“Making Sense of Sudan”
On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and one year before the scheduled date of the referendum on unity or secession in southern Sudan, this blog is renamed “Making Sense of Sudan.” This reflects both the way in which the center of gravity of Sudan’s problems has shifted to the CPA rather than Darfur, and the fact that the Darfur crisis was, all along, the Sudanese national crisis as manifest in Darfur.
Without doubt, the coming twelve months will be the most momentous in Sudan’s history. The year is likely to be tumultuous as well. This site will not attempt to keep track of the many developments as they unfold, but rather to continue to provide a forum for informed discussion on key issues for Sudan, including of course Darfur. In particular, we shall follow the debates of the “˜Sudan-Sudan Dialogue’, a project of citizens’ discussion on the future of the nation envisaged eleven years ago by Justice Africa in the February 1999 Kampala Conference on “˜human rights and the transition in Sudan’, but which is only now being implemented. Amidst all the sound and fury concerning Sudan, it is crucial that the voices of the Sudanese people themselves are not drowned out.
The year 2010 should, by all rights, be the year of democracy in Sudan. It is the year of the first multi-party elections since 1986, and potentially the first-ever elections that cover the entire territory of Sudan, given that in the 1960s and 1980s, many southerners could not vote because of the war. It is the year in which the people of Abyei, of South Kordofan and Blue Nile should have the opportunity to decide on their future. It is the year in which the debate on unity or secession should be conducted, fairly and openly. The calendar is tight, and much has been left until the last moment. But, like the market tailor on the day before the Eid, it is quite possible that everything will be sewn up just in time.
As before, informed and civil contributions are welcome to this blog.