Friday, March 13, 2009

Business Monitor International report on Sudan

With so many Sudan 'expert analysts' floating around the web these these days, it's hard to throw a link and miss one. With Khartoum's savage treatment of Darfur and the subsequent ICC indictment of President Bashir, there's a limitless pool of opinions and prognostications to be found. Some free ( and worth every penny, like this), and some not-so-free.

A few products are available from 'professional analysts' on Sudan for a significant fee. One report I saw referenced in a recent article drew me to their website. Browsing through their product, I saw an executive summary that was, in my humble opinion, off the mark.

A few points:

The South is not engaged in a massive military buildup. It neither has the money, manpower, expertise, nor strategic plan to do so. When you see MiGs, Hinds, and other expensive military hardware gracing the tarmacs of Southern Sudan, this point is valid. Otherwise, if one is referring to the hijacked cargo destined for Kenya, but (mistakenly) rumored to be for Southern Sudan -- then think again. That rumor is simply not true.

Second: Both parties are cooperating with the Abyei process underway in the Hague. Both parties have publicly stated their satisfaction thus far. I have not been able to find evidence to the contrary.

Third: The summary completely misses (perhaps there is hope in the full report, but I wont spend $800 to find out) the economic implications of the ICC indictment of President Bashir. That gem has too many facets to completely and accurately describe. Right now, it is the 600-pound gorilla sitting in the room.

These are fundamental points I find hard to miss. Any serious and in-the-know analysis would know them.

No comments: