Posts by: Alex DeWaal

In this series of ten posts, I will use graphs, figures and pictures to get a sense of the Sudanese predicament today. The focus is on peace, and especially the economic and financial logic of peace.

The following figure shows government budgets (current expenditure) between 1970 and 2011, and peace agreements (green) and changes in [...]

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The geographical inequality of income and investment in Sudan is striking. The figure below was drawn by me in the 1980s, based on an analysis of how the Sudanese economy had been restructured in the late 1970s and ‘80s, following the migration of most Sudanese professionals to the Gulf countries, and their remittances sent home, [...]

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Enough Foolishness

On May 2, 2014 By

Earlier this week, the Enough Project and Humanity United wrote to leading members of the U.S. Administration with recommendations for how the U.S. should respond to the current crises in South Sudan and Sudan. They began their substantive recommendations with perhaps a little more candor than they intended: “the U.S. must invest much more [...]

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My main points are that peace needs money. More particularly, the way in which peace is financed determines the nature of that peace. Sustainable peace requires the right kind of money. I am not talking about financing peace processes—which are invariably good value for money, even if the day-to-day expenses of hosting delegates in hotels might appear to be extravagant—but rather the financing of the post-peace dispensation.

There has been much attention to how natural resources can be a curse rather than a blessing, and can drive conflict. There is less attention on how rental revenues, including natural resources along with aid and security cooperation rents, shape the prospects for peace. Nonetheless, there is a certain model for peacemaking that has become dominant in Africa, and that model has built-in assumptions about the nature of how peace will be financed.

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Below is an excerpt from Alex de Waal’s essay, “Violence and peacemaking in the political marketplace” in Legitimacy and Peace Processes: from Coercion to Consent (Accord 25); pgs. 17 – 21. Full text available online.

The implication is the starting point for a legitimate process, leading to a legitimate agreement, is enabling the affected [...]

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The unique structure of the SPLA means that the same kleptocratic principle applies to local leaders and army commanders in rural areas. This generates the “rent-seeking rebellion” cycle:

The level of fatalities among soldiers and civilians is completely disproportionate to the claims of the rebel leader or mutineer.

This in turn [...]

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