A brutal civil war between the north and south of Sudan which ran for 21 years ended on 9th January 2005. The country has experienced almost three years of peace, but the war destroyed the infrastructure of the country and a humanitarian crisis still exists as hundreds of thousands of people return home to areas devastated by war.
Africa’s longest civil war finally came to an end in January 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Government of Sudan. The 22-year war pitted the largely Christian and animist South against the Muslim dominated Government of Sudan.
More than 2 million people died, and more than 4 million were internally displaced or became refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts.
Peace is now allowing for a full revelation of the damage wrought by the war and the urgent need to help alleviate the long suffering of the South Sudanese. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people are returning to their home areas, moving mostly during the dry season from November to May. Sudan is a regional giant that is yet to realize its full potential. Nine countries neighbour Sudan, and all stand to benefit from a sustained peace in the country. Lasting peace in Sudan would reverberate throughout Africa and indeed the world.
The region has a population of approximately 9 million and a predominantly rural subsistence economy. This region has been negatively affected by a protracted civil war for all by 10 years since independence in 1956, resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement predominantly in the South of the country. The region has also been struck by recurring famine throughout its history. A 1998 famine killed hundreds of thousands, while a food emergency declared in mid-2005 has shown little change.
The CPA has given rise to semiautonomous government for the South, establishing for the first time in 22 years government structures at State and county levels. However, the CPA implementation process remains slow, and marred with challenges. Seven years after the signing of the CPA, the government structures and services are yet to be felt at the grassroots level. County services are currently supported by the humanitarian services through the NGOs and the UN bodies.