Title: South Sudan: One Way Road
Author: إبراهيم عبد العزيز عثمان
Date: 04-22-2014, 02:12 PM
South Sudan: One Way Road
Nowadays, there is some emotional talk about the possibility of South Sudan coming back to join hands with the Sudan as it was used to be. However, I believe mending the broken crystal ball is too late to be true. The reality on the ground is that day light dreams were never meant to be true. Now there is a real unpleasant experience which had manifested itself due to the complex social fabric of the tribal south. I was absolutely astonished to how our politicians and states’ men of western countries had misread the real suffering of people in Southern Sudan. It was not the political domination of the north that is the sole cause of trouble. This domination was seriously dealt with in the agreement of 1972 in Addis Ababa during President Numeiri’s regime. In that agreement, full autonomy was given to the rulers of the south. However, these political gains were never accompanied with the vital economic social development which will pave the way to the revival of a balanced power partner. The medical treatment of the economic aid is meant to silence the nagging temporary pains and deprive the north from hugging the natural resources of the south. It was never meant to deal with the chronic social background of a tribal society and how it will govern itself in the future.
South Sudan was created on the 9th of July 2011 as the result of an overwhelming majority of 98% in the referendum held in January 2011. The new born state seceded and became mother Africa's newest born country. I will never forget the euphoria of the jubilant southern Sudanese elite on the SSTV congratulating each other and denouncing eloquently the imperialism of the Arabic Islamic north over their existence since the end the nineteenth century. I knew at the time this immature judgment sounds musical to the western ear but will soon dissipate due to the wrong diagnosis of the real cause..!
Western countries felt victorious as well and promised hefty amounts of aid to the build-up of this newest country. However, the Americans who spearheaded the whole fiasco consider this split of a weak developing nation as a success to their unrelenting pressure on an Islamic isolated government. The Americans used every trick possible to achieve the independence of Southern Sudan. Their tactics include carrots which were never given and sticks over the weak government of the Islamic national conference who are ready to give up what it takes in order to clinch to power for some decades to come. Even some African countries, which usually depend on the crumbs of the western aid, were very hasty to beat the drums of victory welcoming the independence of South Sudan. All the eyes were focused on the financial gains generated from the oil production in the area neglecting the need to a step-by-step development to ensure the build-up of the human being of South Sudan.
In less than three years, South Sudan crashed into a predictable crisis by the end of 2013 amid a power struggle between the president and his deputy whom he had sacked earlier with accusations of corruption in handling the meager available resources. This is the political superficial scene of this newly independent African state. However, a deeper look into the conflict would reveal a nagging fracture of the tribal composition of South Sudan which is inevitable to create friction in governing the country by one dominant tribe, namely the Dinka. The fragile composition of South Sudan into many tribes with some historical animosities could not be overlooked into any political formation to rule the country. This is combined with the lucrative oil revenues available in the states where the second largest tribe (The Neur) of the deputy vice president-Riak Machar. The latter feel strongly that they do have the right to get the largest slice of the oil pie for his impoverished Upper Nile area and his folks in the Neur tribe. There is evidence of mishandling the financial of the south within both parties of the ruling members. Actually, misappropriation of funds was quietly practiced since the autonomous gain of the early seventies. A blind eye was turned away to deal with this corruption by Khartoum and the donors who are interested solely in splitting the country.
The American policy was hasty to torpedo the split of South Sudan without acknowledging the underlying social economic structure that would hamper the creation of a new sound governing system. The timing of independence of South Sudan was absolutely erroneous which was achieved before setting the scenes to a healthy formation of a governing entity that would stand the powerful tide of modernity. The human being of the south was left alone tormented between his/her tribal affiliation without preparing him to the transition to build a cohesive modern state.
In fact southern Sudan had never witnessed the social economic development that would set the stage for its complete cessation from Sudan. There were no big economic projects done to create the necessary change to the formation of a viable state that absorbs future political upheavals. The western aid was centered only on creating a different religious cultural entity which cannot be governed from Khartoum. All of the efforts are focused in hampering the central government from getting a solid grip of the south rather than developing the region to minimal acceptable standards. South Sudan had neither enjoyed the transition from a tribal rural body to a reasonable acceptable state of modernity. All of the stake holders ranging from western countries, Israel and neighboring African countries are mainly interested in destabilizing Sudan with their relentless efforts to achieve political goals by meddling into the future security of the region. The split of the country was their main goal while the mere survival of the people of this new entity was never even taken into their consideration. Previously, in any conference discussing the southern Sudan problem, there are some western countries which promised huge figures of aid to both sides of the conflict in case of creating the newest state. Some of this declared money was never paid up to this date though these countries were forth coming in criticizing northern Sudan to rule southern Sudanese unjustly. Hence the bottom line of their ill-advised policy is that as long as the south remains as a problem, it deserves food aid combined with criticism to islamic arabic north. As soon as the time of development comes, they are deadly quiet withering away!
The way ahead is bumpy and treacherous. Even the military winning of one side in the ongoing war will not evolve into a just future option. The solution of the political mess that was created could not be easily eradicated by intervention of neighboring counties. The outside meddlers like Uganda’s Musoveni added gasoline to the raging fire of war. He should immediately pull his troops out of the country but nobody seems to apprehend him since he is a devout western countries’ supporter. There should be a wide spread of the UN blue helmeted brigades so as to form a buffer zone to enforce a dictated real cease fire between the warring factions. I do not support the presence of the African Union troops because of some African countries impartial stand or any western country’s involvement. Both leaders with their entourage should retract giving the way to a new breed of Southern Sudanese to form a well-balanced transitional technocrat government that would pave the way to a future elected body. There are well educated capable southern Sudanese who can change the status quo if were given the chance to do so. The financial future aid should be seriously diverted to the creation of viable economic projects which help in changing the social fabric of the society. The focus of development should be the human being of the south who were left alone by all of the spectators !!