Four freedoms: forever?

I posted the link to the full text of the September 2012 agreements between Sudan and South Sudan. These are being called both predictable and game-changing; I’m not going to get in to that, but I’m personally settled in for another few years of Doha-style endless talks and agreements.

What I’m interested in, obviously, is the text of the framework agreement on the status of nationals, which was signed just after my birthday in what was obviously a belated present. This enshrined the standard “four freedoms”, as per the four freedoms agreement between Sudan and Egypt: the freedom of movement, property ownership, residence and economic activity between the two countries (4.1). The agreement’s practicalities will be hashed out further in a yet undrafted “elaboration” of the terms.

What I find curious is clause 4.2 – “A person who has already exercised any of the freedoms conferred by this Agreement shall not be deprived of that freedom by reason of the amendment or termination of this Agreement.”

Does this mean that people who have previously resided or traveled to Sudan, or who own property in Khartoum, will have these rights respected indefinitely – or just from the signing of this agreement onwards? Who managed to get this clause in, and how is this going to work? I’m intrigued, and will be looking forward to the next round on this, and do some asking around in Juba.

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2 Comments

Filed under Politics, South Sudan, Sudan

2 responses to “Four freedoms: forever?

  1. Ant

    You will see. The South will respect the agreement but Sudan will rely on its people (including police) to disallow ownership of property held by Southerners in Sudan.

    • I’m not sure – I think a lot of the land disputes in Juba at the moment are about “foreigners” – including northern Sudanese – being challenged for ownership, too. Many of my friends’ families here do have legal and “paperwork” ownership of land in Khartoum from government allotment exercises and re-planning of IDP settlements. I agree we need to wait and see…

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