Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2009
Sudan has national borders with nine countries and the largest territorial land area in Africa. It also has control over water supply from the Nile River and influence over free navigation in the Red Sea. The stability of Sudan is thus important for the whole of Africa.
In January 2005, the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was concluded to end the north-south civil war in Sudan since 1983, and a tentative constitution was promulgated. With these, a full-fledged process toward peace has begun. Nevertheless, there remain scars of the civil war, such as internally displaced persons amounting to as many as around 5 million, devastated economic and social infrastructure, arms proliferation, landmines and many ex-soldiers. In addition, anti-government groups have been active in Sudan's western region of Darfur, obstructing government operations to take control of the region as well as the development and stability of the region.
At the Oslo Donors' Conference on Sudan held in 2005 in Norway to discuss assistance, Japan pledged assistance in the amount of approximately US$100 million for the near term. Japan offered assistance of US$200 million by the end of FY2007. Furthermore, at the Third Sudan Consortium Conference held in Oslo in 2008, Japan stated that it would carry out support for the return and social reintegration of internally displaced persons and offered immediate assistance of US$200 million centering on the area of basic human needs including health care, water and sanitation, education, and transportation. For example, Japan is supporting the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR)(Note 34) of a total of 180,000 former soldiers were involved in the north-south civil war that continued for over 20 years, and it contributes to the consolidation of peace and assistance for democratization in Sudan. Japan proactively works together with multilateral organizations and Japan's NGOs to provide assistance for returning and reintegrating refugees. The efforts include the removal of, and education on avoiding, landmines and unexploded ordinances, the development of facilities related to water supply, the provision of medical assistance for counteracting pediatric infectious diseases, and the supply of food aid.
Furthermore, Japan provides contributions in personnel for peacebuilding in Sudan. Japan dispatched two officials of the Self-Defense Forces to the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) as headquarters personnel in October 2008. Approximately 30 Japanese people are active as personnel at United Nations agencies and about 25 are active as personnel at NGOs in Sudan.
The Darfur conflict is being dealt with in the United Nations Security Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC), and is a great concern of international society. (Note 35) Japan encouraged parties concerned, including the Sudanese government, to make efforts toward its solution in line with the UN Security Council, in order to achieve both peace and justice in Darfur. As part of support to promote the peace process in Sudan, Japan has been holding seminars to consolidate the voices of local residents in regard to the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue (Note 36) which has been established based on the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)(Note 37).
Assistance for Sudan was mentioned as one of the priority areas at TICAD IV, and it is an example of support emphasizing "the consolidation of peace" which serves as an important pillar for Japan's policy for Africa. It is important for the people of Sudan to equally enjoy peace, and based on this idea, Japan intends to continue work for the consolidation of peace in the country.
(34) Major efforts in the future include the general electron scheduled for 2010, the referendum on southern independence scheduled for 2011, and the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of the northern and southern armies.
(35) In the Darfur region in western Sudan, there have been increasing acts of violence against African residents, particularly women and children, accompanying a conflict since around 2003. To date, approximately 300,000 people have died, and it is said that there are around 2.7 million refugees and internally displaced persons.
(36) This is a system in the peace process between the government of Sudan and the antigovernment forces of Darfur to reflect the opinions of local residents in regard to problems related to their interests, such as compensation for property that was taken and the return of land.
(37) In May 2006, the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed between the government of Sudan and a portion of the antigovernment forces, but the main antigovernment forces refused to sign it, and the conflict continued. Human rights and the humanitarian situation in the region are of strong interest to the international community.