The animal of violence is one that spreads its nature swiftly. The butterfly effect does indeed hold true so that when unity and dialogue, say, in the Sudan degrade, it sets the precedent for more hostilities to flame up elsewhere on the continent.
Though conflicts in one place don’t necessarily—but sometimes do—directly effect conflicts in others, it is the overall environment and atmosphere of peace and constructiveness which will be most damaged.
Often, talking means no direct fighting. It is when the talking stops that the silent winds of the eye of a storm pass over, and soon bloodshed breaks out. It has happened before – many times.
What our region needs now is a quieting down of activity. Moves such as the withdrawal of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement from the Government of National Unity last week can set into motion events that can take on a nature of their own.
The bloodshed and displacement that results takes up so much time and resources to resolve in these conflicts that it is not even desirable to contemplate any peace-breakdown, anywhere in the region.
Insecurity continues to ruin the Democratic Republic of Congo just miles away, while, in the very Sudan, Darfur’s sorrows continue.
The Lord’s Resistance Army rebels have also visited untold and almost total misery on the region; but the most important thing is that in every one of these instances, the olive branch of talks offered a glimmer of hope to the psychologically and physically tortured souls dwelling in the areas of conflict. That is why applause must be given to the leaders in the Sudan who have agreed to talk, and cease hostilities for the sake of peace.
Currently, the atmosphere in the eastern Congo belies patient discussion, people and leaders alike gripped with insecurity and fear, though the Sudan is more promising; but the more clearly it is read right that pride of might can uncontrollably set the country as a whole into further division and impotency, the more the leaders will try their level best to cool, and not to inflame, the situations.