Southern Sudan Should Just Endure Ill Wishes
By Martin Garang Aher
The diplomatic warning of a Russian diplomat in Cairo, Egypt about possible Somalization of the South Sudanese region is by all means healthy. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article36079
No one even the South Sudanese want to see Somalization of the region because of insatiable dissidence or other political power wrangling. It is a worry for all! A sympathiser is undoubtedly a passionate peace guard.
However the time, place and interest in disguised during the making of the statement is dubious and seriously ill intentioned. Honesty wasn’t the best policy at the time of the voicing of this diplomatic advice and concern.
There was no better place for a Russian diplomat to make such a bootlicking statement if not in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian interest in Sudan extends to South Sudan where a major resource pedestal to its survival, The Nile, picks up its alluvial soil for the food farms and its water drives High Aswan Dam turbines for electric power in Egypt. The volumetric flow of the Nile too increases in South Sudan due to frequent seasonal rains. To Egypt, Sudan is the source of the Nile. For South Sudanese to live a decent life on earth, Egypt must inadvertently forgo its major dependence on the Nile openly or clandestinely. Perhaps, this would be due to unavoidable developments that will characterise a great new country to be.
South Sudan, from any amateur developer’s view, can never really prosper with out the Nile being at the centre of developmental mêlée whether directly or indirectly. This is a worry to Egypt. For this reason, anyone who is postulating a pleasant comment of dissuasion in reference to Southern Sudan’s referendum in January 9, 2011, and who for certain wild speculation, is consequently and discretely courting the world to turn a blind eye to South Sudan as a possible state-to-be, is by all means a redeemable ally to Khartoum and NCP. And the Russian Mikhail Margelov fits that job perfectly well.
However, Russia should gather all thoughts and call to mind that many nations that violently or peacefully split with their ruthless masters have been taunted as would-be failures if they pull out from a union. They were warned falsely should they opt out, they would be met with security and economic quagmires. As time and history justifies, these countries have in time surpassed such prophetic stigma. Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, etc are today vivid examples that were threatened with failures and were forced not to leave the Russian federation. Today they are thriving democracies, better than the so-called mother Russia itself. If it is conceivable Russia should view the situation in South Sudan with the same magnifying lens as it did in Chechnya, http://www.globalissues.org/article/100/crisis-in-chechnya, then there is a gross marginal error involved.
Russian economic crisis is a reason for such comments from the Russian diplomat. It is a concern that requires internal reforms and outward policy of non-interference. Economic woes in Russia have been highlighted by many academics.
The country needs soft place and space to swing her idle tentacles of influence for economic gains. Russian arms manufacturing will not be allowed to hold Sudan prisoner like in Eastern Europe and the Middle East where Russian gas sale has become a geopolitical weapon. Russia’s great and marauding quest to find easy partners to prey on is noticeable in Sudan and other vulnerable African countries.
Sudan had been her partner in trade for arms and a destination of her lame technology of terror for many years. Of course Southerners still evidently retain information on the Russian made Presidential helicopter that killed John Garang, his guards and Ugandan crew. Russian gunships have tormented women and children for many years in Southern Sudan. Other bombers like the Antonov, a feverish high altitude bomber, became the roaring thunders in Southern skies year in and year out for decades.
Nobody tells the world what it already knows; that South Sudanese have never known state development and handouts since the inception of the republic of Sudan. Southerners who often flee to the North in times of crisis do so because of security concerns caused by the Northern regimes, not economic downturns or a crumbling system in the South of the country.
It is presumptuously true that Sudan owes Russia a lot of money in debt for the purchase of arms during the war and training of bomber pilots. This money will not be paid when South Sudan goes away with her bounty natural endowments, which have been the sources of Sudanese undisputed ever-trickling revenue.
God forbids if the post referendum negotiations currently underway between the Government of South Sudan and the National Congress Party on national debt will involve tricky concessions in which South Sudanese will be bound by agreement to pay for the bombs dropped on their kids during the war!
Ultimately, it seems the best option for Russia, Egypt and NCP to maximise their economic potentials, is to keep the South within their grip as an Assurance of Support by continually concocting and thwarting to its referendum vote; The Vote of Life.
But this reckless manoeuvring too is as dangerous as the Somalization of the South.