Conflict resolution in a turbulent region: the case of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Sudan

Conflict resolution in a turbulent region: the case of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Sudan

The paper examines IGAD’s patient and quite effective role in managing and resolving conflict within the Horn of Africa, especially within Sudan. It gives an overview of conflicts in the region, and Sudan in particular. It summarises the shifting positions of governments and rebel movements in Sudan and provides concluding recommendations, warnings and encouragements.

The paper concludes that ever since its creation IGAD has brought the parties to conflict in Sudan to a point where they have accepted, at least in principle, the option of self-determination for the South. However, the paper argues that for IGAD to succeed in maintaining the consensus which is emerging, the following factors need to be taken into account

  • a coalition of IGAD-OAU-UN peacekeeping force based on the “US/NATO” model, with prior consent of the parties, is needed to maintain the emerging consensus
  • a referendum for the South and other marginalised areas should remain an option for the affected areas
  • there is a need for shuttle diplomacy, perhaps similar to the Henry Kissinger-Lee Doc Tho diplomacy of the 1970s which ended the Vietnam War
  • the UN’s pro-active involvement in the peace process would help in the monitoring of the situation and the imposition of an arms embargo against parties that do not adhere to the agreement
  • IGAD should involve all the belligerents in the peace process irrespective of their political affiliation
  • the IPF and other interested parties need to develop coherent and co-ordinated policies based on long term objectives
  • The UN, OAU, and IGAD can build on civil society initiatives to enhance confidence among the belligerents

[adapted from author]

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.