Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group, breaks down Sudan and South Sudan’s recent security agreement in this new podcast.
Showing posts tagged as "south sudan"
Showing posts tagged south sudan
Clooney: Village burnings in Sudan a war crime | AP via Fox News
By Jason Straziuso
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Actor George Clooney and a group of U.S. genocide scholars in the United States are warning that war crimes are taking place in an obscure conflict in Sudan’s southern region.
Clooney has long worked to prevent conflict in Sudan and South Sudan, and he co-founded a group that uses satellite imagery to monitor acts of war there. That group, the Satellite Sentinel Project, said Thursday that 26 villages were intentionally set on fire last month by Sudanese forces.
“Razing a village is a war crime, and the torching of now at least 26 Nuban villages, plus the systematic destruction of crops and grasslands for cattle, is a crime against humanity, Clooney said. “What we’re seeing here is a widespread campaign of village and crop burning. We’ve seen this in Darfur, and it’s happening again in South Kordofan and Blue Nile,” he said, referring to two states in southern Sudan that border the separate country of South Sudan.
Photo: Department of Defence/Flickr
"Most Sudanese know what is necessary to end decades of conflict. Even before independence in 1956, it was clear that power and resources should be shared more equitably with marginalised regions."
—from Crisis Group’s report, Sudan: Major Reform or More War
"The international community should learn the lessons of past failed settlement initiatives: Sudan needs a truly comprehensive peace agreement, not a partial settlement that serves the government’s divide-and-rule tactics and perpetuates the unacceptable status quo."
—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Sudan: Major Reform or More War
"Many hope a coup, or popular uprising, could force Bashir and the NCP regime out, but there is a great risk that either event could trigger more violence. Since he came to power in a military coup in 1989, he has deliberately fragmented the security services and frequently rotated commanders to make an army takeover more difficult. Unless commanders are united, the army could easily split into competing factions."
—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Sudan: Major Reform or More War
"The “Sudan Problem” has not gone away with the South’s secession. Chronic conflict, driven by concentration of power and resources in the centre, continues to plague the country."
—from Crisis Group’s most recent report, Sudan: Major Reform or More War
Sudan: Major Reform or More War
Nairobi/Brussels | 29 Nov 2012
Last week’s arrests of senior security figures for allegedly plotting a coup showed how close Sudan is to even greater violence and disintegration. Only managed but fundamental governance reform can help it escape chronic conflict and humanitarian misery.
Sudan: Major Reform or More War, the latest International Crisis Group report, explains why the “Sudan Problem” did not go away with the South’s secession last year. Civil war, driven by concentration of power and resources in the centre, continues to plague the country. The report analyses why the only solution is a more inclusive government that addresses the peripheries’ main grievances.
“A key hurdle – though not the only one – is President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He has further concentrated authority in a small circle of trusted officials and is unwilling to step aside”, says EJ Hogendoorn, Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project Director. “Many hope for regime change via coup or military overthrow but have not considered the dangers”.
The regime in Khartoum is in crisis, faced with multiple challenges that profoundly threaten its existence and Sudan’s stability. The economy is in a freefall that any oil deal with South Sudan would only slow, not arrest. Members of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) are deeply unhappy with the leadership, its policies and massive corruption. Feuding factions within it and within the closely linked Islamic movement are jockeying to present an acceptable alternative. At the same time, political opposition forces are growing more assertive, and the war with the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) is slowly expanding, bleeding the military dry and draining the treasury.
Bashir and the NCP likely know present dangers are greater than those they survived in the past, but their instincts might be to cut a deal with the fractured opposition and take advantage of the partial settlement with South Sudan to resume the oil flow. That can at best buy a little time, not resolve the causes of chronic conflict or stop a spreading civil war.
The regime must reach its own conclusion that today’s crisis requires a more radical approach if Sudan is to escape its downward spiral. But if that happens, the international community should play an important role in persuading it to move in a more constructive direction by offering incentives – political, economic and legal – tied to the meeting of agreed, specific benchmarks that make a transition sustainable and irreversible.
Cooperation with a president who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court and a regime that has been consistently ruthless over nearly a quarter century in power would be controversial. The international community should learn the lessons of past failed settlement initiatives, however: Sudan needs a truly comprehensive peace agreement, not a partial settlement, and the NCP needs to be part of any transition. Leaving it in the cold would be costly. Its elites are too powerful to ignore, and the opposition is too divided and inexperienced to rule alone. A comprehensive solution and genuine political reform, including national reconciliation, with the NCP on board, is the only way out of the trap.
“Bashir is crucial to a managed transition incorporating the NCP and opposition – civil and armed – that could put Sudan on an inclusive, sustainable path”, says Africa Program Director Comfort Ero. “The alternative would be to continue the status quo, with the NCP clinging to power at great humanitarian cost and the opposition pursuing a military strategy that risks more national fragmentation”.
South Sudan Sign Accord, but Several Issues Are Unresolved | The New York Times
By Jeffrey Gettleman
KAMPALA, Uganda — The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan signed a long-awaited cooperation agreement on Thursday, paving the way for the resumption of oil exports and casting their ailing economies a desperately needed lifeline. But several analysts said the deal came up far short.
Photo: Oxfam International/Flickr
A Familiar and Painful Story Is Playing Out in Sudan | Al-Monitor
By EJ Hogendoorn, Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project Director
As the UN General Assembly meets, fighting between the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North in the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile grinds on, displacing entire communities and producing a humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands are subsisting in internally displaced camps — and 200,000 more have been forced to flee abroad — where their main hope for survival lies in shipments of international aid. Yet, despite two memoranda of understanding signed by Khartoum, rebel fighters and international players — agreements that, among other points, require aid be delivered without interference — shipments are not getting through to those who need it most.
Photo: Julien Harneis/Flickr
With or Without Bashir, Sudan’s Status Quo Unsustainable | World Politics Review
By Alex Thurston
On June 16, students at the University of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, began protesting against austerity measures enacted by the government of President Omar al-Bashir. Now staging near-daily protests, the students, along with their fellow demonstrators, are calling for the fall of Bashir, who took power in a 1989 coup, and his National Congress Party (NCP). Sudanese security forces have responded forcefully to the protests, drawing international concern. Observers inside and outside Sudan, meanwhile, wonder whether the protests might force Bashir to step down. Whether or not Bashir endures these protests, their intensity demonstrates the unsustainability of the political and economic status quo in Sudan.
Sudan’s economic woes, a major driver of the protests, stem largely from the loss of South Sudan, which gained independence in July 2011. South Sudan produces approximately 75 percent of the oil once controlled by Sudan, but the pipeline and port infrastructure connecting the oil fields to the international market remains in Khartoum’s hands. Negotiations between the two states have failed to resolve their differences over the transit fees that Sudan wants to charge South Sudan for using its pipeline. In January, after Sudan began seizing some of South Sudan’s oil as payment, South Sudan halted its oil production. Lacking the transit fees it had expected to collect, the government in Khartoum faces a budgetary deficit of $2.4 billion.
Photo: World Politics Review