Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 22 September 2003

For Peace in Sudan


The Monitor’s View

The Christian Science Monitor, September 22, 2003

The civil war in Sudan has raged for 20 years, killing 2 million people and displacing 4 million. Its original cause was the government’s attempts to Arabize and Islamicize the people in the south and the Nuba Mountains - black Africans who are mostly Christians or followers of local religions.

The huge, beleaguered country is a stereotype of Africa’s problems: underdevelopment, bad government, ethnic and religious strife, and a thriving slave trade. It’s also important to the US as a past haven for terrorists.

The discovery of oil in the south several years ago has helped keep the war going. The government in Khartoum has forcibly evicted people from their lands to develop the oil fields.

While the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) are no angels when it comes to human rights, they aren’t even in the same league as government forces. The Army and government-backed militias have bombed and attacked civilians, often from the air; allowed hundreds of thousands to starve while withholding food aid; and kidnapped thousands of women and children, whom they sell into slavery and sexual servitude.

Since its arrival in office, the Bush administration has increased humanitarian aid to the south and pressed both sides to negotiate. In 2002, the government and SPLA agreed to a cease-fire and a self-determination referendum in the south to follow a six-year transition period under a unity government. But they remain divided on such basic issues as secular institutions, division of oil revenues, security, and power-sharing. Meanwhile, Khartoum has repeatedly violated the cease-fire and built up its forces in southern garrison cities.

Peace talks resumed this month in Kenya and observers say negotiators have made fragile progress. But continued US pressure - especially on Khartoum - is needed to ensure success. It’s encouraging to hear reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell called Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for that purpose last week.

Some in Washington worry that pushing too hard will threaten Sudan’s opportunistic cooperation in the war on terrorism. Yet the US has ample leverage: Khartoum needs US sanctions lifted to get more foreign investment in its oil industry and to qualify for international loans.

The Sudan Peace Act of 2002 gives the president authority to slap further sanctions on Sudan if its government doesn’t negotiate in good faith.

The White House should make clear it’s ready to use that power if necessary.

The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

South Sudan’s universities should explore other revenues 2019-03-17 20:33:06 By Ukongo Benson Athia Of recent, it transpired that the five public universities dons have advanced their cause to increase the tuition fees for the students. I have seen such complaints of (...)

Pressure from the people in Sudan 2019-03-17 10:55:35 The longer genuine political and economic reform is delayed in Sudan, the greater the risk of wider instability and deepening economic crisis. By Rosalind Marsden President Omar al-Bashir, who (...)

Sudan’s al-Bashir burnt the boats before crossing 2019-03-11 06:19:03 By Mahmoud a. Suleiman Second Military Coup D’état of Omer Bashir will Not Protect him from his inevitable fate at the hands of the uprising Sudanese people The angry uprising men, women and (...)


Latest Press Releases

Sudan Protests: Investigate the custodial death of three University students 2019-03-13 12:53:14 The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) Sudan Protests: Urgent call for investigations into the custodial death of three University students and alleged torture of detainees by (...)

The Alliance for Restoration of Sudanese Workers Trade Unions Joins the Declaration of Freedom and Change 2019-03-10 21:16:50 PRESS RELEASE For immediate release 10 th March 2019 The Alliance for Restoration of Sudanese Workers Trade Unions announced on Sunday 10th March that it was joining the revolutionary forces (...)

Ethnic Murle politicians say enough to cattle raiding 2018-12-28 09:32:00 December 27, 2018 (JUBA) - Murle political leaders in Buma state have vowed to end the practice of cattle raiding and child abduction by individuals in the community. Jodi Jonglei, who is also (...)


Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.