Together with Africa
South Sudan: Nuba Mountains are central to Sudan’s stability
After the January referendum in South Sudan, it is clear that an overwhelming majority of southerners have voted in favor of independence.
But the people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, many of whom fought alongside southerners in the civil war, do not have the right to determine their own political future. They have an ill-defined “popular consultation” process in which the people have invested great hope but which may not be able to meet the aspirations of a large section of the population. The process has to be concluded before the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) interim period in July, after state elections that will require close international attention. Failure to achieve this will deepen the existing political malaise and could, at worst, re-ignite conflict.
The Nuba Mountains/Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, the so-called “Three Areas,” were the most difficult final aspect of negotiating the 2005 CPA. Many believe they contain the fuse of any future North-South conflict.
IKV Pax Christi (Netherlands) has worked for years in Sudan, with several projects focused on the implementation and strengthening of the peace process. It has produced a number of resources on the issues related to Sudan, and launched its third alert on the CPA in February, a decisive moment in Sudan’s history. Download the third CPA alert here.