I wish I did not have to make this observation but the next generation of Africa’s wars will be serious in that they address deeply entrenched divisions between nations and neighbors. Some will elude the international media – case in point Mali and Mauritania – those conflicts, in countries that while significant in size and geopolitical significance, are not of interest to the general global body politic. No one except France is looking at those conflicts in a more analytical way.
Sudan is different. After decades of war and a short period of peace, Sudan will lapse back into a larger and more entrenched conflict but perhaps of a different nature then before. The fight for independence and control over lucrative oil will continue to be a cause of conflict between the two neighbors, but more importantly, the economic collapse facing the North and the South in differing measures of gravity will spark a more profound internal conflict. South Sudan is facing internal fictionalization and multiple and simultaneous bids for power and leadership – SPLM is an amalgamation of various tribes and tribal interests – each now pursuing their own bid to prevail over their allies and rivals in the new post-indenpendance context.
Sudan Khartoum faces a different process as President Bashir is unable to maintain economic and prosperity promises to the general population, his government and the hegemony of his power will increasingly be questioned. There is a potential that the decades-long political repression and control will finally be unacceptable to the people of Sudan (Khartoum); they will react and take lingering economic depression into a Sudanese Spring. Too optimistic? In 2010, no one knew Egypt would happen but it did and it is still a revolution in process. Sudan is clamoring for its people to take the lead in liberating themselves. Hopefully this will be the time. Due to a conflux of factors such as economic pressure, a regional movement for political liberation and most importantly, the maturity of political aspirations of the people of Sudan, we may be at the precipitous of a Sudanese Spring.
Time will tell but in a longer-term perspective, the Sudanese spring started with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the secession of Southern Sudan as an independent country, so liberating themselves from the stranglehold of Bashir would only constitute the next in a line of political evolutions and devolutions in Sudan as a whole.