Following the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of the Sudan and the SPLM/A in Nairobi on 9 January 2005, the European Commission and the Government of the Sudan have finalised the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for their cooperation. This document includes the National Indicative Programme and will be signed at 15h30 on 25 January 2005 by the Minister for International Co-operation, Mr. Takana, and the European Commissioner for Development, Mr. L. Michel. The President of the European Commission, Mr. J.M. Barroso, the Vice-president of the Sudan, Mr. Taha and Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial, Commissioner for External relations of the SPLM, will witness the signature.

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In November 1999, after 9 years of suspension of co-operation, the EU and the Sudan engaged in a formal Political Dialogue. Since December 2001, the Dialogue has been intensified with a view to a gradual resumption of co-operation once a Comprehensive Peace Agreement would be signed.

The European Union has been clearly linking its future relations with the Sudan to the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The Agreement is considered in particular as a basis to integrate in a global process the other marginalised areas of Sudan, including Darfur.

The signature of the CSP should be considered a first step to normalise the Commisison’s relations with the Government of the Sudan. Its implementation will be gradual and in parallel to the effective implementation of the peace agreement and the improvement of the situation in the Darfur.

This progressive approach is crucial as it aims to establish a critical dialogue with all parties in order to promote peace and development in the Darfur and in the other parts of the country.

The signature of the CSP is therefore the Commision’s response to the signature of the CPA. It aims to clearly establish the Commisison’s support to the difficult and complex issues that both parties will have to deal with in the next months. The CSP will bring the first dividends of peace and therefore will support those who seek peace in the Sudan, including Darfur.

This Country Strategy is centred on supporting the quest for a just peace, as well as addressing root causes of the conflict. It promotes democracy, good governance and the improvement of human rights as a basis for sustainable peace. Because of the context of the Sudan, the strategy should address also basic needs at local levels.

The CSP creates a framework structuring the EU contribution to the Sudan of an indicative allocation of around € 400M:

€ 127.5M: 9th European Development Fund – allocation for new programmes,
€ 191M: transfer of resources for the losses incurred on earning derived from agriculture exports. These funds will be allocated to food security operations,
€ 16.5M: programmes already decided, still to be implemented,
€43M: 9th European Development Fund - unforeseen needs, in particular humanitarian,
€ 5-10M per year: indicative budget lines allocations (excluding humanitarian assistance).
The EC Response Strategy will focus on two main sectors: Food Security and Education, targeting the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons with a strong element of capacity-building for Governance. It can also be oriented for demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration operations, including mine clearance, training of the security forces and other actions for which provision is made under Article 11 of the Cotonou Agreement. Issues such as human rights, good governance, and the rule of law are also addressed as well as direct support to the peace process and to peace building initiatives, and the strengthening of civil society and health.

Immediately following the signature of the CSP and the NIP, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to be discussed and agreed between the Commission and the Government, in liaison with the SPLM/Government of South Sudan in order to take into consideration the new institutional realities after the Naivasha agreement and the post conflict scenario.

Also following the signature of the CSP a quick disbursement programme of €50M will be launched, as an immediate peace dividend, benefiting equally North and South (€25M to each region). The programme foresees mostly community based projects, to be implemented in partnership with local NGOs and Non State Actors.

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