UNDP in Protocol Areas

Signed on 9 January 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) lays the conceptual and substantive foundation for post-conflict recovery and rehabilitation in Sudan. In order to promote peace, stability, and reconciliation throughout the country, the CPA includes detailed instructions for the sharing of power and resources between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement /Army (SPLM/A), the Government of Sudan (GOS), and other stakeholders.

These power-sharing arrangements are particularly crucial in the Three Protocol Areas. These Areas - Abyei, Blue Nile State, and Southern Kordofan State— were located along the frontlines during the North-South civil war and have been particularly hard hit by the country’s decades of warfare. Therefore they have been confronted with unique challenges on the road to peace and recovery, including an influx of returnees (both refugees and internally displaced persons), widespread poverty, insecurity, and a lack of basic infrastructure. At the same time, the Three Protocol. Areas are viewed as potential “models for peaceful co-existence based upon the implementation of the CPA and the consensual sharing of resources to meet basic needs and satisfaction of human rights.” Indeed, due to their wealth of natural resources (including oil, agricultural land, water, Gum Arabic, and minerals), as well as their geographic location, the Protocol Areas are critical to long-term stability and economic development in Sudan.

Thus, in recognition of this unique situation, Abyei, Blue Nile State, and Southern Kordofan State were each afforded special status under the CPA. The term “Protocol Areas” derives from the fact that these areas were the subject of special protocols within the peace agreement.

Protocols And Agreements In Brief

The 2002 Machakos Protocol, which formed the foundation for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, used the 1956 independence boundaries to demarcate the border between northern and southern Sudan. This boundary, however, excluded Abyei, an area defined ethnically and geographically as the nine Chiefdoms of the Dinka-Ngok, and the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile (now Blue Nile) State. Consequently, two additional protocols were adopted in Naivasha, Kenya on 26 May 2004 to address the particular needs of the Three Areas. These protocols were later incorporated into the CPA.

The Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict provides for an interim period of a few years following the signing of the CPA, during which Abyei shall have special administrative status under the institution of the Presidency and shall be administered locally by an Executive Council. During this interim period, residents of Abyei shall be citizens of both Western Kordofan and Bahr el Ghazal states, with representation in both legislatures. Oil revenues from Abyei will be divided six ways.

At the end of the interim period, residents of Abyei will vote whether to retain their special administrative status in the North or to become part of Bahr el Ghazal State in the South. The Abyei referendum will coincide with the referendum for Southern Sudan. The Abyei Protocol also requires the Presidency to establish two commissions in preparation for the Abyei referendum. The Abyei Referendum Commission is responsible for conducting the Abyei referendum, including establishing criteria for residence in Abyei and, consequently, eligibility for participation in the referendum.

Pursuant to the Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, the pre-CPA state of Southern Blue Nile became known simply as Blue Nile State and the boundaries of Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains State were redefined to follow the pre-1974 boundaries of Southern Kordofan Province.

The Protocol for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile grants these two states a degree of autonomy within the National Government, which could serve as a national model for the relationship between the center and the states in a federal system. Under the Protocol, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States shall be governed by a state executive, legislature, and judiciary. The Protocol, moreover, provides for the establishment of a State Land Commission in each of the two states, which will work alongside the National Land Commission to settle land disputes.

The Protocol for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile also calls for a census and elections within four years of signing of the CPA. In the lead up to these elections, the National Congress Party shall comprise 55% and the SPLM shall comprise 45% of the executive and legislature in each of the two states. The governorship in the two states shall rotate, with each party occupying the Office of the Governor for half of the pre-election period.

The Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, however, is not the final agreement for these two areas. Rather, it must be tested through popular consultations following the national and local elections. This consultation shall be carried out indirectly through representatives elected to the state assembly in each state.

Given the importance of the Three Protocol Areas for the long-term stability and economic development in Sudan, UNDP’s interventions in each of these locations are designed to promote good governance, rule of law, social inclusion, confidence building, participatory planning, and early recovery while responding to the regions’ unique challenges and opportunities. UNDP’s priorities for the Three Protocol Areas focus on providing the necessary support to local governance and decentralization process, strengthening access to justice and capacity building of state rule of law institutions, Support Socio-Economic Development and Livelihoods Security

In order to address key priorities in the three Protocol Areas in Sudan, UNDP supports the following projects:

Democratic Governance
Local Governance Capacity Building Project in South Kordofan
Strengthening Access to Justice and Human Security in Three Protocol Areas
Support to the Abyei Civil Administration Project
The Abyei Area Referendum Project

Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Sudan Post-conflict Community Based Recovery and Rehabilitation Programme
Support to the Recovery of Abyei Phase 2
Women Associated with Armed Forces WAAF Reintegration in Blue Nile State

Closed Projects
Recovery of Abyei Area through Good Governance and Poverty Reduction
Reduction of Resource Based Conflicts among Pastoralists and Farmers
Joint UN Integrated Community-Based Recovery And Development Project in South Kordofan

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