The Sudanese Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), headed by Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani, has repeatedly urged Sudanese partners to establish a confederation between South and North Sudan. Egypt earlier made the same suggestion as a way out of the North-South civil war, but no one bothered to look into the initiative.
The conflict between the north and the south of Sudan began in 1955 before the country’s independence from Britain on 1 January 1956 and continued, initially, for seventeen years until 1972. The southern insurgency against the central Khartoum based government centred on a fight for resources, power, the role of religion in the state and self-determination.
Aboul Hassan Farah, communication officer and a member of the political bureau of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), asserted that a north-south confederation is the ideal way to escape this quagmire. The initiative was first proposed in 1993 by the Carter Center and was recently endorsed by Egypt.
“It is a form of administration that evolves between unity and secession; it is an alternative to the current state of war in the region that might develop further in case secession is the outcome in the 9 January referendum on independence of the south,” said Farah.
“The situation in Sudan is precarious and the outcome of the referendum and how it is going to be accepted inside Sudan, among its neighbours as well as regionally, will remain a time bomb."
Farah pointed out that the confederation option was also suggested by the late southern leader John Garang, who briefly served as the country’s Vice President until his death in 2005.