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

By Andrew S. Natsios | Go to book overview

9
THE COMPREHENSIVE PEACE
AGREEMENT

Why did Khartoum negotiate an end to the Second Civil War?

The third Darfur rebellion devolved into a disastrous conflagration while the most sustained effort to resolve the NorthSouth war since Sadiq al-Mahdi’s overthrow was under way. As we’ve seen, these wars were interrelated: the rebel movements expressed the same grievances, demanded similar reforms, and suffered the same atrocities from Khartoum and its allies as did the SPLM. Later in the peace process, the Darfuri rebels had pressed to be allowed to join the negotiations. John Garang welcomed the Darfuri rebels into the process, as long as they would agree to unite with the SPLM and be part of a single negotiating team. While the leaders of the rebellion in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile had formally joined Garang’s movement early in the war as commanders of the SPLA, the rebels refused and wished to keep their independence. The Darfuri rebels refused Garang’s offer and insisted on taking an independent negotiating position. From his past experience, Garang knew that lasting peace could not be achieved without a united front, because the North would manipulate one rebel faction against another.

Khartoum had agreed to begin serious peace negotiations with Garang as early as 2002. Beginning in 1998, its military position had been deteriorating across the South, and

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