May 22, 2012

Khartoum and Juba: vicious cycle of conflict must end

History will no doubt pass its own verdict. But twenty years of experience in our region corroborate certain fundamental truths. Tensions and conflicts are never resolved.

They are instead perpetuated and sustained. Peace Keepers and peace keeping operations do not bring about lasting peace. Their functions and physical presence sadly become permanent features as peace is rendered elusive. Why does this have to transpire? And how long will it be tolerated?

The Somali crisis could have been resolved easily. But it continues to be enveloped in intractable wrangling for more than twenty years now. Settlement of the so-called “border conflict” between Eritrea and Ethiopia continues to be obstructed by powerful managers of conflict even though it had found legal and technical solutions long ago. The case of South Sudan, now morphed into a dispute between the two sovereign States of the Sudan and South Sudan, remains entangled in the same web of interminable crises.

The Regional Organisations are no more faithful to the objectives they were formed to promote. They are instead providing “cover” to the managers of conflict and serving as stepping stones for other agendas. Until when will this reality continue?

Khartoum and Juba must take stoke of this situation and become wiser from their experiences and the experience of our region. And instead of dwelling on fruitless wrangling and fall prey to the schemes of the managers of crises, they need to create a conducive space and climate for an enduring solution to the problems at hand.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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