Analysis: Sudan's Interlocking Crises
Council on Foreign Relations
June 2, 2008
Author: Stephanie Hanson
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a decades-long civil war between north and south Sudan includes a separate protocol for Abyei. Both sides claim the area, which grossed about $670 million in oil revenues in 2006. A portion of the area's oil revenue is supposed to go directly to residents of Abyei, but there were concerns at the time of the agreement about how the money was being shared. The Abyei protocol gives the area a special administrative status, delineates a process to determine its boundaries, and calls for a referendum in 2011 to determine if the area will be part of the north or the south. That referendum is scheduled to coincide with a referendum on whether south Sudan will secede from the north. Experts say Sudan's ruling National Congress Party seeks to avoid secession at all costs, but it is also trying to arrange the north-south border so that it retains as many oilfields as possible in the north.
The turmoil in Abyei comes at a time of shifting U.S. policy toward Sudan.
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