Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 07/2012

Sudan: From Conflict to Conflict

Mai El-Sadany, Marina Ottaway

May 2012

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Less than a year after the old “greater” Sudan split into the northern Republic of Sudan and the new Republic of South Sudan—or North and South Sudan, for clarity—the two countries were again in a state of war. Years of international efforts to bring an end to decades of conflict by helping to negotiate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 and later efforts to ensure a smooth separation of North and South appear to have come to naught. In January 2011, a referendum in the South, stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, resulted in an overwhelming vote in favor of partition. Over the next six months, North and South were supposed to negotiate outstanding issues but failed to do so. As a result, conflict broke out again almost immediately after the South became independent.