The former U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, blames "radical" religious elements within Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) for the political instability that has engulfed the country since South Sudan's declaration of independence in July. Natsios believes that President Omar Al Bashir?s approach to conflicts in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile could lead those states to seek independence, furthur dividing Sudan.
Natsios, who is currently a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, linked the current rebellions in Southern Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile states to the pre-colonial struggle where the Sultanates of Funji and Fur, in what is today Blue Nile state and Darfur, fought the British for legitimacy in 1821.
Natsios warned that any military approach by the NCP to address the conflict in Sudan will not bring peace in the areas currently engulfed in fighting. He said President Bashir?s party should call for an inclusive political conference to address issues of a new constitution and press freedom. He also called on Khartoum to resolve the crisis in Blue Nile by reinstating the SPLM Governor, Malik Agar, who was elected last year. Agar was removed from office by Sudan's President on Friday.
VOA?s John Tanza reached Andrew Natsios at his office in Washington, DC. You can hear the interview by clicking the link below, or at the top right of the page.