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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Sudan peace talks: Doomed to failure?
Yet another effort is being made to resolve nearly 20 years of conflict in Sudan.

Peace talks are continuing between the government and southern rebels in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

However, the prospects do not look good as no fresh proposals have been brought to the negotiating table.

There has also been fierce fighting in Sudan itself, with SPLA rebels recently capturing the eastern garrison town of Kapoeta.

What is the best solution for a country which has such deep religious and ethnic divisions?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

I think in a country which has long suffered from devastating civil war, people should use a broader vision and let reason and wisdom prevail instead of irresponsble malicious calls for war and separation.
Moneim Abdullah, Britain

I do not believe that the Sudanese people want a war.

Nilesh P. Patwa, Sudan
I am a Sudanese born to Indian parents who had migrated to Sudan during the early part of the last centry. I grew up with all the Sudanese people in Port Sudan - Northerners, Southerners and other communities. I still have a hope in the country's future. I do not believe that the Sudanese people want a war. Yet at the same time, the existing government's policies have not helped. The question of separation for Southern Sudan is not realistic. South Sudan is a land-locked country, and many millions of Southerners are in north through no choice of their own - yet there is a question mark as to whether they would all return to South upon separation or not.
Nilesh P. Patwa, Sudan.

Humanitarian communities have helped to settle the disputed war crimes against humanity in Africa and elsewhere around the world, including those that have only lasted months or a few years. But they are unable to put an end to the long running war in Sudan. It is time the world realized that Sudan is thr one country in the world that needs help. It is an injustice that the Khartoum government is not respecting the racial balance of it citizens - whatever religious group they belong to. Enough is enough. African Sudanese need to have their own country that will allow them freedom of speech and justice.
Bol akum Deng, North Carolina, USA

I think when we talk about the Sudanese conflict we should take it as a part of the whole African problem - which is poverty and illiteracy. These are the father and mother of civil war. I also believe that the separation of the south is not an option because the southerners themselves are from different groups with different tribes and agendas. Peace can come through democracy and dialogue.
Mustafa Yassin, Sudanese In Dubai

The only solution to the problem is to have a referendum for the south on whether they want to stay or secede from the north. Self determination for the southern Sudanese can solve their problem regarding the forced imposition of Sharia, which I believe is the central issue in the fight against the northerners.
Hailemelekot Bellete, Eritrea

The Sudanese Islamic government is not serious about peace.

Athanasio Gale, South Sudanese in USA
Southern Sudanese are tired of fruitless peace talks with the terrorists government of Sudan. The Sudanese Islamic government is not serious about peace. These are people with two faces. Therefore, we request the western world to put pressure on the terrorists government to led the Southerners go, we can not longer trust the North. And the best solution to our problem is simply a creation of an independent state in the South.
Athanasio Gale, South Sudanese/USA

It may take long before the Southern Sudanese people come into social and political harmony with the rest of Sudan. Just as the solution worked for East Timor, let the South be given independence. Alternatively, Sudan may offer this part to Uganda since the population in the South relate more to northern Uganda.
M. Makko, Uganda

I am from Senegal, but I spent over seven years in the Sudan. A great country with great people in both north and south. A land rich in minerals and forestry; Sudan as I perceive it is the microcosm of Africa. It is wrong to say that there is no way out of the conflict. Rather there are several ways and each one leads to the adobe of peace. But each one of them starts with compromise and tolerance. The Sudanese people are not any more divided than those in Nigeria, South Africa or Mauritania etc. But what they don't have is a common vision toward nation building that accommodates differences and diversity.
Mbaye Lo, Senegalese in the States

They will do anything to hang on to power

Nvasekie Konneh, Liberian/USA
I believe the problem in Sudan is not because of Islam in the north or Animism in the south. It's all because of the same old backward leadership that has reduced Africa to its present condition of misery. All these leaders in Sudan and their counterparts in the rest of Africa are not interested in genuine peace. Because with that comes democracy and when democracy is allowed, most of these so-called leaders will be kicked out of power. With that in mind, they will do anything to hang on to power even if that means the continuation of war. I am a Moslem and I believe that the southern Sudanese have the right to self determination if the Arab north would recognise their humanity and see them as citizens with equal rights.
Nvasekie Konneh, Liberian/USA

The war in Sudan started when I was three years old. Imagine somebody born and brought up in war without knowing what a fruitful country it once was.
Mayak Deng Aruei, Southern Sudan

Sudan has become a graveyard of peace agreements. What is needed now is not just any peace agreement. But peace with justice.
Kennet Korayi, UK

I am a Southern Sudanese living in the US. I have not lived in my country for over 17 years because of the war. What seems to me to be the only solution is the separation of the South as an independent state on its own.
Zacharia Akol, USA

The country must be divided into two

H.D.Y. Lukudu, Sudan
I am a southern Sudanese, currently living in South Africa. I believe the country must be divided into two and that is the only solution. There is nothing called unity. How can people who want democracy unite with terrorists?
H.D.Y. Lukudu, Sudan

There is distrust among the two peoples. The southern Sudanese feel they have suffered enough and would not trust any agreement with the north. Based on empirical experience, many agreements have been dishonoured by the north, hence unity and co-existence of the two regions, have to be out of question. This time let the people of the south decide for their own destiny through a referendum and exercise of self-determination.
James Morgan, USA

The problem goes back to the days of British occupation. What is now southern Sudan should never have been joined to the Arabic/Islamic Sudan. They should now become separate countries. The UK should take a lead role in making this happen.
Bernard Barron, Australia

Separation of religion and the national law and immediate intervention by the UN, not the super powers. Bring the warring parties to a negotiating table.
Asiku Stephen Gule, Benghazi Libya

This is not the first time talks on Sudan are taking place. We have got to think a step further into why previous talks have failed. Only that can give us the possibility on the success of the current talks.
Bonnie Agea, Tanzania

As Sudan, like many other African countries, is made up of different ethnic and religious inhabitants, the only viable solution to the ongoing problem is to allow all the country's citizens to fully participate in the political and economic matters which affect them and have fair share on what the country has to offer. Religious and ethnic dominance is a cancer of a society which has plagued Africa for decades and we must no longer tolerate it.
Amanuel Tseggai, USA

It's time for international intervention

Kunal Desai, USA
More international pressure must be exerted on both sides. It seems like both sides meet in Nariobi, talk and talk and talk and nothing is resolved. It's time for serious international intervention.
Kunal Desai, USA

The West may pressure the sides to sit down and talk as that is all they can do in Africa's most complex and longest running civil war. But it seems hard to believe that the end is in sight. Sudan has never existed as a country at peace. Maybe it's time to accept the folly of the colonial borders and let the north and south go their own ways.
Jason Forauer, USA

Division is one among many best steps to take. The south, though ethically diverse is ethically coherent. Many southerners like me are tired of living in a culture of deceit, oppression and exploitation by the north. Ever since no peace agreement has been honoured by the north. There should be an end to this; and this is by separating the two.
David Wani, Sudanese/United Kingdom

The north doesn't have any real resources

Kate Delaney, USA
Sudan has deep religious and ethnic divides which are part of the cause of the war but the south is very resource-rich in terms of oil, agriculture, and minerals, not to mention that the lifeline of northern Sudan, the Nile river, runs through the south. The north doesn't have any real resources as far as I know. Once both sides and the peacemakers openly acknowledge these issues, the real road to peace can start to be paved.
Kate Delaney, USA

I sincerely believe that dialogue is the first rational step towards conflict mediation and resolution. Even though the way forward for the Sudanese conflict is a bit muddled, the fact that the warring factions have decided to talk registers an optimistic signal that peace will be achieved in the near future. Let the guns be silent and let reason be allowed to prevail over negative sentiments!
Ernest Cole, The Gambia/Sierra Leone

See also:

17 Jun 02 | Africa
12 Jun 02 | Africa
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