Refugee Studies Centre (2005). Sudan Prospects for Peace
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Sudan’s civil war was like no other. It began even before the British colonialists – blamed by many historians for making it inevitable – had left. One in five people in Sudan, Africa’s largest country, has been displaced by 50 years of conflict. Recent efforts by Sudan’s leaders, neighbours and the international community to end the fighting and prepare for post-conflict development have been unprecedented in terms of time and energy expended. Many issues dividing Sudan – particularly Darfur – are not addressed by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Nairobi by the two main parties to the conflict. Sudan’s new Government of National Unity is not without its critics. There have been significant delays in the agreed timetable for merging the northern and southern armies, establishing the Government of South Sudan and delivering funding pledged by the international community in Oslo in April. Nevertheless, as the articles which follow make clear, many Sudanese are cautiously optimistic. If Sudanese can return home with dignity, if gross inequalities in distribution of wealth and provision of services can be redressed, if Sudanese women are given space to contribute to its recovery and if Sudan can leap up the human development ladder to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the Sudanese will have much to teach other countries emerging from the shadow of war.
Such is the scale of interest in rebuilding Sudan that this issue of Forced Migration Review is our longest ever. It would not have been possible without input from Dr Francis Deng – a prominent Sudanese scholar and former representative of the UN Secretary-General on Internal Displacement – and Jon Bennett, UN Team Leader for the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM), Sudan. Together, we have gathered 38 articles from key actors in the peace process, from politicians, scholars, UN and World Bank staff, civil society and the diaspora. Although there is a wide diversity of opinion expressed, the authors share a common commitment to a peaceful, democratic and pluralistic Sudan.