As Buffalo Springfield once wrote: there's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear. If what the press is reporting is true, the formation of a new Sudanese rebel group—the Sudanese Revolutionary Front—is a remarkable new development in the war-torn country. After all, the secession of South Sudan earlier this year has brought one of Africa's most devastating civil wars to an end. Or so it seemed at the time. In the end, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front brings together the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the SPLM-N. In all those cases, the question really is, whether the formation of a new conglomerate of rebel movements is a sign of weakness or strength. Overcoming splits and different agendas speaks to the latter—the new movement has already laid out an agenda of overthrowing Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's current leader—whereas the formation itself can also been seen as the result of struggling movements under intense military pressure. And this is certainly true for JEM, which has been hit hard by the government in its area of operations, Darfur. Not coincidentally, JEM has long been the platform used by Hassan al-Turabi to get back at his one time political ally Omar al-Bashir. By the way, the conflict has led to renewed calls for a no-fly, though I spare you the feasibility-debate on that particular issue. As far as SLA and SPLM-N are concerned, these groups are basically leftovers of the SPLM/A, the liberation movement that succeeded in its secessionist bid with the formation of South Sudan. Put differently, there are strong indications for both interpretations.
Which also leaves me asserting this. Though state failure has received a lot of attention in the wake of the Somali, Yemeni and Afghan conflicts, what is less analysed is the nature of state-failure. Somalia and Afghanistan basically imploded, whereas Sudan seems to be failing on its periphery. I'll get into this another time. But what we do know is this, if I may put in terms, that might sound familiar. There's a man with a gun over there. Its Bashir and its time for him to go.