Prospects of the SPLA/M’s Transition into a Political Party in Sudan

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This paper argues that the predominant circumstances in Sudan are likely to prevent the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) from evolving into a political party.

At present, the political class in the North has not reached a consensus on how to interact with the South. The government in Khartoum continues to nurture anti-SPLA Southern militias and to link the South’s concerns with Darfur. The international community is also divided on how to best deal with Sudan. The interests of China and Malaysia appear to be linked to those of the government in Khartoum, while African, European and North American actors appear to favour the SPLA/M. This paper includes policy recommendations that emphasise a win-win perspective for all actors.

An earlier version of this paper was published in the South African Journal of International Affairs, 15, 2. Oxford: Taylor & Francis, 2008.

SAIIA sincerely thanks those who acted as peer reviewers for these papers.

2 Jan 2009