The Africa Program is pleased to release the latest installment of its Occasional Paper Series entitled "Resolving the Three Headed War from Hell in Southern Sudan, Northern Uganda and Darfur," which assesses the current hope for peace in the troubled region. In this paper, John Prendergast, Special Advisor to the President of the International Crisis Group, argues that the International Community needs to address all the three crises comprehensively, coordinate the respective peace processes in a focused and deliberate manner.

This new paper takes a hard look at the current strategy--which Prendergast calls "trifurcation"--of seeking separate resolutions to each of these conficts. This approach will quite likely ensure that war will continue in all three of these regions. Solutions that focus on only one of these conflicts, such as the Conprehensive Peace agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement, will ultimately fail in acheiving lasting peace, Prendergast argues, unless they are implemented in a way that reflects an understanding of the complex nature of this multi-faceted conflict..

Examining conflict in each of these three regions in greater detail, Prendergast finds "opportunity fraught with peril" in Southern Sudan. Factionalism and the perception of entitlement, as well as continued resentment by hardliners in both parties to CPA threaten to destabilize the South once again. Northern Uganda has experienced some ripple effect from the CPA, and now faces its best opportunity for peace in 18 years--providing that the International Community provides adequate support. Finally, in the war-torn western Sudanese region of Darfur, Prendergast finds that the situation is continuing to deteriorate, and that there will be little hope for the region, without a renewed international diplomatic effort.

This paper is based on a February 7, 2005 briefing at the Wilson Center. More about this event.

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