By Jacob K. Lupai
May 3, 2012 (SSNA) -- South Sudan and Sudan have recently dominated news headlines but for different reasons. The two neighbours are in a state of preparedness for war and this has sent alarm signals in the region and beyond. A war between the two neighbours is seen as a threat to regional and international peace and security. South Sudan has recently gained friends and well wishers that are sympathetic. Sudan has also friends and partners in terror that will spring to Sudan’s aid without hesitation. The Arab League is already condemning South as an aggressor but silent of the carnage Sudan is causing in South Sudan. In the event of war it may be felt far and wide. The consequences for the two countries will be deeper wounds that will not heal for generations. Do the two countries need to go down that route? It will be a catastrophe.
South Sudan is only struggling for its legitimate right to exist as any independent country with secure borders. Sudan on the other hand panics when South Sudan asserts its right as an independent and sovereign state with its borders as on January 1st, 1956. This all emanates from Sudan’s colonial mentality and hangover in eying South Sudan as its junior hence South Sudan can be bullied into compliance. Nevertheless, Sudan has miserably failed to understand that when South Sudan declared its independence on 9 July 2011, it was precisely the end of senior-junior relationship between the North and South. Sudan had perceived that seniors and juniors could never be equal. It was therefore inevitable that South would opt for separation from the North to be an equal independent country in its own right. The problem is that Sudan still has not liberated itself from its backward looking colonial mentality of perceiving South Sudan as a lucrative colony in its backyard. It is now South Sudan to liberate Sudan from all the negative perceptions for a better way forward for the two countries.
South Sudan seasoned fighter
South Sudan fought for a total of 39 years for independence. This is quite enough for anybody to perceive South Sudan as a seasoned fighter. Sudan on the other hand can be identified with deception and dishonesty, characteristics that have made it an unpredictable ally. It will take volumes to demonstrate that Sudan is indeed deceptive and dishonest. However, in brief the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) of 9 January 2005 between the North and South gives a glimpse of the extent Sudan is indeed deceptive and dishonest in adhering to agreements. Sudan sometimes behaves like a spoiled deviant child with no manners. It even lacks elementary diplomatic niceties between two independent neighbouring countries. How could the president of Sudan call South Sudan as consisting of insects? This can only show how Sudan has become bankrupt of new ideas. This type of language may be found among street drug addicts. Anyway Sudan is in panicky bouts. It has lost any moral ground completely. Sudan believes in the might of gun but not in the might of pen and paper. However, a seasoned fighter like South Sudan is not the country to mess about with. Sudan’s unprovoked military incursion into South Sudan territory has made Sudan desperate for quick results. Nevertheless, by chasing Sudan away from the border areas beyond Panthou, which Sudan deceptively calls Heglig, was a lesson Sudan couldn’t forget. It was necessary that South Sudan acted the way it did. It was a blessing in disguise. The world was at last awoken to Sudan’s naked aggression against South Sudan long after it had withdrawn from Panthou. For the first time Sudan was denounced openly in the strongest terms possible with an ultimatum. Sudan is now panicking because it had previously enjoyed immunity from blame. Of the two, South Sudan is now seen the victim of aggression. This is no music to Sudan. In its usual arrogance and defiance, Sudan has added credence to its contempt of the international community. A newspaper headline reads, “Sudan Rejects UN Security Council Role in Dispute”. This is with reference to the clashes in border areas between South Sudan and Sudan. Sudan’s reaction to the UN Security Council is loud and clear that Sudan is disrespectful of the international community.
Sudan marooned in self-delusion
Sudan superiority in the air over the air space of South Sudan has given Sudan a false belief that it is invincible. The bombardments of territory of South Sudan with impunity have confirmed such a false belief that has, unfortunately, made Sudan too stubborn. Sudan is contemptuous of South Sudan as next to nothing. This is the extent Sudan is marooned in self-delusion. By branding South Sudan an enemy, the implication is that Sudan will now take on South Sudan by whatever means to defeat it. Nevertheless, as a seasoned fighter South Sudan will never be conquered leave alone being defeated. The claim made by Sudan that it taught South Sudan a lesson during the 22 years long war is utterly false. Why didn’t Sudan make a surgical defeat of South Sudan within the first few years of the war? The war instead dragged on until Sudan accepted South Sudan to exercise the right to self-determination, something that was anathema to Sudan. In its military weakness to subjugate South Sudan, Sudan accepted unceremoniously that South Sudan after all could be an independent country. This was a humiliation that Sudan would rather forget sooner than later. Indeed South Sudan became independent and with it utter contemptuous perception by Sudan. Sudan knows perfectly well that it cannot turn the clock back to the time when South Sudan was like its backyard garden. Times have changed and South Sudan with all that it has is the envy of Sudan. It is also here that Sudan is marooned in self-delusion that it will have another golden opportunity to colonise South Sudan again as it did for 55 years (1956-2011) more than the time the British colonized Sudan. Any attempt to recolonise South Sudan is like playing with fire.
Reconciling conflict of interest
The main interest of Sudan is to recolonise South Sudan in order to exploit the available resources. In contrast the over-riding interest of South Sudan is to maintain its territorial integrity and independence. There is conflict of interests of the two neighbouring countries which suggests that they are on a collusion course. Indeed this has manifested itself in the border clashes between the armies of the two countries. Sudan would have access to resources in South Sudan through peaceful means. However, Sudan is greedy. Strangely enough Sudan was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of South Sudan. Nonetheless with its characteristics of deception and dishonesty Sudan has refused to cooperate in the demarcation of North-South border. Worse still Sudan has engaged in unprovoked air and ground attacks on independent South Sudan. As expected of any country South Sudan’s response has been to stop such unprovoked attacks in self-defense. Unfortunately Sudan has been emboldened by the international community including the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) all condemning South Sudan as the culprit. In broad day light Sudan attacked and bombed targets deep inside South Sudan killing innocent civilians. In its arrogance Sudan couldn’t hide its excesses any longer. This prompted the UN and AU with clear evidence to condemn Sudan for aggression against South Sudan. The AU came up with a plan calling for immediate return to negotiations, cessation of hostilities, activation of border monitoring mechanism and withdrawal of both countries armies inside the borders including Abyei among others. A three month deadline was given to the two countries to reach an agreement on post-independence issues including oil, Abyei, borders and citizenship. Clearly the noose is tightening on Sudan which has been the most uncooperative in the settlement of post-independence issues. For Sudan the game should be up by now. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) started deliberating on a draft resolution on the AU plan for South Sudan and Sudan. This was an appropriate step in the face of Sudan’s intransigence and belligerence. South Sudan’s patience is paying off. Sooner or later the world will know the true intentions of Sudan. The main intentions are to destabilise and exploit resources in South Sudan. Sudan aims at making South Sudan a failed state in order to impose its will freely. However, this will not happen in the life of this or the next generations to come. Sudan’s rejection of the UN Security Council’s role to address conflicts in North-South border areas explains Sudan’s sinister intentions in the region. Sudan should be seen as a menace to regional and international peace and security. Action needs to be taken to realize peace and security.
In conclusion, Sudan is wasting its valuable resources daydreaming to recolonise South Sudan. For 55 years Sudan used any available resources to keep Sudan united but in vain. Despite the enormous resources used and sacrifices made in lives lost, Sudan split up into two independent countries. There is no way a determined people will be subjugated. With South Sudan growing, Sudan will be playing with fire. What will stop the first South Sudan air force jet hitting targets deep inside Sudan when the border dispute has not been addressed and Sudan is still as aggressive as ever? Even without an air force Sudan is trembling in the border areas unable to dislodge South Sudan’s gallant army. It would have been something else if South Sudan had an air force. Arguably it is a matter of time when intrusion into South Sudan’s air space will be a task Sudan will have to think twice. The involvement of the UNSC is the surest way to resolve the disputes between South Sudan and Sudan in the best interest of regional and international peace and security. Hopefully the UNSC will keep up the pressure regardless of the loud noises by Sudan.