Liz Garmatz

Summary 2


“Averting Disaster”, James P. Grant, Africa Report, July-August 1989



An overview of the history of Sudan and the agreements made to improve life in southern Sudan.


Over the past decade Africa has been full of conflict and adversity.  According to author, James Grant, “Two years ago, there were roughly 6 million people in southern Sudan.  And in the last two years of civil conflict, 1.5 million of them have fled to the north.”  Sudan as a whole is in a deep recession and in an incredible amount of debt.  A civil war between the north and the south began in 1955 and ran up until 1972.  All of this social unrest soon led to southern Sudan being split up into three parts, and this soon led to the formation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and its army.  Also, Sadiq al-Mahdi became prime minister and began to implement change through many outlets.  He requested the UN secretary-general make an appeal for Sudan to receive emergency assistance.  A historical agreement was made to help the people of both warring parties with some form of tranquility that would allow for the transport of essential good and services to those in need.  The proposed idea was to allow for corridors of tranquility for which supplies could be delivered without fear of being attacked.  With a few minor fallbacks, such as heavy rains, and railroad failure, the implementation of these new policies helped to avoid any other further disasters. 

Next, however, on June 30, there was a military coup, and Lt.-Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir became the leader of the country.  The new government talked of peace and sought out ways to continue helping the Sudan victims.  For several months, the new government and the SPLA discussed the problems and issues concerning Sudan and they hoped to reach an agreement and turn Sudan around within a few years.  They all believe that Sudan has the potential to be a very stable and successful country.