October 21, 2009

Beja Congress rep interviewed about ESPA implementation

Eastern Sudan Front Central Committee Member, Beja Conference Spokesman, Salah Barkwein, stated that the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) Security Arrangements file leads other Agreement' files in terms of implementation.

He demanded commitment to availing the sum of $600 million earmarked to Eastern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund (ESRDF) as one of the components of the Wealth Sharing Protocol of ESPA, regretting that the ESRDF has received only $30 million yet. 

On the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of ESPA sealing, Barkwein attributed the slow implementation of the Agreement to the fact that the return home of the Eastern Front troops was one year late accusing parties he refused to name of procrastinating on that process for special agenda. He uttered the statement without excluding the adverse impact of the international financial crisis on oil prices, public budget, hence implementation of the peace agreement. 

The Beja Conference spokesman believes that the current stage dictates a huge political work that requires collaboration of efforts for expediting completion of pending issues and files.

Responding to Sudan Vision interview, he called on political entities and parties that have emerged in Eastern Sudan Region to work for the welfare of the people, rather than being tools for foreign parties targeting fragmentation of the country.

He further pointed to the pioneering role played by the Beja Conference ever since its establishment in 1958 and its devotion to life promotion in the region and alleviation of grievances.

In that context, Eastern Front Chief in Kassala reported efforts exerted for implementation of development projects beyond the framework of the ESPA, speaking high of Qatar and China contributions in that respect.

Moreover, he stressed the criticality of assigning more emphasis on Seitiet project for its high potential contribution to Sudan economy at large, calling on rehabilitation of war-ravaged area and de-mining of areas which were battlefields for over 20 years.

Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement was signed between the Government of National Unity and Eastern Sudan Front in Oct. 14th, 2006.

COMMENT: The federal government promised to allocate $100 million per year, and it now 3 years since signing and only $30 million has been distributed.  The math is simply that $300 million should have made it's way to helping redevelop the east, and yet only one tenth of that has been paid.  Looks like the government made big promises in order to shut down a rebellion, and low level insurgency. Having got what they wanted, they now feel no compulsion to deliver anything more, though they promised in point 80, on page 20 of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement. You can get your own copy here.

UPDATE: Nov 2011. Found an article written this week in 2009, in Arabic, that calls for accountability for the funds. Where's the money? How has it been spent? Has it been spent wisely?
Read it in English [machine translated].

Read it in Arabic

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