April 11th, 2014
South Sudan Crisis discussed in the House of Lords
On March 24th 2014, a debate took place in the House of Lords which aimed to address the security and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Many speakers contributed to the debate, including Lady Cox, CEO of HART.
Along with the other speakers, Lady Cox voiced concern for South Sudan and sought answers as to how the current situation in South Sudan can be dealt with. The concerns raised by Lady Cox during the debate stemmed, in part, from her recent trip to South Sudan, which she described as ‘heart breaking’. She spoke of the suffering she had witnessed in Warrap State. Furthermore, Lady Cox, The Earl of Sandwich and Lord Alton all shared similar concerns about the expected rains, which will almost certainly amplify current problems relating to food shortages and inadequate healthcare. Lord Chidgey also pointed out the failure of the 27 September 2012 agreements ‘…on outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan’ to be implemented, as did Lord Sheikh. Click to access the Cooperation and Borders agreements from 27 September 2012. Lady Cox is calling on the Government to ‘alleviate the current catastrophes’ in South Sudan.
A number of reasons were identified for being responsible for the current situation in the Sudans. Among the many reasons that were put forward by speakers, Lord Chidgey cited ‘political battles’ and ‘old civil grievances’ as reasons behind the fighting in South Sudan. Lady Cox also indicated that the reasoning behind the conflict in the Sudans was due to political battles as she pointed out the ‘failure’ of Sudan and South Sudan ‘to secure agreement’ on Abeyei. Moreover, she recognized that ‘the refusal of the Khartoum Government to remove their military forces maintains a reign of terror’ in Abyei.
Many speakers also offered solutions to bring the conflict in South Sudan to an end. Lord Chidgey suggested that in order solve to the problems in South Sudan, political leaders must first engage in political agreements. Lord St John of Bletso shared Lord Chidgey’s sentiments with regards to political talks being key in the peace process. Moreover, he suggested that rather than amounting to ‘…just a political power-sharing deal’, peace talks should have the potential to make real changes. Lady Cox and Baroness Morgan of Ely agreed that suggested solutions should make real differences to civilians.
While Lord Sheikh praised the United Nations and the World Food Programme for their efforts, he indicated that more needs to be done in order to alleviate the humanitarian situation and to prevent further human rights violations.
Baroness Warsi provided answers to many of the questions that were posed throughout the debate. She informed the other speakers of the multiple projects that the Government is involved in. These projects include ‘reviewing… how best to reach displaced populations’, ‘…lobbying other donors to contribute more’ and making a continuous effort to encourage ‘both Governments through the UN Security Council and through our embassies that they should comply fully with the Abyei interim agreement of May 2011 and with UN Resolution 2046’. Baroness Warsi concluded by saying, ‘I know from the interest in your Lordships’ House that we will continue to keep this matter on an important and priority agenda.’
The full text can be accessed here. Alternatively, it can be downloaded below.
You can read the full report from HART’s recent visit to South Sudan here: http://www.hart-uk.org/news/hart-visit-south-sudan/
You can access The Cooperation Agreement Between Sudan and South Sudan, signed on 27th September 2012 here: http://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/files/2012/09/The-Cooperation-Agreement-Between-Sudan-and-South-Sudan0001.pdf
The Agreement between The Republic of the Sudan and The Republic of South Sudan on Border Issues, signed on 27th September 2012 can be accessed here:
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