War Not an Option for Sudan

Publicado el 05-17-11

The following article was submitted by a student of the Institute.  The article was not edited by staff personnel.  The opinions expressed in the article are of the student's only and should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the Institute.  Each student is encouraged to submit their own commentary to the Institute.


On the several times I have travelled to Southern Sudan recently, I have not failed to notice the many development strides the country has made since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
in 2005.
One also notices a region pregnant with hope and expectation in the run-up to the referendum in January next year.
The immediate challenge is for nations and agencies of goodwill to ensure that this hope does not abort.
The reputation of the UN, the African Union and regional bodies will be at stake if peaceful transition is not achieved in Southern Sudan.
With economic woes dominating the USA and the European Union, we have not seen sufficient focus on Southern Sudan from the West, although some belated diplomatic activity is now visible.
Like any referendum, the January 2011 vote is a Yes/No decision by the people of Southern Sudan to determine to remain in the unity government or separate into a sovereign state.
Whichever way the vote goes, the referendum should not result in violence and return to civil war.
However, the mood I noticed in the South generally points to a vote for separation.

Over the last five years, the South appears to have prepared the basic governance, diplomatic and economic structures in readiness for a new sovereign status.
That is why there is frustration at the slow pace of preparation for the defining moment.
The North and the South, I am sure, sincerely realise the gravity of a return to civil war.
This realisation is likely to motivate the two parties to avert a crisis.
Both sides would be losers in a civil war situation as it would be tantamount to mutual self-annihilation, politically and economically.
If one looks at the key resource that today mutually interests the two sides — that is oil revenues — neither the North nor the South would wish to “spill the milk” by plunging the country back to war.
Oil cannot be produced in an environment of chaos and sabotage, and neither the North nor the South will reap the benefits of oil revenues if there is no peace in the oilfields.
Besides, until the South develops an alternative export route for their oil, they will need the North to market it.
The North on the other hand will need revenues from the South for the existing oil export infrastructure to Port Sudan.
A formula for mutual inter-dependence on oil production and marketing will need to be worked out as no side will benefit if the oil remains in the ground.
The other school of thought advises that there may not be sufficient time left to resolve the most urgent outstanding political issues like the disputed Abyei oil enclave and the common boundaries.
If the South is adamant that the January date must be met, the referendum may end up being botched up due to inadequate and late preparations.
This may lead to a vote that is neither credible nor conclusive.
Probably the right option at this late hour is for the South and the North to be facilitated to strike an intermediate enabling deal that defines a new timetable towards a new date of a referendum.

Chinese role
However, the bridging deal must have irrevocable guarantees by key nations, the UN and regional agencies.
But this time it would be a commitment to an action plan with specific deadlines, supervised probably by an international independent commission.
It is better to lose a few months and hold a credible referendum.
The absence of a visible Chinese role in resolving the potential crisis in Sudan baffles me.
The Chinese have the largest foreign stake in oil production and export infrastructure, and in fact most of Sudan’s oil ends up in China.
It is the Chinese interests that would suffer most if there was civil war, and yet there appears to be no visible diplomatic efforts by the Asian giant to ensure there is no crisis.
The US government’s stated interest to ensure smooth transition in Sudan has also unfortunately not effectively and visibly translated into any diplomatic successes.
Probably, the US has taken a bit too long to re-establish full and enabling diplomatic presence in Sudan, and as such its influence may not be effective enough.
The East Africa Community (EAC) is of course apprehensive of slow progress in the referendum process.
There has been anticipation that Southern Sudan will in January 2011 attain sovereignty and join the EAC as the sixth member state.
Kenyans and Ugandans especially, have invested heavily in the South and this is why, through Igad, the EAC countries should ensure everything works out positively come early next year.
The EAC already needs peace in Somalia and eastern DRC, and will not wish to witness Southern Sudan revert to a third frontier of instability.

Lamu corridor
It is also true that peace in the South over the last five years has enabled the Lords Resistance Army menace to be removed from the immediate vicinity of Uganda.
This has opened up the northern parts of Uganda to economic and infrastructural developments, offering an effective corridor link with Southern Sudan.
The development of the proposed Lamu corridor through Kenya is also premised on the peaceful political transition in Southern Sudan, and as such, this project does need the peace to prop up its economic justification.
My gut feeling is that there is so much to be lost by many vested interests by not successfully concluding the Southern Sudan referendum that the concerned parties will work very hard over the remaining two months to
ensure that the South remains peaceful.
The people of Southern Sudan deserve a chance to peaceful political and economic development, and this should give a chance to Southern Sudanese, who have remained in the Diaspora, to return home.
Many countries are anxiously waiting for a peaceful referendum to commit investments in Southern Sudan to develop infrastructure, exploit natural
resources and develop agriculture.  

¿Usted ha escrito un artículo de blog? Considere su publicación en nuestro sitio Web.

Comentarios de los estudiantes

I agree with you sir, Indeed two wrongs can never make a right. Let us all learn to put our selfish interest aside and prevent, desist and discourage shedding of blood. Edeh Michael mikedreamcometrue@yahoo.com

    MICHAEL EDEH Escrito el 06-10-11 en 12:34 p.m.

Peace is the fundamental basis for every nation's growth. As the Referendum completed successful as per CPA, and Southern Sudan is gearing-up to declare herself an independent nation on 09 July 2011, we all should look forward to seeing economic growth and development, instead of confrontation

    Oliver Fridy Wilson Escrito el 06-19-11 en 10:42 a.m.

Bonsoir, je profite de l'occasion qui m'est donné à travers ce forum pour vous inviter à bien vouloir me recommander vivement. J'ai subi avec succès un test de recrutement des Nations Unies ici au Cameroun cela fait déjà un an et plus. je suppose que je dois faire parti de UNSAS actuellement, puisque j'ai même été interviewé déjà depuis Rome en Italie au travers du numéro +390831245000 sur la République Démocratique du Congo. Je ne comprends pas à présent pourquoi je ne suis pas encore appelé alors que que j'ai hâte d'y être. Les Missions des Nations Unies n'aiment-elles pas les jeunes pleins d'énergies et d'amours? Le nombre de certificats et ma régularité dans votre programme, devraient vous témoigner de mon envi intense de travailler sous l'égide des Nations Unies Alors je souhaite vivement une forte recommandation de ma candidature au siège des Nations Unies à New York. KAMCHE WAMBE CLAUDE AURELIEN, UNSAS RDC (probablement, Inspecteur de police de 2ième grade, Chef section enquêtes et recherches au Commissariat Spécial du Département de la MENOUA à DSCHANG-CAMEROUN, E-mai:Jasonwambe@yahoo.fr et tel: (+237)77923542 et (+237)96498492 Merci d'avance à UNITAR-POCI

    KAMCHE WAMBE CLAUDE AURELIEN Escrito el 07-01-11 en 12:46 p.m.

Dears. Let's agree on the fact that war creates instability,hence,leeds to displacement that will end in ignorance and starvation for nations. Though I believe strongly in the direct responsibility of political leaders of the wellfare or destruction of their societies. Mustafa Kuwa/UNMIS,Sudan

    Mustafa Kuwa Escrito el 07-25-11 en 2:48 a.m.

Dear sir what is now,we are fighting more than 20 years,.So at moment war its not achoice to gian rights.this time we need to build two peacely neighborhood country.More over mama africa now geting old and tired from those pains . thank you for this chance

    Elzain Abdulmagid Escrito el 07-26-11 en 2:07 a.m.

High coleagues it has been contniued awar in sudan over two decades finally reached a permenant peace weather in south sudan rebuplic,or northsudan rebuplic which led to satbility in sudan and communinty development its considered as big turning point in history of sudan,therefore i do appriciate the efforts of UN in SUDAN that led to sucess peace operation since 2005to 2011.

    MOHAMMED ABBAKAR Escrito el 07-30-11 en 4:37 a.m.

The Chinese are taking advantage of the loopholes in South Sudan and China will use their veto power to protect the Chinese interest. South Sudanese governmnent is slow in making drastic and timely decisions such as establishing the new Nation Soverignity as quickly as possible. My advice is that South Sudan should join ECOWAS as quickly as possible. regards

    OJO DELE MAXWELL Escrito el 05-12-12 en 8:24 a.m.

Southern Sudan has both human and natural resources. They should concentrate on the development of human resources rather than going into another war. Natural resources that seem to be lost in negotiation can be gained in other forms if human resource is developed. The richest countries in the world today do not necessarily posses the worlds richest natural resources on their own soil, they simply have the human resource that keeps a nation rich.

    OKERE Samuel Chiedozie Escrito el 11-15-12 en 8:22 a.m.

Words of reasoning is far better than the force of arm. Cheers! franci.

    Francis Owusu Takyi Escrito el 12-29-13 en 5:10 p.m.

Excellent Article! The only concern that China or its economy break can indeed cause menas oil purchases and the Sudan into crisis and the outbreak of the war starts. It is therefore of paramount importance that China continue with the booming economy, because if the opposite can cause an economic and humanitarian tragedy in sudan.

    Mohammed Haziz Escrito el 05-27-16 en 2:27 a.m.

Para dejar un comentario, usted debe iniciar su sesión y tener una dirección de correo electrónico verificado. Iniciar Sesión.