John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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The Peace Process in Sudan

by John Campbell
April 27, 2011

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Karti (R) and newly appointed U.S. special envoy Princeton Lyman meet in Khartoum April 6, 2011 (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Courtesy Reuters)

Former CFR senior fellow and current U.S. special envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman has published an excellent article in the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, “Negotiating Peace in Sudan.” In the context of the recent referendum on southern Sudan succession, Ambassador Lyman explores the long and difficult peace process, outlining both successes along the way and the many challenges ahead. He concludes:

The CPA was also supposed to usher in a period of political transformation in both north and south, with greater democracy and inclusiveness. That has not happened, and as the time for the referendum grew closer, those issues were put aside to deal with the decisions that existing leaders were in a position to make. These issues will now become more salient. Following the referendum, both north and south will need to develop new constitutions. There are large issues to be decided, on forms of government, methods of participation and inclusiveness, and human rights. These are matters in which the international community will be far less involved. They are domestic and sovereign decisions. But for the sake of both north and south, those decisions will need to be made carefully, with widespread public participation, and dedicated to a democratic outcome. In that way, each can emerge as a strong, viable, and stable state.

On another note, the Africa work of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting was recently brought to my attention. They are supporting some excellent journalists and working to highlight a number of underreported events in the western press. Check out their reporting here.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Linda Morse

    I teach a high school class on Africa and have been wondering if the decision to split on the part of Sudan (certainly long overdue and understandable) had any impact (in your opinion) on the changes in Tunisia, Egypt, etc. Although this vote in Sudan was years in the making, do you feel that it caused people in other nations to decide to make significant changes in leadership, etc? I feel there is a potential connection here somewhere, but would love to hear someone’s thoughts on it who are certainly more knowledgeable than I. Thanks.

  • Posted by Piye

    The United States by unfortunately having continued to impose economic sanctions on North Sudan, contributed to the dichotomy between North and South, which ultimately contributed to the polarisation of the positions of North and South Sudan.
    Economic sanctions don’t really work, the Government of Sudan is capable and does conduct business with the rest of the world.
    To the average citizen in North Sudan however the economic sanctions are construed as an unfriendly act.
    US economic sanctions on North Sudan also render the ‘Soft Power’ of the world’s largest economy ineffective.

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