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Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 22, 2003

Sudan Peace Act: Presidential Finding and Reports to Congress

The Sudan Peace Act requires the President to make a determination and certify within six months of enactment, and every six months thereafter, that the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement are negotiating in good faith and negotiations should continue. The Act provides for alternative determinations if warranted.

On April 21, 2003, President George W. Bush determined and certified that "the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement are negotiating in good faith and that negotiations should continue."

The memorandum of justification regarding the President’s determination made the following points:

  • The talks continue to move forward, albeit imperfectly, and still represent the best means of resolving the civil war peacefully.
  • The talks have made steady progress on a number of issues including self-determination, religion and the state, power sharing, wealth sharing, security arrangements, cease-fire modalities, humanitarian access and transitional concerns despite resistance to change from some members of both camps.
  • The President’s Special Envoy, the parties to the conflict, the mediator, and the international observer states all continue to support the peace process and its continuation.
  • The mediator shares our opinion that the talks should not be open-ended and that a just and lasting solution can be reached if the parties remain focused.

The President’s Special Envoy for peace in Sudan, Senator John Danforth, reports that "the peace process does have a reasonable prospect for success." He called for the United States to intensify its efforts and help both sides come to resolution over the remaining issues.

The Chairman of the Sudan Peace Secretariat and the mediator of the talks, Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo, asked for the continued support and assistance of the United States in an April 1, 2003 letter addressed to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan El-Bashir and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Chairman John Garang both met in Kenya on April 2, 2003, and issued a joint communiqué reaffirming their commitment to the peace process and expressing their hope for a final resolution by June 2003.

Section 8 Report on the Conflict in Sudan

On April 21, 2003, the Secretary of State transmitted to Congress a report on several aspects of the Sudanese conflict as required by the Act, as described more fully in the report:

  • Several international oil consortiums operate in Sudan. The estimated production volume for 2002 was 240,000 barrels/day of oil, yielding revenues estimated to be as high as $1.2 billion per year, which is assumed translated into at least proportionally increased military expenditures by the Government of Sudan.

  • Since the imposition of sanctions in 1997, Sudan has been prohibited from securing the financing of infrastructure and pipelines for oil exploitation in the United States or with the involvement of U.S. persons.
  • From the time the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement signed the October 15, 2002 cessation of hostilities memorandum of understanding, there have been no reports of aerial bombings by fixed wing aircraft. Reports indicate that helicopter attacks have occurred. During the period of 2002 leading up to October 15, there were approximately 85 instances of aerial bombardment according to various reports, peaking in the months of June and September, resulting in an estimated 200 civilians killed.
  • Since the signing of the October 15, 2002 memorandum of understanding that also called for unimpeded humanitarian access, the Government of Sudan greatly reduced its obstruction and manipulation of humanitarian aid, and humanitarian access has improved; however, there remain many areas of concern.

Section 11 Report on War Crimes

On April 21, 2003, the Secretary of State also transmitted to Congress a report, as required by the Act, on "incidents which may constitute crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and other violations of humanitarian law." The report notes:

  • Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on October 15, 2002 (and enactment of the Act on October 21, 2002), most reported incidents of attacks on civilians and forced displacement have occurred in Western Upper Nile, most as a result of actions by the government and its allied militias. Various types of violent actions against civilians have been used to compel their displacement from their usual areas of habitation, including killing, rape, abduction, burning of shelters, and looting of property (including cattle and crops) necessary for livelihood.
  • Attacks of various kinds against civilians have been regularly reported throughout the history of the civil war. Many attacks on civilians have been the product of poor command and control and inadequate rules of engagement (for example, civilians have been harmed as a result of indiscriminate use of force and extremely imprecise targeting techniques), but both parties to the conflict have also employed attacks on civilians as a military strategy.


Released on April 22, 2003

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