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Two Sudans: For Better or For Worse? Part 1

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Published on Dec 24, 2011

Since South Sudan gained independence earlier this year, the tensions with its northern neighbor, the rump state of Sudan, have exacerbated. Both parties refuse to withdraw their troops from contested areas, and many outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement still need to be resolved. Within each of the two new states, various groups vie for power as well, and conflict persists at both the local and regional level. Over two million people in Darfur, displaced by nearly a decade of violence and neglect, still await a peaceful resolution to their grievances. Meanwhile, political change in both Libya and Egypt has affected the regional distribution of power and influence, while major commercial actors, such as the Gulf States and China, are newly assessing their relationship with the two Sudans.

What are the prospects for a positive outcome of these complex dynamics? Will conflict trump peacebuilding? Will the three UN peacekeeping operations (UNAMID, UNMISS and UNIFSA) be able to play a constructive and stabilizing role? Who are the spoilers? What are the constraints? Do climate change and demographic growth play a role? Are the neighbors, and specifically Ethiopia, a force for the good?

This conference brings together a panel of experts with a deep understanding of these issues, coming from international organizations, governments, and academia, with roots in Sudan, Africa, and the so-called international community.

Moderator: Dirk Salomons, Director, Humanitarian Affairs Program, SIPA

Huda Shafiq Ali, Human Rights Advocate; Vice President, Gesr Center for Development, Khartoum.

Luka Biong Deng, former Minister of Cabinet Affairs for the National Government of Sudan (representing South Sudan), now Executive Director of Kush, Inc., and Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex.

Tanya Domi, Chair of the Board, Our Humanity in the Balance; Adjunct Professor at SIPA, and Senior Adviser to the Government of South Sudan (2010).

Kenny Gluck, Chief of Staff of the AU-UN Joint Mediation Support Team (2008-1010); earlier, Director of Operations at Médécins sans Frontières (MSF).

Ahmed Adam Hussein, Advisor for Foreign Affairs, Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); leading peace talks negotiator.

John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project, earlier Director of African Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council; author of, inter alia, Not On Our Watch.

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