Still Caught in the Middle: Nuba Political Struggle and Failure of Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan


Publication Type: Capítulo de Libro

Publisher: Center of African Studies (CEA) ISCTE-IUL, Universidad de Lisboa,   .


The contested nature of the state is at the heart of armed conflicts in the Horn of Africa. This applies to the complex landscape of ongoing large-scale violence in and between the two Sudans, the explanation of which requires understanding of the historical trajectory of the highly exclusive state in Sudan and the extraordinary permanence in power of sections of a narrowly based governing elite.
This chapter traces the latest trajectory of the Sudanese state in order to explain the conflict dynamics between the two Sudans. Given the complexity of the conflict, it concentrates on the political resistance of the Nuba peoples, which best represents the struggle of the marginalized peoples on the peripheries of the Sudanese state. Highlighting the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) period (2005-2010), the chapter contends that despite generating hopes for increased self-determination the CPA failed to address the political and security concerns and grievances of the Nuba. Instead, the implementation of the CPA and the resulting secession of South Sudan (2011) fell short of remedying the perpetual marginalization of the Nuba and other peripheral peoples in the Sudanese political system, and led to the re-deterioration of the security situation. A renewed armed struggle ensued in the South Sudan-Sudan borderlands and continues to undermine relations between the two states.
The chapter addresses the little-explored political opposition among the Nuba political leadership, which is directly linked to the exclusivity of the Sudanese state. By pointing out the importance of considering the process of state formation in understanding the armed conflicts since Sudan’s independence, the chapter focuses on the historical development of the Nuba opposition, and also highlights implementation of the CPA, which failed to resolve exclusive governance and marginalization as major root causes of the armed conflict.

YLÖNEN, Aleksi, “Still Caught in the Middle: Nuba Political Struggle and Failure of Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan” en DIAS, Alexandra M. (ed.) State and Societal Challenges in the Horn of Africa: Conflict and processes of state formation, Centro de Estudios Africanos (CEA) ISCTE-IUL, Lisboa, 2013, ps. 126-142.