Stabilising Sudan: Domestic, Sub-Regional and Extra Regional Challenges

The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a two-day policy advisory group seminar on 23 and 24 August 2010 in Somerset West, Western Cape, on the theme: “Stabilising Sudan: Domestic, Sub-Regional and Extra Regional Challenges”. The meeting examined Sudan’s multiple, interconnected challenges as the country fast approaches a historic transition. In January 2005, the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/A) signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Six years later, in January 2011, according to the terms of the CPA, Southern Sudanese residents in the South and in designated areas outside South Sudan should be able to vote on the South’s self-determination and choose whether South Sudan should remain in, or secede from, a united Sudan. At the same time, Ngok Dinka inhabitants residing in Abyei will also vote on whether to remain in the North – in the event of the separation of the South – or join South Sudan. The Cape Town seminar sought to develop recommendations to help Sudan and its neighbours to achieve stability. It sought to identify ways in which African and extra-regional actors could help Sudan to manage the challenges of the forthcoming referenda for the country’s future. The advisory group focused on key aspects of Sudan’s current political juncture: preparing for, and managing the outcome of, the South Sudan and Abyei referenda; United Nations (UN) peacekeeping in Sudan, including Darfur; the contested border areas between the North and the South of Abyei, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile; the regional implications of the Southern and Abyei referenda; and the role of two key external actors: the United States (US) and China.