IRC and Partners Say, One Year Later, Sudan Yet to Feel Benefits of Peace Agreement
One year after the landmark peace agreement ending the 21-year civil war in Sudan, millions of Sudanese continue to live in fear of violence and have yet to feel the benefits of peace, according to the International Rescue Committee and its partners in the Sudan Advocacy Coalition.
“The peace agreement signed a year ago was a momentous achievement,” coalition spokesperson Sorcha O’Callaghan said in a January 9 statement. “But with conflict still raging in Darfur and insecurity in the south and east of the country, many Sudanese have little to celebrate. The challenge this year is to make sure that people of Sudan really feel the benefits of peace.”
One year on, food and water are still in short supply in south Sudan. And most communities still have no access to schools or health services, despite pledges made by donors in the Norwegian capital Oslo last April to provide US$ 4.5 billion for the development of Sudan. Thousands of people who fled during the fighting are beginning to return to their homes, placing additional strain on already fragile communities, which could lead to further insecurity, the coalition warns. Unless the hopes and needs of the Sudanese people are met, the time and effort spent in negotiating the agreement will be squandered, it added.
In addition to the IRC, the Sudan Advocacy Coalition is comprised of CARE International, Christian Aid, Oxfam GB, Tearfund and Save the Children UK.
The signing of the peace accords by Sudan’s government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on January 9, 2005, ended a war that has led to the death of an estimated two million people and displaced twice as many.