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The war between the Government of Sudan, dominated by an Islamist party, and the Southern Sudanese rebels has been one of the longest-lasting conflicts in Africa (1983-2005). In the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Government of Sudan conceded to the inclusion of the South Sudan rebels, the SPLM, in the National Unity Government, as well as to the granting of considerable autonomy to this region and half of revenue from oil produced on the latter's territory. 2011 will see a referendum in South Sudan, where its population will decide whether to remain as a part of Sudan or to declare independence in 2012. Free elections, the first for many years, are scheduled to take place in Sudan in 2009, which may result in the Islamist National Congress Party, which has been ruling in Khartoum since 1989, losing its grip on power. The article analyses the current implementation status of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, as well as the Government of Sudan's policy, which is delaying the resolution of the key issues. The author also describes the political, military and economic challenges facing the autonomous Government of South Sudan which, if not resolved, may lead to the emergence of another failed state in Africa.
Juba, the capital of autonomous South Sudan, is becoming a regional metropolis. After the civil war ended in 2005, there was a flood of migration into the city. Juba is already a city of various cultures, as well as numerous conflicts in which ethnic groups are often involved, but is now involved in a kind of experimental urban ground for interrelationships between different ethnicities in post-war South Sudan. This article presents the complex processes of transformations of identity in this part of Africa as seen from the perspective of the municipal, religious and trade centres. Moreover, the author attempts to analyze in detail what happens to ethnicity when this transition took place in Juba. The presented material comes from the author's field work done in South Sudan in 2007 and 2008.
Contemporary African borderland is an area of intensive urban life concentrating people within the cities, as well as creating origins of semi-urban culture. Borderness does not only have literal dimension, but it can also be understood metaphorically - as a feeling of liminality, discontinuity, temporality, thus resembling the middle stage of van Gennep's rites of passage. Both general dimensions are equally responsible for unique cultural reality. In this article I will look into different manifestations of borderlandness in modern reality of Juba town - not only dynamic urban centre of African borderland, but also a capital of semi-independent country - Southern Sudan. In addition, I will present a specificity of local urbanism influenced by multi-dimensional borderlandness. Finally, I shall expose how useful the concept of borderland may be in an analysis of modern African urbanization. Presented phenomenon was an object of my ethnographic investigation during three field studies in Juba in 2007-2008. Conducted research project called 'Juba - centre of cultures and conflicts' was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland.
Juba is a borderland city - situating in the most southern part of Sudan, in close proximity of border with Kenya, Uganda, Congo DR and Central African Republic. These limitation of this district of Southern Sudan harmonizes with the thresholds of historical periods of Juba and the whole of Southern Sudan, always hung somewhere between crisis and stabilization, war and peace, chaos and order. In the case of this particular city, the so called 'borders' are being constantly intensified by very vivid urban development. Juba is currently in the phase of creation. Furthermore, it is also a place of intensive influence of many phenomena of a transforming nature - e.g. globalization or informal commercial trade exchange. All those causes make it possible for a specific culture to maintain, both in meaning and the processual sense very close to the third phase of Arnold's van Gennep rites de passage - 'trespassing rituals'. In this case there is also the association with another grand ethnologist - Victor Turner, and his theory on the ritual of the liminality.
The study aims at exploring the legal background of the principle of self-determination and the illegitimacy of secession as a solution to regional disputes. It was adapted from the third in a series of M. M. Elbasha's five articles in Arabic, which collectively examine the history and legal basis of issues relating to the peace agreement and proposed constitutional amendments intended to resolve Sudan's long-term civil war with the SPLM/A in southern Sudan. To support his thesis the author took into account texts of various laws and acts. Recently, the SPLM/A succeeded in forcing the national government in Khartoum to accept a peace settlement that virtually guarantees the southern region of Sudan self-determination and autonomy after six years followed by a referendum in which only the people of the southern region will vote to secede or to remain within the nation of Sudan. However, there are no legal basis to support the Government of Sudan's acceptance of a proposal that will eventually permit the residents of southern Sudan to unilaterally decide whether the unity and territorial integrity of Africa's largest nation will be maintained or whether southern Sudan will secede. The concept of the right of self-determination first appeared in President W. Wilson's speech in 1918 and concerned the issue of peoples under colonial domination. The right was adopted by the UN for the purpose of eliminating and terminating colonialism which was itself explicitly in contradiction to the purpose and principles of the UN an a direct violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of man. It still applies only to peoples in non-self-governing or colonized territories and not to indigenous peoples or political splinter groups resident within independent sovereign states. There is no legal connection between the principle of self-determination and secession. The principle of self-determination is a legitimate right of colonized peoples and peoples inhabiting trust territories and other non-self-governed territories, whereas secession is an illegitimate action taken by separatists. In case of Sudan, the freedoms sought by the southern rebels are the same freedoms which a free, representative and democratically elected government should guarantee to all its citizens. The struggle to obtain these freedoms should be waged for the benefit of all Sudanese and not simply to secure the secession of the southern region. The military dictatorship of Gen. Omar al-Bashir is not representative of the people of Sudan and has no legitimate authority to accept the terms of the proposed peace settlement. The referendum to determine the future unity or division of the nation is invalid because only residents of the southern region will be entitled to vote.
tom 95
As many long lasting conflicts in Africa have come to an end the continent is developing very rapidly. These processes are mostly seen in urbanized post-war centres. The war past and the modernisation changes are responsible for the specific ephemeral climate of these places. Juba is a “liminal” city, torn between crisis and stabilisation, war and peace, chaos and order. This situation is intensified by spontaneous urbanization processes. Juba is a city in the making; it is also a place where globalisation and trade exchange are very intensive. This article describes the author’s reflections on the anthropological fieldwork in post-war Juba. The liminality has profound impact on the life of the people in the city, including the anthropologist during his fieldwork. The article shows how cultural phenomena characteristic of post-war African cities impact on the anthropologist and his work.
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