Wunlit Dinka Nuer Covenant and Resolutions

Country/entity
South Sudan
Region
Africa (excl MENA)
Agreement name
Wunlit Dinka Nuer Covenant and Resolutions
Date
08/03/1999
Agreement status
Multiparty signed/agreed
Agreement/conflict level
Intrastate/local conflict (Sudan Conflicts (1955 - )
Agreements relate to several distinct dyads, and also the negotiated independence of South Sudan, and subsequent internal conflict in South Sudan. Sudan-South Sudan. The long-standing conflict between the north and the south of the country dates back to colonial times, where the British introduced a so-called ‘Southern Policy’, severely hampering population movements between these big regions. Immediately after gaining independence in 1956, southern movements started to fight for independence; this fight became professionalised in 1983 with the foundation of the soon internationally supported Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). When the Islamic Front government introduced strict sharia laws in the south after it took over power in 1988 the war intensified. A decade later, the military situation reached a stalemate, enabling internationally facilitated peace negotiations to begin in 1997. After more fighting, a final negotiation push began in 2002, leading to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Areement (CPA) in January 2005.

Sudan-South Sudan post referendum. South Sudan became independent in July 2011; since then, relations between the two countries are complicated and violent conflict led by the SPLM (North) in the Sudanese Nuba mountains region has since intensified.

Darfur. Other long-standing violent conflicts are in the east and the west of the country. In the east, the Beja Congress, established in 1957, is the spearhead of a currently ‘peaceful’ opposition movement. In the west, the violent conflict in Darfur intensified in the early 2000s and rapidly gained international attention, even resulting in genocide charges against leading figures of the Sudanese government. The situation on the ground is complex, with over a dozen organisations (most notably the Sudanese Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement) fighting the Sudanese government and allied groups like the Janjaweed – although all parties have switched sides on numerous occasions. Several mediation attempts have not been successful, due to the shaky commitment of the Sudanese central government and the distrust among the armed opposition.

South Sudan - internal
In December 2013, after president Salva Kiir accused opposition leader Riek Machar of attempting a coup, violent conflict broke out between government forces of the SPLM/A and anti-governmental groups. In addition, several other political militias as well as communal militias have joined the conflict. In 2015 the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) was signed. Due to unsuccessful implementation the agreement was revitalized in 2018. In September 2019, Kiir and Machar agreed to establish a power-sharing government after struggles on forming a unity transitional government.
Sudan Conflicts (1955 - ) )
Stage
Framework/substantive - partial (Multiple issues)
Conflict nature
Inter-group
Peace process
24: South Sudan: Pre-secession Local Peace Processes
Parties
Dinka and Nuer Chiefs, church, civil and community leaders, elders, women and youth
Third parties
New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC)
Description
The covenant and resolutions from the Wunlit Peace Conference, proposes past provision mechanisms for abductees, refugees, etc. Agreement continues by proposing a mechanism for peace keeping on the border between Dinka Nuer grazing lands as well as how to continue the peace processes to a regional level.

Agreement document
SS_990308_Dinka Nuer West Bank Peace and Reconciliation Conference.pdf []

Local agreement properties

Process type
Formal structured process
Explain rationale
This agreement is part of a wider 'People-to-People process' facilitated by the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) that led to the signing of other accords prior to and after this agreement.
Is there a documented link to a national peace process?
No
Link to national process: articulated rationale
This agreement is not technically linked to the national process between the government in Khartoum and South Sudanese opposition forces, but it is worth noting that some South Sudanese high-level political leaders supported the signing of this agreement which is said to have helped create a peace movement in southern Sudan and to have fostered ‘Southern unity.’
Name of Locale
Border areas of Bahr el Ghazal and Western Upper Nile
Nature Of Locale
Region
GPS Lat/Long (DD)
7.82879, 29.699208
Participant type
Domestic religious organisation/leader or other elder
Local community/civilian group(s)/civil society organisations
Mediator, facilitator or similar
Mediator or similar referred to
Mediator (references)
Mediator: New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC)
Type of mediator/facilitator/similar
Domestic religious organisation/leader or other elder

Local agreement issues

Ritual/prayer and process (including use of scripture)
Page 2, ... We the participants hereby make and adopt the following Covenant and pledge ourselves to observe and implement it scrupulously and conscientiously in keeping with the solemn vows of peace, reconciliation and familiar co-existence. We initiatives our Conference with the sacrifice of the White Bull (Mabior Thon / Tu-bor) and have sealed the Covenant in Christian worship and traditional sacrifice.
Grievance List
Page 2, ... We have established this Covenant of peace and reconciliation and declare an end to seven and a half years of intense conflict.

Page 3, Process used at Wunlit Dinka-Nuer Conference to develop Resolutions:, 1. Missing Persons and Marriages to Abductees (Mr. Dhol Acuil Aleu)

Page 5, II. Resolutions Regarding: Reclaiming the Land and Rebuilding Relationships, (A provisional list was developed of villages and settlements that have been abandoned due to the Dinka-Nuer conflict during the past seven and a half years and should be considered for reconstruction. The Covenant encourages displaced communities to return to their original homes and rebuild relationships with their neighbours. The provisional list includes the names of more than 400 villages and settlements in Appendix A.)

Page 9, IV. Resolutions Regarding: Monitoring the Borders, B. Disarmament: As peace comes to an area, all citizens holding firearms are either to be disarmed or join the army. The local civilian militia are called Jiec-nin-bor in Nuer, or Gelweng in Dinka. The unanamous decision was that once peace is established there would be no need for these. Both Dinka and Nuer agree that these are a source of insecurity at the border, and a source of insecurity internally.
Cattle rustling/banditry
No specific mention.
Social cover
No specific mention.

The University of Edinburgh