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苏丹执政党的分裂与对国家未来稳定的威胁
苏丹执政党的分裂与对国家未来稳定的威胁
Report 174 / Africa

苏丹执政党的分裂与对国家未来稳定的威胁

执行摘要

在南苏丹将于2011年7月9日正式脱离苏丹的时候,北苏丹存在的问题不会发生什么改变。国民大会党(NCP)还没有解决苏丹长年冲突的根源,却已然加剧了民族和地区分裂。面临安全、政治、社会和经济的多重挑战,党内在选择何种前进道路上有着深刻的分歧。大会党的安全强硬派认为这些都是次要问题,不对他们的存在产生迫在眉睫的威胁,所以继续以军事手段解决长期的不稳定。其他人则呼吁以党内改革——一个“第二共和”来解决大会党的问题,但对于解决国家问题则没有什么想法。大会党已经动用其安全机构镇压叛乱,决意结束关于苏丹多样性和身份认同的争论,继续致力于为所有苏丹人民保持阿拉伯伊斯兰身份认同,坚持伊斯兰教教法,并且准备将关键的州进行划分以适应政治大亨们的需要。这些特设决策为持续不断的暴力提供了基础。这些暴力可能难以控制并且会导致国家进一步分裂。

权力现在越来越集中在以巴希尔总统为中心的小集团手中。然而,这种集权并没有反映在武装部队上。巴希尔及其亲密伙伴担心有可能发生政变,所以拆分了安全服务系统,并且变得越来越依赖个人忠诚和部落效忠来继续掌权。同时,他们的政党已在苦苦挣扎,早已失去了战略眼光和政策的一致性。领导层四分五裂,并且更加关注如何继续掌权,所以往往都是对事件做出反应,而非实施经过深思熟虑的国家方案。这可以从纳菲阿(全国大会党组织事务副主席及总统顾问)和塔哈(苏丹第二副总统)之间旷日持久且众所周知的争论中看出。并且,在苏丹自决公投的准备阶段,党内领导者各执一词的言论也是对此最好的说明。最近,重权在握的萨拉赫·戈什被撤职,反映出大会党的内部分裂可能导致党派分裂或政变。

巴希尔、纳菲阿和安全强硬派认为反对党力量薄弱,拒绝了他们呼吁召开更具包容性的宪法会议,以便在南苏丹7月独立后起草一个永久宪法的要求。他们认为自己已经控制了达尔富尔的局势,并且认为南部科尔多凡和蓝尼罗河的过渡区不太可能发生冲突。在他们看来,这些地区被分割成块,它们的军队对于喀土穆来说并不是迫在眉睫的威胁,因为南苏丹正专注于其他问题。他们继续追求分而治之的策略,以防止与处于主导地位的全国大会党相抗衡的统一力量的出现。塔哈和其他更加务实的盟友则愿意与其他政治力量进行谈判,但却受到安全强硬派的阻挠。他们也似乎仍将致力于让大会党继续在所有仍旧属于苏丹的地区推动阿拉伯伊斯兰身份认同。而对于一个仍然有着上百个民族和语言群体的国家来说,这只能导致极度分裂。

领导者通过提供诱人的政府职位来回报可以贡献自己选区的政治大亨,以此维持他们的忠诚。由于缺乏问责制,在这一过程中,领导者享有绝对的自由,并为了自身利益而使腐败制度化。各省的省长在各自的辖区内运作着自己的赞助网络。

2005年签订的全面和平协议(CPA)虽然看似成功,但却未能解决导致苏丹内部长期冲突的问题。它的目的是实现国家的“民主变革”。然而,在六年的过渡期内(到七月份正式结束),全国大会党拒绝执行许多有意义的规定,因为这些规定会严重威胁到他们对权力的控制。保持苏丹统一并建立一个稳定、民主的国家的机会已经失去。毫不意外,南苏丹人民在2011年1月投票时选择了分离。

苏丹的其余地区因此仍背负着“苏丹问题”。在这些地区,政府仍然过度关注权力、资源和发展,这都以处于权力边缘的人民为代价,也从而引起了这些人们的愤怒。。在至今还是过渡区的阿卜耶伊、南科尔多凡州和蓝尼罗河地区,以及达尔富尔、东部以及其他边缘地区,一个“新南方”正在出现,继续扰乱大会党的统治。除非有一个更具包容性的政府来解决他们的不满,不然苏丹将面临更多暴力和更加分裂的危险。

反对党呼吁召开一个更为广泛的宪法审查会议,这建议了一条前进的道路。这样一个会议应该被视为一个更广泛的国家协商进程,以适应在过渡区常见的磋商和达尔富尔国民对话。这后面两个进程如果平行举行,将不会引导整个国家走向政治稳定和持久和平。解决治理国家方面的主要问题必须在全国范围内实行。为鼓励这一做法,一个团结的国际社会,特别是非盟、阿拉伯联盟和联合国,必须向全国大会党施压,令其接受一个自由无阻的全国对话,以创建一个国家稳定计划,其中包括建立一个具有包容性的、被广泛接受的宪制安排的明确原则。

喀土穆/内罗毕/布鲁塞尔, 2011年5月4日

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir take part in a tripartite summit regarding a dam on the Nile River, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 10 February 2019. AFP/ANADOLU AGENCY/Handout /Presidency of Egypt
Commentary / Africa

Calming the Choppy Nile Dam Talks

Egypt and Ethiopia are exchanging harsh words over the dam the latter is building on the Blue Nile. At issue is how fast the Horn nation will fill its reservoir once construction is complete. The two countries’ leaders should cool the rhetoric and seek compromise.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are set to meet on the margins of an ongoing two-day Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in an effort to ease tensions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ethiopia is building the dam on the main tributary of the Nile, and Egypt fears that the project will imperil its water supply.

Experts from those two nations and Sudan, the third country directly involved, had neared a technical consensus last year on how fast Ethiopia would fill the dam’s reservoir. But the past few months have seen Addis Ababa and Cairo move further apart amid feisty exchanges of rhetoric. Experts made little progress at their latest meeting this month in Khartoum.

There are still reasons to think a deal can be struck. First, however, the two leaders need to reiterate at Sochi their intention to cooperate over the GERD, so as to create an atmosphere conducive to agreement on filling and operating what will be the continent’s largest hydropower plant.

The background

Ethiopia began building the GERD on the Blue Nile River in 2010. Meles Zenawi, then Ethiopia’s leader, argued that the dam was critical to the country’s development efforts and would benefit the whole region. He said nearby states, including Egypt, would gain from purchasing the cheap electricity Ethiopia intends the dam to produce.

The scheme alarmed Cairo. Egypt claims “historical rights” over the Nile, stemming from treaties to which upstream countries, with the exception of Sudan, were not party. Most of those treaties date to the colonial era; the latest, a 1959 Egypt-Sudan pact, apportioned all 84 billion cubic meters of the Nile’s waters between Egypt (then the United Arab Republic), Sudan and evaporation. Egypt still bases its supply on the 55.5 billion cubic meters agreed upon in 1959 but it is estimated to use more than that as Sudan does not use its full allocation.

Egypt is especially vulnerable to reductions in Nile flows.

Egypt is especially vulnerable to reductions in Nile flows. It relies on the river for about 90 per cent of its water needs. Abdullatif Khalid, head of the irrigation sector, said recently that “drinking water is consuming 11 billion cubic meters. … Industrial usage consumes 8 billion cubic meters, and the rest is distributed to agriculture”. Egypt also relies on the Nile to generate about a tenth of its power, particularly from its High Dam at Aswan. Egypt characterises the status of the Nile as a life-and-death matter. It fears the loss of Egyptian influence and control over upper Nile states that Ethiopia’s unilateral project represents. It also worries that acceding to Ethiopia over the GERD could pave the way for other major hydropower and irrigation projects by upstream Nile nations.

Ethiopian officials portray such concerns as quasi-imperialist. “The struggle is between a country which wants to ensure equitable and reasonable utilisation and another which wants to maintain a colonial-era treaty of injustice and unfairness”, said one Ethiopian diplomat. A statement from the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry blamed Egypt for acting as a spoiler at this month’s Khartoum talks. Ethiopian officials argue that Egypt built the Aswan dam in a bid to drive its own economic growth but that Cairo has since used its international influence to prevent upstream Nile development. They portray Ethiopia’s eventual decision to construct the GERD as an effort to redress a historic imbalance and as a last resort after Egypt refusal to cooperate over the basin.

Forging an initial filling deal could increase trust among the parties, which is all the more important given the threat posed by rising temperatures in the Nile basin.

In March, Crisis Group encouraged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to persevere in trying to agree a detailed policy for filling the GERD’s reservoir. The three countries had taken some steps in that direction. In 2015, they signed a Declaration of Principles pledging to equitably share water resources and cooperate over the GERD, and since then have met regularly at both technical and political levels to try to reach agreement.

Forging an initial filling deal could increase trust among the parties, which is all the more important given the threat posed by rising temperatures in the Nile basin. In the longer term, Crisis Group supports the idea that the three countries, together with the other eight who share the Nile’s waters, establish a broader resource-sharing arrangement via the Nile Basin Commission that is to form once six of the eleven riparian nations ratify the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).

Egypt signed on to the 2015 Declaration, but, along with Sudan, it rejects key parts of the CFA. Cairo stresses in its Nile policy the “inviolability of our water share”. Addis Ababa, meanwhile, is explicit that water allocation treaties to which it was not party have “no applicability whatsoever on Ethiopia”.

After some heated words of its own, Cairo put its well-oiled diplomatic machine into action at late September’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Egyptian diplomats met with counterparts from Burundi and South Sudan, two riparian countries that are cash-strapped and experiencing major internal crises. Burundi, along with Kenya and Uganda, has signed but not ratified the CFA, while South Sudan has not yet made its position clear. An experienced observer of Nile politics says it is “common knowledge that Cairo increases its activism with upper riparians, especially South Sudan, whenever rhetoric with Addis increases”. Egypt’s intention appears to be to forestall explicit statements of support for Ethiopia’s position from other upper Nile nations and to drag out the CFA’s ratification.

The sticking point

The initial challenge lies in the sides’ competing positions on filling the GERD reservoir.

The initial challenge lies in the sides’ competing positions on filling the GERD reservoir. Ethiopia wants to move quickly to expedite maximum power generation. Egypt is concerned about how the dam will be managed during drought years and wants the GERD filled slowly enough that a sufficient volume of water can flow downstream each year during filling. Egypt also says it wants an office at the GERD site staffed with its own technicians. Ethiopia counters that this proposal breaches its sovereignty. It also has repeatedly rejected as unnecessary Egyptian calls for third-party meditation in the dispute.

The GERD’s 74-billion cubic meter reservoir is to be filled in three stages. The first consists of tests of the initial two turbines, which require some 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of water and would take one year. Second, all 13 turbines would be tested, requiring at least another 12 bcm and one more year. Last, Ethiopia would fill the rest of the reservoir – although its volume would fluctuate by around 50 bcm each year as Ethiopia would have to allow much of the water out ahead of seasonal rainfall to prevent overflowing. The first two years’ filling would use too little water to significantly affect downstream supplies. It is the final stage that worries Egypt and prompts its disagreement with Ethiopia.

Last year, the National Independent Scientific Research Study Group, comprising Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese experts, made progress toward a filling agreement that all parties could get behind. This deal would entail Ethiopia annually releasing about 35 bcm (around 70 per cent of the Blue Nile’s average annual flow) of water downstream as it fills the dam.

Egypt subsequently slowed down the pace of talks. At the February meeting of the African Union, President Sisi told Prime Minister Abiy that he wanted to discuss the minutes from the study group meetings. These conversations led to a new Egyptian proposal, which called for a minimum annual release of 40 bcm of water from the GERD during the period of filling. Egypt had also requested that the entire average annual Blue Nile flow of 49 bcm be released once the GERD is operational and the dam filled. If the flow decreases, Cairo says Addis Ababa should make up for the deficit the next year. Ethiopia has rejected both suggestions.

Space for compromise

Despite the recent disagreements, the 2018 progress and expert studies suggest that a compromise solution exists. In a period of average or above-average rainfall, releases of around 35 bcm would allow Ethiopia to fill the dam at a slightly faster rate than if the annual release was at 40 bcm, while also avoiding acute water shortages in Egypt.

Ethiopia seems ready to agree to a 35 bcm release. According to experts like Kevin Wheeler from the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, who has studied the GERD filling options with a team of experts, a 35 bcm release could fill the dam’s reservoir in five to six years, assuming average flows. Ethiopia said after the latest inconclusive talks that it proposed to fill the GERD in four to seven years.

There are also steps that Egypt could take to manage water more efficiently and mitigate the dam’s potential impact on agriculture and manufacturing.

Despite Cairo’s reservations, this fill rate does not appear likely to significantly damage Egypt’s water supply or power generation. “Under wet to average conditions with a 35 bcm release, Egypt does not need to suffer any shortages, or very minimal reductions if they use their drought management policy”, Wheeler told Crisis Group.

There are also steps that Egypt could take to manage water more efficiently and mitigate the dam’s potential impact on agriculture and manufacturing. Aid programs could improve irrigation efficiency, for example.

For its part, Ethiopia could also be more accommodating, especially given climate volatility and Egypt’s concerns about how the dam will be managed in drought conditions. One experienced observer questions why Ethiopia is apparently so fixated on filling the reservoir quickly to its maximum volume of 74 bcm. After all, the reservoir will need draining to around 20 bcm each year before the rainy season to guard against over-spilling.

Nor is it clear whether sufficient demand exists in either Ethiopia or export markets to justify maximising the GERD’s power generation in the first few years. For example, in 2017/18, all of Ethiopia consumed less electricity than the 15,760 gigawatt hours a year that the GERD is projected to generate. In that same year, Ethiopia sold 1,516 gigawatt hours to Sudan and Djibouti. It has ambitions to sell power to East Africa via an under-construction transmission line to Kenya, but there is work to do on building further inter-connections and negotiating export deals, including, potentially, with Egypt and Gulf states.

The likely gap between the dam’s maximum output and demand means that Ethiopia could take a concertedly flexible approach to the initial stages, including filling the dam only to the extent it needs at present. Such an approach may allow it to initially release more water each year, ensuring that the reservoir at Aswan retains a healthy volume and giving Egypt more time to adapt.

Returning to constructive talks

It is hard to say precisely when the GERD will start impounding water, but parties should have at least all next year to thrash out a deal on filling. There was a major hiccup in the dam’s construction last year, when Ethiopia’s political power struggle and the transition that saw Abiy come to power rocked the mega-project. But the Ethiopian state seems to have rallied behind the GERD again. Its completion is inevitable – as Prime Minister Abiy made clear in Parliament yesterday – even if there are further delays.

Given the renewed spat between their countries, Sisi and Abiy could help prepare the ground for constructive negotiations during their meeting in Sochi at what is the first Russia-Africa summit. Even if warm words are exchanged, a real breakthrough at the technical level is unlikely any time soon. But if Sisi and Abiy can achieve a reset it would increase the chances that the engineers, lawyers and diplomats can hammer out a deal.

A deal on filling and operating the GERD should create space for renewed diplomacy aimed at safeguarding the Nile basin’s long-term future.

More broadly, a deal on filling and operating the GERD should create space for renewed diplomacy aimed at safeguarding the Nile basin’s long-term future. Climate change means that not only Egypt but all Nile nations should be concerned about water shortages. A study published in August in the Earth’s Future journal found that despite models projecting increased rainfall, nations like Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda may have less water available to them due to hotter and drier years in the Nile basin. Such findings are of even more acute concern to rain-starved Sudan and Egypt, which rely on downstream flows.

Addressing the mistrust among riparian nations, which the GERD presently symbolises, is critical. Those countries need to institutionalise cooperation, including exchanging data on critical elements such as rainfall levels, river flows, dam volumes and power needs. If President Sisi and Prime Minister Abiy can set the right tone in Sochi, they could set a path for a GERD agreement that in turn could catalyse the eventual ratification of the Cooperative Framework Agreement and management of the world’s longest river via the Nile Basin Commission.

This commentary is co-published with The Africa Report.