In January 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed between the government of Sudan, led by Omar Hassan al-Bashir of the National Congress Party, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, led by John Garang. In early 2002, the relations between Sudan’s government and southern Sudan reached an unprecedented low. There was deep distrust between the parties in the wake of failed regional peace initiatives since 1999 and the military struggle had escalated with no military solution in sight. At the beginning of the 21st century, Sudan’s government faced a dire financial and political situation, in both the domestic and international arenas. The protracted warfare since the mid-1990s, which peaked in 2002 with the government’s escalation of the conflict, was very costly for the government, economically and politically, and exacted a high price in human life. Sudan’s government feared the severe political and economic damage it would likely suffer if it failed to improve relations with Washington.