About a year and a half ago, I was interviewing peacekeepers on a tiny temporary base in eastern DR Congo. I met a man in his 80s who had walked five hours on an injured leg to deliver a letter. It was a message for the peacekeepers. And that message was: “Please, don’t leave.”
This base was only accessible by foot or helicopter. There were just 50 soldiers and so they had a really limited reach. But
by Agostine Ndung'u
With the clock ticking towards the historic January 2011 referenda in South Sudan and Abyei, concerns are rising among the international community that preparations on the ground are moving at a dangerously slow pace. Unless precautions are taken immediately, Sudan might just slip back into civil war. To avert this looming danger, humanitarian and advocacy organizations, like Refugees International are abuzz with activity in Washington, D.C. As an intern at RI I attended several events about Sudan this summer that give a glimpse into the concerns felt by the policy community here in Washington.
With the southern Sudanese referendum for independence less than a year away, it is a bit puzzling that the south is not overcome by an overwhelming sense of nationalism. It is true that on the eve of the national elections, the increasing number of independent candidates has fractured southern political parties that were previously utilized as national rallying bases.