Remembering The Darfur Peace Agreement

Remembering The Darfur Peace Agreement

The 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement, also known as the Abuja Agreement, was signed on May 5, 2006 by the Sudanese government headed by Omar al-Bashir along with a faction of the SLA led by Minni Minnawi.

The agreement was however rejected by two other, smaller groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and a rival faction of the SLA led by Abdul Wahid al Nur.

The agreement included issues on national and state power-sharing, demilitarization of the Janjaweed and other militias, an integration of SLM/A and JEM troops into the Sudanese Armed Forces and police, a system of federal wealth-sharing for the promotion of Darfur-centered economic interests, as well as a referendum on the future status of Darfur and measures to promote the flow of humanitarian aid into the region.

The accord was orchestrated by the chief negotiator Salim Ahmed Salim on behalf of the African Union, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, representatives of the African Union, and other foreign officials operating in Abuja, Nigeria.

The agreement was witnessed by representatives of the AU, Nigeria, Libya, the United States, the UK, the UN, the EU, the Arab League, Egypt, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands. 

CONTENT OF THE DARFUR PEACE AGREEMENT

The Darfur Peace Agreement required the Sudanese government of National Unity to complete verifiable disarmament and demobilization of Janjaweed militia by mid-October 2006; it also placed restrictions on the movements of the Popular Defense Forces and required their downsizing.

A detailed sequencing and phasing schedule was set up to ensure that the African Union certified that the Janjaweed and other armed militia were disarmed before rebel forces assembled and prepared for their own disarmament and demobilization.

The Darfur Peace Agreement stipulated that 4,000 former combatants be integrated into the Sudanese Armed Forces, 1,000 be integrated into the police forces, and 3,000 be supported through education and training programs. The former combatants were to be integrated in groups of 100-150 and comprise 33 percent of each integrated battalion.

Democratic processes were laid out for the people of Darfur to choose their leaders and determine their status as a region. Rebel signatories of the agreement were awarded the 4th highest position in the Sudanese Government of National Unity: Senior Assistant to the President and Chairperson of the newly established Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA).

The TDRA was given responsibility for implementation of the peace agreement in Darfur, with the rebel movements having effective control of that body. In July 2010, a referendum was to be held to decide whether to establish Darfur as a unitary region with a single government.

For the three-year period prior to elections, the Darfur Peace Agreement granted the rebel movements twelve seats in the National Assembly in Khartoum, 21 seats in each of the Darfur State legislatures, one State Governor and two Deputy State Governors in Darfur, senior positions in State Ministries, and key posts in local governments.

SEQUELS TO THE 2006 AGREEMENT

A sequence of two further treaties to seal the peace in Darfur, succeeded the 200g Abuja Agreement. These two sequels were the 2011 Agreement in Doha, Qatar, and the most recent one, the 2020 Juba Agreement.

The 2011 Darfur Peace Agreement, also known as the Doha Agreement, was signed in July 2011 between the government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement.

This agreement established a compensation fund for victims of the Darfur conflict, allowed the President of Sudan to appoint a vice-president from Darfur, and established a new Darfur Regional Authority to oversee the region until a referendum can determine its permanent status within the Republic of Sudan.

The agreement also provided for power sharing at the national level: movements that sign the agreement will be entitled to nominate two ministers and two four ministers of state at the federal level and will be able to nominate 20 members to the national legislature. The movements will be entitled to nominate two state governors in the Darfur region.

The Juba Agreement was made on 31 August 2020, where a comprehensive peace agreement was signed between the Transitional Government of Sudan on one side and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement on the other. The agreement stated that the two former rebel groups would join the transition to democracy in Sudan through peaceful means.

Under the terms of the agreement, the factions that signed are entitled to three seats on the sovereignty council, a total of five ministers in the transitional cabinet and a quarter of seats in the transitional legislature. At a regional level, signatories are entitled to between 30 and 40% of the seats on transitional legislatures of their home states or regions.

By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.

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