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The curse of treasure in fragile states

Nicholas van Praag's picture
    Bless them.   Photo source Wikipedia.

As people return from the holiday break in early January, the citizens of south Sudan will be voting in a long-awaited referendum.  Polls suggest there will be a big majority in favor of southern independence. Boosting people’s hopes for the new state are its oil reserves worth some $2 billion a year.

Sorting out how the North and South will divvy up the benefits of oil is not clear.  While most of the oil is in the South, the export and refining infrastructure is in the North. Revenues are currently shared roughly 50-50 but there is no agreement yet over the fate of Abyei, a significant oil producing region on the North/South border.

Still, the prospect of oil revenues is central to southern thinking about financing its way to a better future. Assuming the problems with the north are sorted out, are they right to see their natural resource endowment as the basis for future prosperity?

Speaking out about conflict—Part 1

Natalia Cieslik's picture

During a recent WDR 2011 consultations event we interviewed leaders from conflict-affected countries about overcoming conflict, building institutions, confidence building, and the role of the international community.

Watch and listen to what Betty Bigombe, Chief Peace-Negotiator in Uganda, Biong Deng, Minister of Presidential Affairs in South Sudan, Pierre Buyoya, Former President of Burundi, and Tornolah Varpilah, Minister of Health in Liberia, have to say.

Betty Bigombe, Chief Mediator in Northern Uganda Peace Process:

Biong Deng, Minister for Presidential Affairs and Member of the SPLM National Liberation Council, Government of Southern Sudan

Pierre Buyoya, Former President and Senator for Life, Burundi

Tornorlah Varpilah, Deputy Minister of Health, Liberia: