Chapel Hill Treehouse

A decidedly mixed bag of musings by andrew reynolds, professor of political science at UNC Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Monday, May 01, 2006

Peace in Sudan?

It's been almost two years now since I was last in Kenya floating around the fringes of the Sudan peace talks and advising the SPLM on democratic design/election issues but since then very little has changed when you look at the reality as opposed to the pact on paper.

The appalling destruction of humanity and livelihoods in the West (Darfur) continues virtually unchecked, the south remains a pandora's box of challenges, while there are growing tensions between Khartoum and the Beja in the East.

Having been there, and being so close to decisions being made about the future of the country, this of course makes me feel so exasperated. In there photo above are Lam Akol and Riek Machar of the SPLM - we worked closley together on their ideas for how the Sudan should be politically arranged but Darfur was a subject off the table. Today Lam is the Foreign Minister of the Sudan (in the new power sharing government) while Riek is the Deputy President of the South. I have *no idea* what they are doing behind the scenes but I do hope that they are pressing as strongly for minority rights, inclusion and decency in Darfur as they did when they spoke to me so passionately about the rights of African-Sudanese in the South and pockets of Khartoum.

Behind the scenes the Bush administration has just as much influence over the SPLM as you might expect, and while the southerners are only one part of the jigsaw which leads to overall Sudan government policy - they are now a part. So let us hope that they can help Bashir and his thugs realise that the space for them to behave without regard to law or morals is getting smaller (even if that space for evil has not been completely as yet).


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