Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know

Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know

Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know

Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know

Synopsis

For thirty years Sudan has been a country in crisis, wracked by near-constant warfare between the north and the south. But on July 9, 2011, South Sudan became an independent nation. As Sudan once again finds itself the focus of international attention, former special envoy to Sudan anddirector of USAID Andrew Natsios provides a timely introduction to the country at this pivotal moment in its history. Focusing on the events of the last 25 years, Natsios sheds light on the origins of the conflict between northern and southern Sudan and the complicated politics of this volatilenation.He gives readers a first-hand view of Sudan's past as well as an honest appraisal of its future. In the wake of South Sudan's independence, Natsios explores the tensions that remain on both sides. Issues of citizenship, security, oil management, and wealth-sharing all remain unresolved. Humanrights issues, particularly surrounding the ongoing violence in Darfur, likewise still clamor for solutions. Informative and accessible, this book introduces readers to the most central issues facing Sudan as it stands on the brink of historic change.

Excerpt

My first meeting with a Sudanese national was with Dr. John Garang, then commander of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), founded to fight against the Sudanese state— located in the country’s north, with its capital in Khartoum—and to advance the rights of the southern part of the country (henceforth “North” and “South”). It was June 1989. By this point, Garang and the SPLA had been in open war against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, then led by Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi, for six years. This was during the second of two major North-South conflicts, which for purposes of clarity I will call the “First Civil War,” which occurred from 1955 to 1972, and the “Second Civil War,” which started in 1983 and lasted for twenty-two years— until the South achieved its independence from the North in a referendum. Sadiq al-Mahdi, or Sadiq, as he is known in Sudan, is the great-grandson of the Mahdi, or “Guided One,” an Islamic mystic and political leader whose troops overcame the Egyptian forces under the command of British general Charles Gordon during the siege of Khartoum in 1885, when the Mahdi finally drove the Egyptians and British out of Sudan. Gordon was beheaded.

Garang, an African and a Christian, asked to meet with me in Washington, D.C. I had just joined the administration of President George H.W. Bush as director of the Office of Foreign . . .

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