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Friday, 05 October 2012

Old and New Challenges for Sudan and South Sudan

From 23 to 25 July, BICC, together with the Sudan Studies Association USA and Sudan Studies Society UK hosted the 9th International South Sudan and Sudan Studies Conference "Identity, Economy, Power Relations and External Interests: Old and New Challenges for Sudan and South Sudan" in Bonn. In her concluding remarks, Dr. Elke Grawert highlighted the discussion’s main topics.

The conference started with the issue of “violence as initiation” and the deep rift between ‘Effendis’ (lords, elites) and ‘Nas’ (people), which has shaped Sudan for centuries. 

Another recurring theme was “responsibility” as opposed to the “dependency syndrome”, the claim of being victims, and self-victimization as an argument used by elites in the South, by ex-combatants and by communities.

“The political” was identified as crucial, as opposed to technical approaches and political engineering of social problems. “The political” appeared to be at the core of conflicts at local, state, national and international level and it requires political solutions instead of capacity-building or humanitarian intervention.

Another core theme was “independence with interdependence”, the arguments of which were similar.

The conference was organized by BICC, the Sudan Studies Association USA and Sudan Studies Society UK. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn. In early 2013, a book with conference papers will be published.

Concluding Remarks: "Identity, Economy, Power Relations and External Interests” (pdf)