As Southern Sudan’s self-determination referendum approaches, the country faces one of the most important moments in its history. A culminating event of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the referendum, scheduled for January 9, 2011, will be important for the future of the country and the region.
On January 6, in advance of the referendum, the Managing Global Insecurity Project at Brookings hosted a discussion of the impact and implications of the referendum and the prospects for sustainable peace in the country. As Minister of International Development of Norway, Hilde F. Johnson played a pivotal role in the CPA negotiations. She discussed her new book Waging Peace in Sudan: The Inside Story of the Negotiations that Ended Africa’s Longest Civil War (Sussex Academic Press, 2010), based on her experiences and her unique access to the parties and the talks. Johnson was joined by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), who commented on the potential outcomes of the referendum and Gayle Smith, National Security Council senior director for development and democracy, who discussed the regional implications of the referendum as well as her own personal experience working as a journalist in Africa. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Rich Williamson, who served as special envoy to Sudan during the Bush Administration, also joined the discussion.
Senior Fellow Michael O'Hanlon, director of research for Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.