Sunday, January 16, 2005

De Waal: three dangers to peace in Sudan

Alex De Waal sees three dangers to the recent agreement that has ended the 22 year civil war in southern Sudan that has killed over two million people, and caused four million to leave their homes:

1. The deal does not include Darfur...Unless there is rapid progress [there], the north-south deal is in jeopardy.

2. The war in eastern Sudan...All is quiet now, but the tinder is dry.

3. The main challenge is that Sudanese capitalists have grown rich mining rural resources and investing in Khartoum. The capital's economy represents half the country's wealth - an Arab city in a sea of poverty. One way the commerical elite makes money is through mechanised agriculture, which is as socially disruptive as it is ecologically damaging. It was the southward march of tractors, ploughing up smallholder's farms, that drove many Sudanese peasants to join the rebels.

Sudan's peace deal is only a start, Financial Times, 12 Jan.

Another piece on Sudan worth reading is Tim Judah's The Stakes in Darfur (NY Review of Books, 13 Jan)

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