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Abeyi: Sudan's "Kashmir"

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): Roger Winter; John Prendergast

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Topic: Politics (Political status)

Type: Report

Coverage: Sudan

Abstract:

Sudan is an incredibly complex country. Wars and coups have marked its history since it gained independence in 1956. The country is littered with killing fields, some localized and some with national and regional implications.

Perhaps no area is more volatile and carries more implications for Sudan’s future than the oil rich region of Abyei—Sudan’s “Kashmir”—astride the boundary between North and South roughly 500 miles southwest of Khartoum. There lies one of the most potent of tripwires in all of Sudan. If the political crisis regarding Abyei is addressed, there is potential for peace in the entire country. If it is mishandled, it dramatically increases the possibility that Sudan’s current conflicts—from Darfur to the South to the East—will explode over the coming few years into a national war with regional implications and historically devastating repercussions for its people.