Order the summer edition here

Will write the story himself

Hilde Frafjord Johnson has set a ten-year clause for access to his archive on the peace process in Sudan.


[archive case] On one of her last days at work as development minister in the Bondevik II government, Hilde Frafjord Johnson sent a letter to the National Archives. In the letter dated 13 October last year – written on the Foreign Ministry's official letter sheet for the Minister for Development Aid – she asks the National Archives to "secure my private archive covering my involvement in the Sudan process".

Frafjord Johnson's terms and conditions are "that a clause be made against the opening of this material ten years from today, with the exception of applications which I personally approve".

At the same time, she demands that she herself be guaranteed the right to still unlimited access to the material.

The Prime Minister's letter raises questions once again about whether politicians' hunger to create their private archives impedes access

in what has actually happened in peace processes Norway has participated in. In January, Ny Tid confronted former bureau chief at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mona Juul, that the documents from the Oslo process, where Juul was a key player, have disappeared from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


- We struggle with the politicians wanting to keep as much private as possible. I see that Frafjord Johnson had a relationship of trust with many during the Sudan process. But it was as a public figure, not as a housewife, Mrs Johnson, that she mediated in Sudan, says national archivist Jon Herstad.

Now he announces that the National Archives before the summer will address the problem of politicians' private archives with the Ministry of Culture.

Own notes not private

Historian Hilde Henriksen Waage is also not enthusiastic about Frafjord Johnson's archive plans:

- This is as hopeless and untidy as it gets.

Frafjord Johnson, in turn, rejects the criticism, pointing out that there are only private notes and notebooks, as well as some email correspondence that can be found in her archive.

The problem of the former Minister of Development, however, is that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also defines its own notes as public documents.

In a letter to Mona Juul and Jan Egeland at the end of March this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes the following in connection with the attempt to find out where the documents from the Oslo process have taken the lead:

"We note that meeting minutes and notes are also considered management documents in this context."

- The important question is what is archived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and what is in her private archive, Henriksen Waage points out.

The historian believes that it is a major cross of thought that the government spends so much money on Norwegian participation in peace processes, without the will to simultaneously provide independent and systematic analyzes of the processes.

- That is why it is so important that Norway has. . .

Dear reader.
To continue reading, create a new free reader account with your email,
or logg inn if you have done it before. (click on forgotten password if you have not received it by email already).
Select if necessary Subscription (69kr)

You may also like