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The Bright Future of the Two Sudanese States by Mr Kuku D. Abdel-Rassa3, London
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Dec 30, 2010 - 5:14:03 PM

The Bright Future of the Two Sudanese States

 

It is highly likely that South Sudan will vote overwhelmingly for separation from the North on 9th of January 2011. Six months later on 9th of July 2011, there would be two new states, probably named Sudan and New Sudan. The new capital of New Sudan will be Juba and of Sudan will be Khartoum. Sudan will have an area of about 1,841,000 square kilometres, almost twice as big as Egypt and a population of about 28 to 30 millions and South Sudan will have an area of about 620,000 square kilometres, almost three times the area of Uganda, and a population of about 8 to10 millions taking into account the possible influx of returnees from Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and USA. Sudan will have Arab (Arabized Nubians or Africanized Juhayna Arabs with varying Semitic blood) portion of population rising from the current 40% to about 60% after July 2011. Similarly Dinka (Nilotic diverse group of Dinka tribes speaking one of the 4 Dinka languages or 40 Dinka dialects) proportion will increase from 10% of all current Sudanese to 50% of New Sudan after July 2011. The two nations are viable. South Sudan will have more universities, asphalt roads, TV stations, Radio stations etc than the whole of the Sudan in 1956.

 

On its face, it seems disastrous to see the largest African state, and the earliest black African nation to gain independence almost 55 years ago, splitting into two. However, there will be different scenarios. As a scholar of modern Sudan history, I am inviting the readers to share my thoughts.

 

 

First Scenario: Open War: Failure on, during or after the referendum may cause reigniting hostilities. Open warfare may cause disasters to the two nations and is a lose-lose situation. International interference in the South will be a certainty and in the North will be a possibility. Losing petrol income will be of no interest to the two governments especially that oil prices are at a two year high and are expected to remain high for the near future. While western media are promoting this scenario, in my opinion the possibility is only (10%)

 

Second Scenario: Proxy and/ or Attrition War: The two governments may engage in local skirmishes, may be near around Abyei, North Bahr-el-Ghazal. This might as well be via militias or disgruntled parties, e.g. Athor, Missiriya, Darfur rebels, Nuer rebels, Equatorial rebels etc. While this will be foolish and will help no one, this is more realistic scenario than the first open warfare option due to the significant number of opposition in North (around 35%) and in the South (around 15%). These proportions may increase if the two Security Forces do not work in tandem. My estimation is a possibility of (35%).

 

Third Scenario: Total Cooperation and Coordination: The two governments keep fully engaged while containing their respective internal opposition. There are high stakes for El-Bashir and Kiir. While El-Bashir may have the stigma of having the nation split in his era, this is surely outweighed by the success of ending the longest and worst civil war in Africa. This has been the failure of the central governments since Al-Azhari 1955. El-Bashir will be the first Northern Leader to succeed in this. Kiir will similarly enjoy the success of ending the war. He will also enjoy the victory of forming a new homogeneous united nation in Southern Sudan under the SPLM. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the two nations getting into a form of Union: confederate with two armies and a rotating presidency and national parliament or in a commercial and legal like the European Union. I think this is the most likely option, since the South and the North are more connected geographically, ethnically with the Hemitic blood forming a main part in the Arabs and non Arabs of the North and in the Nilotic and Hemitic-Nilotic of the South. My estimation is a possibility of (55%)

 

Mr Kuku D. Abdel-Rassa3, London

 

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