The Nuba Mountains: Central to Sudan's Stability
IKV Pax Christi launches its third CPA alert at a decisive moment in the history of Sudan. As we await the official result of South Sudan’s referendum on self-determination, it is clear that an overwhelming majority of southerners have voted in favour of independence.
But the people of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, many of whom fought alongside southerners in the civil war, do not have the right to determine their own political future. They have an ill-defined ‘Popular Consultation’ process in which the people have invested great hope but which we fear will not be adequate to meet the aspirations of a large section of the population. The process has to be concluded before the end of the CPA interim period in July, after state elections that will require close international attention. Failure to achieve this will deepen the existing political malaise and could, at worst, re-ignite conflict.
The Nuba Mountains/Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, the so-called ’Three Areas’, were the most difficult final aspect of negotiating the CPA. Many believe they contain the fuse of any future North-South conflict. The inhabitants of the Nuba Mountains also fear that the price of southern independence will be paid by the SPLM in the North, and expect the Khartoum government to deal ruthlessly with any new opposition in northern regions. The armed Arab pastoralist communities of Southern Kordofan fear the loss of grazing grounds in an independent South Sudan and feel betrayed in Abyei, and are, once again, vulnerable to manipulation by Khartoum.
Now that the referendum has taken place, peacefully, IKV Pax Christi urges the international community increase its engagement on South Kordofan to turn a ceasefire into a sustainable peace and ensure the implementation of the still-unfulfilled CPA commitments beyond the end of the CPA.
Download full report IKV Pax Christi CPA Alert no. 3.