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Vol 39 No 14

Published 10th July 1998


Sudan

Standing on the south

Since conflict erupted on 31 December 1955, the day before Sudan’s Independence, several million people have died in the war in the south.It’ shard,therefore,tofindasouthernerwhodoesn’ twant independence. It used to be hard to find a northerner who’d countenance ‘letting the south go’: thanks to shared pain of National Islamic Front rule, this is changing and understanding of southern suffering has grown, though racism is still strong; national pride also strong in north; parties back unity; NIF’s conscription has brought war into every home; most people oppose war but may also oppose secession; no government can ignore strong army opposition to separation; all sides now take refuge in eminently manipulatable concept ‘self-determination’ (variations: autonomy, self-rule, federation, confederation); National Democratic Alliance has formally agreed to self-determination referendum when it takes power. Where the main players stand:

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