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Security regionalism and flaws of externally forged peace in Sudan: The IGAD peace process and its aftermath

A Ylönen


During 1983-2005 Sudan hosted one of Africa’s longest insurgencies. Throughout the conflict a number of competing peace initiatives coincided, but a process under the mediation authority of the Inter-Governmental Authority forDevelopment (IGAD) prevailed. However, although initiated in 1993, the IGAD process only accelerated after the September 2001 attacks on the United States (US) and was consequently finalised through the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in less than four years’ time. Although it was presented as IGAD’s success as a conflict resolution body, in reality the organisation’s role in the making of peace in Sudan was to a large extent conditioned by the involvement of a narrow selection of Western stakeholders. This article examines the IGAD peace process in Sudan, highlighting the dynamics and relative roles of the principal actors involved. It argues that although the negotiations were portrayed as inherently sub-regional, and adhering to the idea of ‘African solutions for African problems’, a closer analysis reveals that the peace process was dominated by external protagonists. This resulted in the interests of Western actors, particularly the US, playing a prominent role in the negotiated agreement, consequences of which are currently experienced both in Sudan and South Sudan.

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eISSN: 2309-737X
print ISSN: 1562-6997