After decades of civil war, six years of a fragile peace process, and challenging negotiations to establish its post-independence relationship with Sudan, South Sudan is at a critical stage in its young history. Working with allies and regional partners, Canada’s policies, programs and personnel – including Canadians from across the country – are helping to achieve some important results.
In January 2011, the people of southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession in a peaceful referendum. Canada helped to deliver and monitor the referendum, and invited members of parliament to Canada to learn from our own experience with referenda. Contributions from START helped South Sudan with referendum security and with the development of the country’s Transitional Constitution.
After Sudan and South Sudan neared the brink of inter-state war in early 2012, Canada joined other nations and regional institutions to press for a negotiated outcome to stabilize North-South relations. The result was a series of nine agreements, signed in Addis Ababa on September 27, 2012. If implemented, these agreements will help to re-start oil production in South Sudan and establish ‘soft border’ arrangements between the two countries.
Diplomatic efforts to foster peace between Sudan and South Sudan are complemented by front-line efforts to shore up state institutions and to deliver a peace dividend to the people of South Sudan -- in particular, to improve the health and security of communities within South Sudan. This includes humanitarian and aid initiatives, the deployment of Canadian police and military personnel, and the efforts of countless Canadians working for NGOs and UN operations in South Sudan. The South Sudanese diaspora is also making an important contribution in health, business and government. Canadian doctors – many of South Sudanese origin – are on the frontlines of efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality rates, for example.
Through a multifaceted engagement, Canada is partnering with other governments, institutions and citizens to assist with the emergence of an effective, democratic government in South Sudan – one that is capable of exercising control over its own territory, delivers services and enhanced security to its people, and manages its natural resource wealth in a responsible manner. Please see the links and details below for more information about Canada’s involvement in South Sudan.
Through DFAIT’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force, Canada is supporting the constitution-building process and contributing to front-line police mentoring in South Sudan. Canada is also providing training, equipment and infrastructure to enhance the capacity of South Sudan’s airport authorities, justice, and prison sectors, to safeguard the rule of law and to respond to criminal threats and potential terrorist activity. For an example of Canada’s contributions to training, please see Teacher, Police Officer, Mentor. Through military and police deployments, Canada is supporting the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in its efforts to protect civilians, and to strengthen democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. For more information on Canada’s participation in this mission, see Canada’s Role in South Sudan.
Canada provides humanitarian assistance to meet the immediate basic needs of conflict and disaster-affected populations in South Sudan. Canada’s development aid focuses on building resilience through programming to improve food security and the well-being of children and youth. Canada has made a significant contribution to improving maternal, newborn and child health in South Sudan. Alongside South Sudanese-Canadian doctors in the SSHARE program, for instance, Canada is helping to improve access to basic medical services through rehabilitation of facilities and increased training and education for medical personnel. Canada is also working through partners to enhance public financial management, increasing the accountability and transparency of this new nation’s institutions.
In January 2012, a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians and senators travelled to South Sudan as part of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association, with a view to strengthening bilateral relations and inter-parliamentary cooperation. In October, a delegation led by the Speaker of South Sudan's National Legislature, Hon. James Wani Igga, came to Canada and held meetings with senior Government of Canada representatives after attending the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Quebec City. The delegation met individually with the Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer; the Speaker pro-tempore of the Senate and President of the Canadian IPU Group, Donald Oliver; and Canada’s former Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan, Senator Mobina Jaffer. Hon. James Wani Igga also met with South Sudanese diaspora representatives across Canada, including in Calgary and Kitchener-Waterloo, underscoring the strong people-to-people linkages between Canada and South Sudan. The Hon. James Wani Igga is the most senior figure from the new Republic of South Sudan to visit Canada thus far.
For more information about Canada’s engagement in this context, please visit Canada’s Achievements in Sudan and South Sudan.