Virginia Swain, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the The Center for Global Community and World Law (CGCWL) has been training Sam Onapa, a Ugandan from the African Union in the Basic and Advanced Reconciliation Leadership program. Sam has been advising the Sudan Council of Churches and others for a Track II approach to peace in South Sudan since 2010. The Track II initiative, The Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will (PPR), is closely coordinated with Track I initiatives. On January 9, 2011, the people of Sudan voted on the independence referendum when South Sudan seceded from Sudan as an independent state.
Short-term mediation and coexistence initiatives were implemented before and after the secession. Long term reconciliation initiatives have been planned as well.
A Reconciliation Provision in the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement that had never been utilized (Article 1.7) inspired The PPR, delivered in the Reconciliation Leadership (RL) model through the Sudan Council of Churches, and commended in the United Nations Security Council on November 16, 2010 by the Chairperson of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), The Honorable Thabo Mbecki.
The PPR offers a societal response that complements and strengthens the United Nations' response to conflict. Reconciliation Leaders are mindful of the links between individual and systemic development, human rights and global ethics to secure greater ecological, economic, and integrity. Virginia Swain conceived and delivered the PPR as part of the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service (GMRS) since 1992 in international settings. She has 25+ years of experience as a mediator, ombuds, consultant and trainer in organization development and peacebuilding on five continents. Swain developed a research protocol that required the organization of A Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community, held at the United Nations fostering reconciliation among its participants by building a sense of equality, dignity, worth, community and capacity building among representative members of all the sectors of the United Nations. The PPR emerged out of all of those experiences.
In 2005, Sudan ended much of the internal violence through the development of a peace agreement called the Nairobi Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which granted Southern Sudan autonomy for six years, to be followed by a referendum about independence.
The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established under the Security Council Resolution 1590 in March 2005. Its mandate is to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to perform functions relating to humanitarian assistance and protection and promotion of human rights. In 2007, the United Nations and African Union created a hybrid peacekeeping force (UNAMID) to help within Sudan.
Locally, the African Union (AU) continues to be involved in negotiations within Sudan. The African Union in conjunction with the United Nations and United States government are supporting Sudan to implement a peaceful election process in the historic Referendum and Abyei Protocol vote.
The global community needs to continue to support both North and South Sudan to be peaceful neighbors.