Despite the increasingly grave level in the rise of tension between the Sudan and the South Sudan over a mutually acceptable borderline demarcation between the two states, it should be stressed that it is not inevitable that another war is the way forward to settle this dispute. The South Sudan has signed the November 2011 “border roadmap”, drawn through African Union mediation, but the Sudan still refuses to endorse this document, arguing that “to do this (sic) could prejudice final settlement negotiations on the subject”.
For the regime in Khartoum, particularly, there are indeed other arenas of contestation with its southern neighbour, which it had probably never thought of, instead of planning for yet more campaigns of certain death and deprivation. The Juba administration, for its own part, must no longer allow itself to be boxed in a quagmire of indefinite conflict with the Sudan that only further impoverishes its people. Instead, both states can embark on the following track of competition which will mark a charging break from the past. The timeframe for this contest is five years – 2012-2017. It will be monitored by a team of African-centred scholars which starts work right away and the results will be published in October 2017.
The rule for the contest, with the content and scope many would probably adjudge as too modest, is simple and straightforward: which of these two states – the South Sudan or the Sudan will achieve the following set of goals by 15 September 2017: