Young (2011). Post Referendum Security Scenarios.
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The 9th of January 2011 will be a momentous day for all southern Sudanese people. After 22 years of civil conflict between north and south Sudan the country will hold a referendum on the right of south Sudan to secede and form an independent state. This paper outlines the key security challenges facing Sudan regardless of what the outcome of the referendum may be. The people in south Sudan – represented largely by the political party the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – are predominantly African and follow Christian and animist beliefs. While there are many underlying reasons for the north-south war, one of the main ones has been the pursuit of an Islamic and an openly pro-Arab political agenda by the Sudanese government led by the National Congress Party (NCP). While the fault lines for the political conflict are racial and religious, the economic cause of strife is the concentration of power and privilege within a narrow cohort within NCP. This group of Northern elites is intent on controlling Sudan’s wealth through international oil and other industry contracts. Corruption and cronyism are rampant and little of the national wealth is used for development efforts in the South. To complicate issues further, the conflict is not simply between the NCP and the SPLM, but involves other political groups in the Darfur and eastern Sudan (Beija) regions.