With the signing on 25 September 2003 of a framework agreement on security arrangements, the Sudanese government and the insurgent Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA) are closer to peace than at any time in the past twenty
years. However, considerable hurdles remain before any final deal is signed, and a separate, intensifying war in the west already threatens to undermine it. As
the parties press forward with the last phases of negotiation, the international community’s engagement should intensify in support of the final deal, in preparation for helping with implementation if successful, and in ensuring coordination between
the main peace process and the conflict in the west.