The Nuba Mountains and the Southern Blue Nile, together with Abyei, go by the name of ‘the transitional areas’ in CPAese. Abyei was supposed to decide its destiny, North or South, via a referendum, a hasty arrangement that has now been replaced by the prospect of a last minute political deal yet to be achieved.
The two other areas were granted the compromise solution of ‘popular consultation’ as a means to decide on their relationship with the central government. In the press conference on 22 December Malik Agar surfaced the idea that the
and the Nuba Mountains Southern Blue Nile may demand to join the South. He said it was unlikely but stressed it might be an option for Christians in the future. The three leaders of the SPLM Northern sector explicitly stated that they perceive the two areas as an extension of the ‘Southern Question’ which in the current context translates into candidates for partition. Although such an outcome is possible the new rules of the game post-secession imply that the aspiring politicians of the Northern sector will have to dodge their way into viability through the meshwork of Khartoum-Juba arrangements. A Juba just turned independent is unlikely to embrace secessionist anger in the and the Nuba Mountains Southern Blue Nile and risk a showdown with injured . In terms of calculations Khartoum may be more inclined to accommodate the two areas and rob the Northern sector of its political capital. In the Khartoum I suppose it has already done so. In that regards Arman’s promise of a new war may actually prove to be counter-productive. Nuba Mountains