Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875 May 12, 2003

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Is Peace Within Reach in Sudan?
Rep. Royce schedules oversight hearing on Sudan Peace Act

BACKGROUND: In March of 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell told members of the House International Relations Committee, "... there is perhaps no greater tragedy on the face of the Earth today than the tragedy that is unfolding in the Sudan." Since then, the National Islamic Front government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) have reached various agreements in tough negotiations aimed at ending the devastating war in Sudan, though many issues remain to be resolved. Last year, President Bush signed the Sudan Peace Act, which requires the President to determine and certify in writing every six months that the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A are negotiating in good faith to reach a permanent, just, and equitable peace. Failure by the government alone to do so triggers the imposition of several punitive measures against it. On April 21, President Bush reported to Congress, "… that the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement are negotiating in good faith and that negotiations should continue." The President also reported, "Both sides have made significant progress negotiating a just and comprehensive peace for the people of Sudan." This hearing is focused on the Sudan Peace Act Report.

WHAT: Oversight hearing, Reviewing the Sudan Peace Act Report
Subcommittee on Africa , U.S. Rep. Edward R. Royce, Chairman

WHEN: 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2002

WHERE: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES: Walter H. Kansteiner III, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Andrew Natsios, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development.

Questions to be raised during this hearing:

Is the Bush Administration warranted in its determination that the parties are negotiating in good faith? What are the prospects for the current peace negotiations?

What leverage over the parties does the U.S. have to push for a settlement? How is the development of oil resources by the Sudanese government affecting the conflict?

How might the Administration intensify its engagement in negotiations to "seal the deal?"

What are the challenges of implementing any comprehensive peace deal for Sudan?

                What is the U.S. policy alternative should peace negotiations fail?