that southern Sudan’s main party (the SPLM) suspended its involvement in Sudan’s national unity government until its northern partners uphold their agreements under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005. After weeks of growing tension, the future of the CPA is uncertain. Opiyo Oloya writes in today’s New Vision that resumed violence in southern Sudan would halt the progress of the Juba peace talks for northern Uganda.
The International Crisis Group released a new report last week, showing that the current tensions are centered around the oil-rich Abyei region. Both sides have reportedly built up their military presence in and around the area. One of the SPLM’s demands is for northern troops to leave the Abyei region as promised in the CPA. Fortunately, South Sudanese officials met on Tuesday with Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir to discuss these tensions. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is expected to travel to Khartoum later this week for further talks. Still, as Crisis Group points out, the international community must re-engage to keep the CPA together and support its implementation.
Meanwhile, there are continuing reports of fighting and abduction to northern Uganda’s west, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Voice of America reports that “recruitment” of children into armed forces is skyrocketing. The humanitarian crisis in this region is only deepening. We’ll report much more next Wednesday on the politics of conflict in DRC.