January 21, 2018

Trouble in Khartoum

The news coming out of Sudan grows bleaker by the hour. Prospects for peace look less likely now than at any point since the north-south civil war, Africa’s longest-running conflict, ended in 2005.

The Sudanese government is presently bombing the northern border state of Southern Kordofan, and the United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 people have been displaced as a consequence of Khartoum’s seizure of the contested Abyei region last month. The emerging picture stands in stark contrast to what appeared to be President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s surprising commitment to the peaceful separation of northern and southern Sudan just a few months ago.

Since then, much analysis and media commentary has focused on whether the soon-to-be country of Southern Sudan, which attains formal nationhood on July 9, will be viable. Observers have raised valid concerns about the south’s myriad inter-ethnic tensions, internal insurgents, fledgling governance structure, and poor set of development indicators.

But what about the north? In the focus on all the coming problems of Southern Sudan, the full implications of partition creating not one new nation, but two, have gone largely unexamined –with potential repercussions that could derail peace for north and south alike. Read the rest of the article as it appeared.

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