A Role for Egypt in Ending War in Sudan
September 19, 2002
The Honorable Mohammed Hosni
President, Arab Republic of Egypt
We are writing on behalf of the International Physicians for the
Prevention of Nuclear War, recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, comprised
of affiliated national medical organizations in some 60 countries.
keenly aware of the ongoing warfare and humanitarian crisis occurring in Southern
Sudan. As physicians we deplore the bloodshed, the suffering, the targeting of
civilians, the massacres and the razing of villages. The war in Sudan is taking
an unacceptable toll on human life and health. An estimated 2 million people have
been killed -- many of whom were civilian women, children, and men -- and 4 million
people have been displaced. As physicians charged with the care of the wounded,
we are especially troubled that humanitarian aid and services have been regularly
denied to the people of Southern Sudan.
Recent steps toward a peace agreement
at Machakos -- made against a backdrop of escalated conflict over territory in
Southern Sudan -- are of critical importance, and the Machakos Protocol should
be upheld. But the present withdrawal of the Government of Sudan from the peace
process and the return to armed struggle is deeply regrettable. At this critical
crossroads the warring parties can opt to commit to a negotiated peace settlement
or to continued atrocity.
Regional powers, including Egypt, should move
to ensure that the Government of Sudan, represented by the National Islamic Front,
and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) opt for a negotiated
peace settlement that allows for self determination for the people of South Sudan.
solemnly urge the Government of Egypt -- as an important power in the region that
has substantial influence in Northern Sudan -- to take every possible diplomatic
step to support the following measures:
- a return
by the northern regime to perform good faith negotiations within the framework
of the Machakos Protocol negotiated in July, including its provision for a referendum
on self-determination to be held in six years time;
of a cease fire to be implemented at the soonest possible time;
on both sides to ensure the unhindered access of humanitarian aid and services
to the population of Sudan.
We are deeply concerned
that the entire peace process could collapse if the Government of Egypt opposes
the provision for a referendum on self-determination for the South now present
in the Machakos Protocol.
Without the good faith best effort
of regional stakeholders, such as Egypt, we may lose the window of opportunity
to resolve the longstanding and tragic war in the Sudan. At this point there is
no claim, political or economic, neither in oil nor water, which is more compelling
today as a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Sudan and the preservation of
We urge you and your Government to exercise
its leadership to ensure that the Government of Sudan continues the peace process
with the SPLM/A and brings the colossal 20-year human tragedy to an end.
Chairman of the Board