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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


9th May 2012

CGHR Roundtable: Crisis in the Sudans

Dr Sarah Nouwen (Cambridge), Ms. Benedetta De Alessi (SOAS), Dr Sharath Srinivasan (CGHR)

The recent military confrontations between the newly independent South Sudan and Sudan raise questions as to why intensive peacemaking and peacebuilding interventions in this troubled region have not brought an end to war. The focus has been on oil and border demarcations, yet violent conflict is occurring at multiple interlocking levels too often hidden from view.

  • What is the likelihood of military escalation into wholesale war between the two Sudans?
  • Why did the Thabo Mbeki led AU High Level Panel mediation effort fail?
  • How do more ‘local’ conflicts in the Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains, Abyei, Darfur, Jonglei and Upper Nile regions relate to this interstate crisis?
  • Where and how have peacemaking and peacebuilding in the Sudans failed?

The CGHR roundtable will explore these and other questions.


Dr Sarah Nouwen – University Lecturer in Law, Cambridge, Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre and Pembroke College. In 2010-2011, seconded to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan, previously with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New York, The Hague and Sudan and has served as a consultant for various NGOs, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Department for International Development (DfID) on rule-of-law building and transitional justice.

Ms. Benedetta De Alessi – PhD candidate at SOAS (political transformation of the SPLM /A). Worked in Sudan since 2005: first for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; seconded to the Assessment Evaluation Commission monitoring CPA implementation in Sudan (2006-7 and 2009-11); and as conflict analyst for the UN in Blue Nile State. In 2010-11 she taught at the University of Juba, South Sudan.

Dr Sharath Srinivasan – Director, CGHR . Worked in and researched on Sudan since 2003, first coordinating programmes for the International Rescue Committee and then as a doctoral researcher and consultant conflict advisor to various international actors in Sudan. Has published on the shortcomings of negotiated peacemaking in Sudan, on conflict in Darfur and on Sudan-China relations.