What South Sudan Politicians should consider when discussing boarder issue of South Sudan in the advent of South Sudan independence.
By Paul Izaru Bilal
Thank God for making that which was impossible by human efforts into a reality. We are already an independent Country, but we have some few things to clear before declaration of independence officially on the 9 July 2011.
It is a high time to clear everything related to our borders before independence is declared on the 9 July 2011. Many southerners, if not all may ask what is this issue apart from that of North-South border? The only problem many would say we have is that of our border with the North Sudan, but some will agree with me that we have other international borderline issue to be clarified as well.
This is true especially, in the South Sudan’s borderline with Kenya. Kenya has repeatedly included part of South Sudan into their map. I noticed this during my time in Kenya from 1996 to 2000. During this period I worked with a humanitarian organization that worked under Operation Lifeline Sudan (a consortium of organizations formed by United Nations organizations to operate in the Sudan during the period of war). Almost all Maps produced by this consortium of organizations were indicating a doted-line inside Sudan (indicated as hemi Triangle on the map below) portioning that part of Sudan into Kenya as it usually appears on Kenyan television. I am sure many Sudanese are aware of this. Kenyans themselves are fully aware also.
The questions an innocent person obviously will ask are:
· Who originated with this map which many non government organizations (NGOs) currently are using?
· Did it originate from the Kenyan government and then adopted by these organizations as they were based in Kenya or what?
· If Kenyan government originated with it, on what ground did they come up with such a map which cut part of Sudan into Kenya?
· Was there a deal between previous governments of Kenyan and Sudan on this? If so let this deal be cleared before the declaration of South Sudan independence or else how are we going to convince the citizens of these two countries on these conflicting maps? Currently, citizens of both countries are following the maps taught in their schools as correct.
My wary is for years Kenyan television has been orienting its population about that portion of the land being theirs (Kenyan’s), through showing that portion of Sudan as part of Kenya, while on the other hand the old map of Sudan which I and other Sudanese who study in Sudan learned in our geography have great contrast to that (see the attached maps).
My suggestion therefore for those who may be involved in the border issue discussion is that, they take this issue as an important point for inclusion in their discussion.
Kenya as many South Sudanese know played an important role in the struggle of our people that brought our total liberation and still is going to form a good neighbouring country to South Sudan, however, the fact still remains that, Kenya and South Sudan will be two separate sovereign countries. Citizens of the two countries will keep and defend their boundary integrity. We therefore cannot compromise the future of our off-spring through deals which some members in previous governments might have made on their personal interest without the consensus of the whole population (should there have been such a deal anyway?).
I consider this article as an eye opener, for those who did not think about this, but I know many out there are aware and might have started talking about it or possibly raised it to the right authorities. Have a look at the two maps below (Map 1& 2):