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苏丹冲突蔓延(一):南科尔多凡州的战争
苏丹冲突蔓延(一):南科尔多凡州的战争
Bombings from government planes force Nuba civilians to seek refuge in the hills and caves, Nuba Mountains, North Sudan, May 2012. CRISISGROUP/Jérôme Tubiana
Report 198 / Africa

苏丹冲突蔓延(一):南科尔多凡州的战争

执行摘要

南科尔多凡州(South Kordofan)的战争没有很快结束的迹象。这场战争与1984-2002年的内战有很多相似之处,但是又有很大的区别。与当年相比,如今的叛乱力量--总部在努巴山区的苏丹人民解放运动(北方局)(Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North,SPLM-N)有着更好的武装,苏丹国内的民族分歧也不像当年那么明显。SPLM-N也是达尔富尔反政府武装联盟苏丹革命阵线(Sudan Revolutionary Front,SRF)的一部分,SRF正致力于将其它地区的一些武装团体纳入旗下,这些武装团体对政府抱有的幻想已经破灭了。阿拉伯部落以前曾输送过大批青壮年男子,这些人成为了当时战斗的主力军,而现在这些部落不再全心全意地支持政府,许多人加入了与喀土穆对抗的团体。这场冲突处处显示着一种战略僵持,陷入僵持的各方都希望来自外界的压力会改变对手的打算。然而,战争的确造成了可怕的伤亡,殃及的主要是平民。除非苏丹政府和SRF能在国际社会的帮助下进行接触,通过谈判达成一个全面解决苏丹国内多个冲突的方案,否则这个国家遭受的战祸将永无休止。

这场冲突的根源仍然和过去一样——政治边缘化、强占土地以及未兑现承诺。但是,民族动态已经有了重要的改变。米塞里亚(Misseriya)阿拉伯人在第一次战争期间是政府在当地的主要支持者,但是他们对喀土穆已经日渐失望,2005年政府废除代表单一种族家园的西科尔多凡州的决定更是让他们失望。政府号召他们再次动员起来,对此他们无动于衷,许多米塞里亚年轻人正在加入SPLM-N或SRF中的其他组织。南科尔多凡州另一个主要的阿拉伯部落哈瓦马(Hawazma)也正开始改变立场。

SPLM-N与努巴战士非常不同。努巴战士很勇敢,但几乎没有反抗喀土穆在20世纪90年代发起的圣战。SPLM-N要强大得多,拥有多达30,000名士兵,武器装备更精良、数量更多。该组织所控制的领土也比以往努巴部队所控制的要多得多,同时它还是SRF联盟的核心组成部分,SRF联盟正从多个方面对中央政府施压。与上一次内战相比,政府也在南科尔多凡州拥有更多的军队--人数在40,000和70,000之间--和更精密的装备。所有迹象表明,冲突进入了一个恶性僵持阶段,政府无法赶走盘踞在努巴山区的叛军,SPLM-N和其盟军也无法在低地地区控制很多领土。

政府军又退回到了以前那种熟悉的模式——打击一些涉嫌支持叛乱分子的社区,以防止SPLM-N成员混迹在周围的平民中间。因为无法耕种土地,政府又禁止对叛乱分子控制的地区实施人道主义援助,许多平民被迫逃离了家园。根据可靠的消息来源,超过70万平民受到冲突的影响,其中43.6万人在叛乱地区内流离失所,约6.6万人则成为了南苏丹(统一国家)的难民。

任何一方都没有强大到足以取得军事胜利。通过谈判达成解决方案是唯一可行的办法。战火重燃的原因是因为2005年签署的《全面和平协议 》(Comprehensive Peace Agreement,CPA)的关键条款没有得到执行,特别是政府曾承诺为解决长久以来的民族不满情绪要进行全民协商,这一点政府并没有做到。2011年6月28日的《框架协议》包含了政治和安全方面的安排,这个协议是阻止不断上升的冲突的最后一博,却未被强硬派所接受。

从那以后,喀土穆和SPLM-N之间的谈判大范围瘫痪,双方在关于冲突范围上的分歧是造成目前僵局的一个主要问题。反政府武装越来越坚持要有一个国家议事日程,而中央政府和南科尔多凡州的政治领袖则更愿意把注意力放在战争的区域性层面。SPLM-N试图通过要求在国家层面进行谈判和要求更具包容性的参与来提高筹码,它提出这个要求也遵守了它与SRF中的其他成员组织所达成的协议。同样,SPLM-N也正在与法定反对党进行更紧密的合作。2013年1月5日在乌干达首都坎帕拉,SRF与全国共识力量(National Consensus Forces,NCF)--由苏丹所有主要反对党和一些公民社会团体组成的联盟--签署了《新黎明宪章》(New Dawn Charter)。同SRF的计划一样,NCF也主张通过协调的暴力方式和非暴力方式实现具有包容性的过渡。从SRF的角度来看,这个宪章还解决了反对派武装最大的缺陷——即缺乏中央政权的支持。

SRF的这个创新可能会迫使国际社会把苏丹的各种危机视作一个整体来处理,而不是寻求一种局部的(并且经常会胎死腹中的)迅速解决办法。政府与不同的反对派组织在不同时期通过谈判达成了权力分享安排,这种零零碎碎的安排经常导致了更进一步的反叛——这些反叛的唯一目的是从喀土穆获得更有利的让步。如果谈判只是部分解决了外围地区的政治边缘化问题,那么达尔富尔地区和青尼罗河州要求民族自治的呼声会日渐高涨,虽然目前这种呼声只局限在上述两个地区,但在南科尔多凡州也开始出现类似声音。政府的强硬派倾向于相信在联邦制问题上做出让步和给予更大的自主权会导致分裂,但是他们应该认识到,他们如此害怕的要求分裂的呼声,其出现和延续的源头正是由于政府缺乏灵活性。

本文是研究苏丹外围地区冲突蔓延的系列报告中的第一篇。要结束多个冲突,建立持久和平,需要一个全面的解决方案,包括在治理方面进行更广泛的改革和在国家层面开展具有实际意义的对话。鉴此,危机组织最近一篇关于苏丹的报告《选择大刀阔斧的改革还是更多的战争》(Major Reform or More War)(2012年11月29日)中提出的许多建议都是关于如何解决南科尔多凡州长年的冲突的。将SRF纳入这个冲突的解决进程中来会迫使它从一个纯粹的军事联盟演变成为一个更具代表性和更善于用言语进行表达的政治运动组织,也就是说从一个战争工具演变成为和平工具。国际社会行为体,尤其是联合国安理会、非洲联盟和平与安全理事会和阿拉伯国家联盟理事会应当把SRF的各成员组织(包括SPLM-N)作为一个整体来进行接触而不是分别接触,并鼓励他们试着为苏丹的未来提出一个共同的政治立场。

内罗毕⁄布鲁塞尔,2013年2月14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.