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Sudan: Politics and Government

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken to ensure participation of the people of eastern Sudan in the national executive, legislature, judiciary organs, civil service and other institutions and commissions at both national and state levels in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement; and what progress has been made in this regard. (153882)

The government of Sudan has appointed Eastern Front (EF) representatives to posts including an assistant to the President, a presidential adviser and a Minister of State. The EF's candidates took up their positions in August. In June 2006, eight government members of the National Parliament resigned to make way for the EF Members of Parliament. EF representatives have also been appointed to state level governments both in the east and in Khartoum state.

The Civil Service Commission called for by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was only formed in August this year. The EF have not yet provided nominations to this and other CPA Commissions.

Our embassy in Khartoum discussed implementation of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) with assistant to the President ,Musa Muhammad Ahmad of the EF, on 1 October. They made clear our support for the ESPA and the need to see both sides fully to implement its provisions, including those on power-sharing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the implementation of the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement has ensured transparency in appropriate sharing of financial resources across all states through the fiscal and financial allocation and monitoring commission. (153883)

The Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement does not include any provisions on wealth sharing between Khartoum and the eastern states, although it has established a Reconstruction and Development Fund for Eastern Sudan.

Fiscal relations between the federal and state governments in Sudan are covered in the Wealth Sharing Protocol of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The UK monitors the implementation of the Protocol, and the activities of the Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission (FFAMC) set up to carry this out, through its participation in the Wealth Sharing Group of the CPA Assessment and Evaluation Commission.

The FFAMC proposed a revised formula for the allocation of revenue which was adopted for the 2007 federal budget. This new formula should result in the more equitable allocation of resources, although evidence to date shows that there are still some discrepancies between budgeted and actual transfers.

The UK continues to monitor the new arrangements for wealth sharing and to work with others, including the World Bank, to bring about fiscal reform across Sudan.