Sudan: Major Upsurge in Violence Threatens Peace Deal, Say Aid Agencies

Posted: January 9, 2010 in sudan
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A coalition of aid agencies working in southern Sudan has called for urgent international action to save the country’s 2005 peace agreement, which it says is threatened by “a major upsurge in violence” and tensions around two key votes to be held in the next year.

“Sudan is at a crossroads,” the 10 agencies say in a report released Thursday, “and the next 12 months could determine the future of Africa’s largest nation.”

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which ended a 21-year civil war between north and south, is “extremely fragile” the agencies add. “The humanitarian situation, already one of the worst in the world, is deteriorating; and in the eyes of most ordinary southerners, meaningful post-war development has been absent.”

In a news release issued with the report, one of its co-authors, Oxfam policy adviser Maya Mailer, warned that if violence in the south escalated even further, the situation could become “one of the biggest emergencies in Africa in 2010.”

Paul Valentin, international director of Christian Aid, called for “sustained diplomatic engagement from the international community, including Sudan’s neighbours… A return to war is by no means inevitable, but it depends whether the world heeds the warning signs of the past year and has the political will to save the peace.”

The report notes that 2,500 people were killed and more than 350,000 displaced in southern Sudan last year. “Some communities and observers say that the intensity and nature of… ethnic clashes, in particular the indiscriminate killing of women, children and the elderly, has exceeded anything seen since the end of the conflict.”

Read the full report via allAfrica.com: Sudan: Major Upsurge in Violence Threatens Peace Deal, Say Aid Agencies.

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