Focus on Kordofan
The dangers of renewed violent conflict and humanitarian crisis in Kordofan have been evident ever since the signing of the CPA, which contained provisions for Kordofan which are controversial among most of its residents. Many Nuba of South Kordofan fought as part of the SPLA between 1985 and the Nuba Mountains ceasefire of 2002, and feared that the “three areas” protocol of the CPA would not provide them with a lasting peace. Others in South Kordofan, including the Arabs, are also nervous about what the implementation of the CPA–or its breakdown–might portend. Rather than socio-economic integration and political reconciliation, lubricated by a development efforts and a peace dividend, South Kordofan is the locus of an armed standoff with many fearing a return to war. The residents of Abyei–both Dinka and Misiriya–and the neighboring Muglad district also have very serious concerns. The CPA involved the dismantling of West Kordofan State, a step that caused discontent among many residents of the former state who felt they would be disadvantaged as part of either North or South Kordofan. And the people of North Kordofan feel that they have long suffered neglect in Sudanese political affairs and economic development. When these factors combine with the repeated efforts by some Darfur-based insurgents–notably JEM–to spread rebellion to Kordofan, the preconditions for a conflagration are all in place.
With the sole exception of Abyei, Kordofan suffers an attention deficit. Hoping to spur analysis and action, this blog is sponsoring a series of postings on the Kordofan crisis over the coming weeks. These will explore the history and society of Kordofan and the current challenges facing the people of Kordofan.