'This is a sobering book, recounting in detail the authoritarianism and manipulations of the ruling elites in Sudan, and how these remain unchanged after the secession of South Sudan. Based on twenty-five years' experience of Sudanese politics, Young draws the dark conclusion that international efforts to resolve Sudan's wars have failed to promote democratic transformation and have instead contributed to perpetuating the country's crises. With both Sudan and newly independent South Sudan facing internal insurrection as well as conflict between the two, this book is essential reading.'
Alex de Waal, executive director, World Peace Foundation
'Based on well-documented, rich historical detail and perceptive reading of major turns of events in the political history of Sudan (before and after 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement), John Young has said it all with clarity of writing and lucid style. This book is a must-read not only for those concerned with the still unresolved, complex issues between Sudan and South, but its brilliant and uplifting account makes it indispensible to international actors for drawing lessons to avoid the tragedy of failed peace in other conflict-ridden areas of the world.'
Atta el-Battahani, professor of political science, University of Khartoum
'Young confronts critical and often overlooked dimensions of Sudan's conflicts as well as the shortcomings of its predominant political forces. Tough questions are posed as to the international community's posture toward the peace process, as Young argues provocatively that too conventional an approach to peacemaking - against the backdrop of a fundamentally flawed state - is in large part why a sustainable and "comprehensive" peace remains so elusive. Young's book offers not only an important and alternative perspective on recent history in the region, but critical considerations for future peace processes around the globe.'
Zach Vertin, Sudan analyst, The International Crisis Group
'This is a bleakly compelling account of Sudan's flawed peace process - easily the best available overview of the current situation - written by an author who has followed events very closely. In a clear, concise and readable manner the book overviews events and explains the developments that have resulted in the breaking up of Africa's largest country. Young's analysis of the two states that now confront each other along their disputed border is deeply pessimistic, and with good reason. Far from promoting democracy and accountable governance, the political processes that have been pushed by international actors and aid donors have been co-opted by the rival authoritarian regimes. It is a tragic tale, and one that is told very well indeed.'
Tim Allen, London School of Economics and Political Science
'A must-read for anyone interested in the unfolding conflict in the horn of Africa, particularly Sudan. John Young has closely followed all major developments in Sudan for more than twenty-five years, and his extensive knowledge of the country is the result of direct interaction with the major actors and stake holders there. He was one of the few analysts who discovered, very early on, just how flawed the comprehensive peace agreement was; it was the result of sustained pressures imposed on the two parties by a misguided international community and had been designed to solve the north-south conflict. But in reality it was nothing more them an extended ceasefire agreement, and as soon as it ended war broke out again.'
Mahgoub M. Salih, editor of Al-Ayam, Sudan, and winner of the Golden Pen of Freedom Award 2005