Sudan Peace Implementation Will Cost More Than U.S.$7.5 Billion

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Khartoum — The Ministry of Finance has estimated that the implementation of the peace agreement with the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance signed in the South Sudan capital of Juba on October 3 will cost $7,550 billion.

Finance Minister Heba Mohamed said that this amount will be saved over the next ten years in a press statement yesterday.

Implementing peace is a joint responsibility and has political, security, social and economic aspects, according to the minister, who said Sudan must "work together to fulfil them".

The role of the Ministry of Finance is mobilising resources and providing the budget for implementation of the peace agreement. Resources will be drawn from the general budget, regional and international institutions, friends and partners of Sudan, and the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

The investment environment must also be improved across the country, in order to attract the private sector to the least developed regions.

Achieving a just and sustainable peace is one of the Ministry of Finance's seven priorities, she said. "The main drivers of the conflict in Sudan are the systemic economic and development marginalisation, especially in the countryside, and the failure to distribute the country's wealth in a fair way. This has pushed the people of the country to take up arms in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile state, eastern Sudan, and, before it became independent, South Sudan."

On the wealth-sharing protocol, the Ministry of Finance will ensure that economic policies fall in line with the "spirit of the peace agreement". This includes balancing national and state revenues and diversifying their sources, establishing development funds, improving natural resource management, ensuring the national character of development projects, grants and loans, and updating reconstruction and development studies to achieve positive discrimination in the less developed regions.

Peace agreement

The government and most armed movements in Sudan signed the peace agreement on Saturday. All major armed movements in Sudan are involved in the peace agreement, except Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North led by Abdulaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu*) in South Kordofan and parts of Blue Nile state and the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW**).

The signing ceremony was witnessed by a number of heads of state and governments, and representatives of the African Union and the United Nations.

The head of the mediation committee, Tut Galuak, said in a press conference yesterday that "the mediation will continue to ensure the unsigned movements join," referring to SPLM-N El Hilu and SLM-AW.

In Khartoum, the Communist Party of Sudan launched a fierce attack on the Juba Peace Agreement, calling it a real threat to the unity and future of Sudan, noting that there are movements that did not join the peace platform.

*In August, SPLM-N El Hilu withdrew from the peace negotiations, it entered separately from the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance in the South Sudanese capital Juba, in protest against the government delegation chairman, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Commander Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti'.

**Abdelwahid El Nur, founder and head of the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement, which has still strongholds in Jebel Marra in central Darfur, did not join the peace talks in the South Sudan capital Juba in September last year. El Nur, known as a "serial naysayer" adheres to his position that he will only join negotiations after security and stability have been realised in Sudan's conflict-torn western region. Displaced still complain about insecurity in Darfur.

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