An Era Ends: United Nations Mission in Sudan

(Khartoum, Sudan): The United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) was established by the UN Security Council under Resolution 1590 of 24 March 2005, in response to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on January 9, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sudan has seen civil conflict for all but 11 of the years since it became independent on 1 January 1956. Generations of Sudanese have known nothing but the terrible consequences of perennial war.

The latest north-south civil war began in 1983, following the breakdown of the 1972 Addis Ababa agreement. For more than two decades, the Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), the main rebel movement in the south, fought over resources, power, the role of religion in the state, and self-determination. Over two million people died, four million were uprooted and some 600,000 people fled the country as refugees.

Over the years, there were many attempts by neighbouring States, concerned donors, other States and the parties themselves to bring peace. One such effort, begun in 1993, was a regional peace initiative under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The United Nations closely followed and supported the IGAD initiative over the years.

The mission ended its six years of mandated operations the same day South Sudan declared independence, following a CPA-provided referendum on 9 January 2011 that voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession.

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