Sudan is at a crossroads. The country could soon witness one of the first partitions of an African state since the colonial era. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement guarantees a referendum on self determination for Southern Sudan, which is scheduled for January 2011. The agreement ended a 20-year old civil war pitting the indigenous population against successive Arab Muslim regimes in Khartoum. By the late 1990s the international community had largely judged the war insoluble and turned its attention elsewhere. Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 a peace process between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) took hold. This book shows how that war, which ultimately claimed two million deaths and twice as many displaced, was finally brought to an end. The talks were facilitated by IGAD under Kenyan leadership, and supported by a 'Troika' of the US, UK, and Norway -- whose intense engagement in the negotiations was critical for reaching the peace agreement in January 2005.
Although the cast of characters in this drama ranged from President George W Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell to unnamed officials in east African hotels, two figures stood out: the SPLM/A Chairman, Dr John Garang, and Ali Osman Taha, First Vice President of Sudan. Norwegian Minister of International Development Hilde F Johnson's personal relationships with these two leaders gave her unique access and provided the basis for her pivotal role in the negotiations. She was party to virtually all their deliberations throughout this crucial period of Sudanese and African history. This book describes this process from a unique, insider's perspective. Her account provides a level of detail seldom achieved in works of contemporary African history and diplomacy. As Sudan soon faces the most decisive moment in its history, this book is indispensable reading.
Hilde F Johnson served as Norwegian Development Minister during 1997-2000 & 2001-2005. She played a pivotal role in the achievement of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan (2005). Johnson is currently Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.
Foreword by Kofi Annan; Introduction: Africa's Longest Civil War; The Troika; The Watershed Agreement on Self-Determination; Peace-Making in Peril: Conflict & Confrontation; From Enemies to Partners in Peace; Inching Forward; Sealing the Deal; The First Taste of Peace; Epilogue: Achievements & Challenges; Index.