This is the latest in a series of entries looking at what we can expect in 2013. Each weekday, a guest analyst will look at the key challenges facing a selected country – and what next year might hold in store.
By Alex de Waal, Special to CNN
Editor’s note:Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School. The views expressed are the author’s own.
Eighteen months after the secession of South Sudan, its future is still tied to its northern neighbor and former mother country. In 2013, Sudan and South Sudan will rise or fall together. If the two can overcome their rancor and work together, both can be economically viable and rebound from their respective economic crises. If not, both countries may become ungovernable.
At a summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on September 27, 2012, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir signed a series of agreements to resolve the outstanding business left over from the secession, to settle the disputes that had brought them to the brink of all-out-war in April, and to reopen South Sudan’s oil production – source of 82 percent of its GDP. But they haven’t been implemented yet.
By EJ Hogendoorn & Ben Dalton, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: EJ Hogendoorn is Deputy Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group. Ben Dalton is a Communications & IT Officer for ICG. The views expressed are their own.
Last month’s arrest of senior security figures for allegedly plotting a coup showed how close Sudan is to even greater violence and disintegration. Despite the indictment by the International Criminal Court of President Omar al-Bashir, South Sudan’s secession, billions spent on humanitarian assistance and numerous other international interventions, civil war continues to plague the country. Only managed but fundamental governance reform can help it escape a pattern of chronic conflict and human misery.
Bashir remains a key hurdle, and it is time for him – and the international community – to face some painful realities. He must confront the fact that the challenges he and his ruling National Congress Party face are the gravest they have ever been and threaten the state’s stability and integrity. His own personal position is likely only to become ever more tenuous. International actors need to acknowledge that there is no lasting solution to decades of civil war without the willing participation of the president and the NCP.
By Jonathan Schanzer, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Jonathan Schanzer is vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He tweets at @JSchanzer. The views expressed are his own.
The latest round in an endless cycle of violence between Israel and Gaza has culminated in a surprising win for the US- Israel relationship: an apparent renewal of vows between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
It’s surprising because the relationship appeared to be at its nadir. It was just a few months ago that editorial pages charged Netanyahu with meddling in U.S. politics, angling for a Mitt Romney victory over President Obama. With Obama having soundly thumped Romney at the ballot box, U.S. relations with Israel appeared due for a four-year winter.
Editor's Note: Christopher Alessi is an associate staff writer at the Council on Foreign Relations. Jendayi Frazer is an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at CFR. The following interview is reprinted from CFR.org with permission .
By Christopher Alessi and Jendayi Frazer, CFR.org
Tensions along the oil-rich border that divides Sudan and recently independent South Sudan have escalated in recent weeks, raising the prospect of a full-scale war between the longtime foes. China, which maintains considerable oil interests in both countries, has called for restraint (Reuters) and vowed to work with the United States to bring both sides back to the negotiating table.Jendayi Frazer, the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, says while the role of mediation should remain with the African Union, the United States and China are vital players in this conflict that can bring pressure to bear on both parties.
However, Frazer says it is "a strategic mistake and it has never worked" for the international community to treat both sides equally, since the northern Sudan is clearly the aggressor in this latest conflict as well as many of those in the past. "The international community should be united against northern aggression," she says. FULL POST
Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Sudanese air raids on South Sudan and called on the neighboring countries to engage in dialogue, amid an escalating conflict over the countries' shared oil-rich border area (al-Jazeera). However, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir rejected negotiations with the South yesterday, saying "our talks with them were with guns and bullets." Meanwhile, on a visit to China, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir told Chinese President Hu Jintao that Sudan had declared war on South Sudan. China, an ally with significant interests in both Sudans, called on the two sides to exercise "calm and restraint" (Reuters). FULL POST
Clashes between Sudan and South Sudan soared in the past week after South Sudan declared the disputed Heglig oil region is under its control. The move is just the latest as fears rise of a return to war and rights group are warning of deteriorating humanitarian conditions.
South Sudan split from the government in the north in July, officially breaking Africa's largest nation into two, the result of a referendum last year overwhelmingly approved by voters.
The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war that pit a government dominated by Arab Muslims in the north against black Christians and animists in the south.
CNN's Nima Elbagir weighs in on what's behind the tensions and what the response has been from the international community. FULL POST
George Clooney was arrested this morning for protesting about the situation in South Sudan. I interviewed him earlier this week. My interview will air in full this Sunday at 10a and 1p Eastern on CNN, but here's an excerpt from Clooney on why the crisis in Sudan affects your wallet:
"China has a $20 billion oil infrastructure in the Sudan. They get 6% of their oil imported from the Sudan. And the South Sudan has the oil and North Sudan has the refineries, and North Sudan was taking that money from the oil and not giving it back and buying weapons to hurt the South. So about six weeks ago, the South said, 'OK, we're done.' And they shut off the oil.
So China suddenly is getting no return on their money. That gives us a unique position, as opposed to looking to them as humanitarians or to do the right thing, we can meet with China - not we, but a high-level government official - could meet with China and say 'Let's work on this together, because we both, economically, would benefit by a resolution, a cross-border resolution.'"
"Right now, our gas prices go up as the president said in his press conference because when the Chinese aren't getting their 6% from the Sudan, they're getting it from somewhere else and that raises the price for all of us. So it's something that's mutually beneficial."
By Alan Boswell, TIME
If a new country is born, and no one sees it online, does it really exist? More than a month after South Sudan's independence, the new African nation is still not on the world's map, literally. Google, Bing and Yahoo are all yet to update their cartography of Africa to include the United Nation's newest member. Instead of the crooked contours that should mark the new international border, there instead lies only the uninterrupted sprawl of old, defunct Sudan. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Andrew S. Natsios is a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Mr. Natsios served as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2001 to January 2006, and served on GMF’s Transatlantic Taskforce on Development in 2008-09.
By Andrew Natsios, GMF
On July 9, 2011 the world’s newest state was born—the Republic of South Sudan—when it formally seceded from the Sudan at a ceremony attended by 30 heads of state. What happens to the fledgling Republic matters to the region and to the United States and Europe – not as a humanitarian victim but as a potential strategic ally.
I served as the U.S. Envoy to Sudan under President Bush and attended the independence celebration in Juba as a guest of the Southern government. I was joined by many other westerners who had worked with the South over more than two decades to publicize the atrocities taking place, to mobilize humanitarian and development resources, and to work on the political and diplomatic issues. When I took my first trip to Sudan in 1989 during a terrible famine in the South which claimed 250,000 lives I never thought this day would come. But it has. FULL POST
By Trevor Snapp, GlobalPost
NUBA MOUNTAINS, Sudan — Hospital wards here are overflowing with civilians who have suffered attacks at the hands of the Sudan army.
The scenes are shocking. In one hospital room a nurse tried to clean the blown apart face of a young boy. In another, a 12-year-old girl, named Kaka, suffered from advanced tetanus after her arm was cut off by shrapnel. Doctors said she had little chance of surviving.
The children are just two examples of the growing number of victims pouring into the ill-equipped hospital here as the northern Sudan army of President Omar al-Bashir's regime continues attacks against a people they view as the enemy.
Put your thinking caps on for a moment. Which continent has six of the world's 10 largest growing economies? Which continent has projected to have the world's third largest city by population in just a few years? Which continent has the world's newest nation? If you said Asia, that's wrong.
One more question might help you get the answer. Which continent has seven of the top 10 failed states in the world? The continent is, of course, Africa and that's what I talked to two terrific guests about on Sunday: Nicholas Kristof, columnist of The New York Times and best-selling author, and Peter Godwin, African-born author and reporter.
Both were just back from Africa. Peter has a new book out, which is called The Fear, about Zimbabwe. Here's an edited transcript of my discussion with them, where they talk about Africa's growth, the birth of South Sudan, and the fate of Zimbabwe.
Editor's Note: This interview was conducted by Kimberly Abbott, Communications Director for North America at the International Crisis Group. Visit crisisgroup.org for more information on South Sudan.
South Sudan officially secedes from the north tomorrow, concluding a decades-long struggle for independence and creating the world's newest state. But the situation on the ground is far from settled. The south's secession has strained north-south relations and sparked clashes over contested territories such as Abyei. In addition, negotiators have so far been unable to agree on many points of shared economic and political policy to implement after partition. I'm joined today by EJ Hoogendorn, Crisis Group's Horn of Africa Project Director. FULL POST