Africa

Africa

The South’s audacious attempt to buy peace in Sudan

The South’s audacious attempt to buy peace in Sudan

We didn’t see this one coming. South Sudan has offered billions of dollars that it doesn’t really have to resolve its many outstanding issues with Sudan proper, its belligerent northern neighbour. Tempting, perhaps, for the cash-strapped regime in Khartoum, but a once-off payment won’t make the problems go away. By SIMON ALLISON.

The press release issued by the government of South Sudan wasn’t particularly detailed, but it did reveal an astonishing negotiating tactic from the new country. “In the interest of peace between the Republic of South Sudan and Republic of Sudan,” it read, “the Government of the Republic of South Sudan has offered billions of United States Dollars to the Government of the Republic of Sudan to resolve all the outstanding post-independence issues that include, but not limited to, the status of Abyei, oil, the international borders between the two countries, and security.”

In simpler language: we’ll give you money, you give us peace. These commodities are in short supply on both sides of the border. South Sudan, although it has lots of oil, definitely doesn’t have the cash reserves to effect this kind of transaction immediately, and is itself highly dependant on international aid. The government in Juba is also feeling the pressure of the cross-border bombing raids launched by Khartoum, as well as various internal rebel factions who aren’t happy with how the power’s been divided in the new country. Sudan, meanwhile, is really suffering thanks to a huge dip in oil revenue occasioned by the south’s secession, and is facing threats on multiple fronts which it is responding to in the only way it knows how: with force.

So, given that Juba can’t really afford it, and given the fact that Khartoum has just withdrawn from new Africa Union-led negotiations on all the tricky issues not solved in the peace agreement which created South Sudan, it’s likely that this new, expensive offer is just a bluff; and that Khartoum won’t call it. DM



Photo: REUTERS

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.