Saturday, December 09, 2006

South Sudan: to separate or not to separate

A lot of people had been asking me about my views concerning the issue f separation of the South Sudan from the rest of the country. I think this is a real issue for most people during this hard time in the country.

I want to put forward a collection of vews from both perspectives: to separate or not to separate. Before delving into this two views, I would like to give first some backgrounds that formed the views to be shared and be as neutral as I can.

During the British colonial rule in Sudan, South Sudan was governed separately from the North. The Closed District Act ensured that separate development. However, before independence Britain offered the South unity with the North during the famous Juba Conference in 1947. The idea was that the South has better chance of development as part of the North, who are more educated and advanced than the South.

The South Sudanese at that time were not happy and mutinied in Torit in 1955 which led to the 17 years of civil war during the Anya Anya Movement. This war came to an end in 1972 with the Addis Ababa Accord giving South Sudan self autonomy. Unfortunately, former president Numeri abrogated the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1983 and declared Islamic Sharia in Sudan.

In 1983 as a result of Numeris misplaced actions, South Sudan took up arms again with the formation of the SPLA. Peace only came more than 20 years later with the signing of the CPA in Nairobi in 2005. The peace came only after two important elements were included in the agreement: the separation of religion and state and the right of South Sudan to secession (self-determination) Other elements include SPLA keeping its army and autonomy.

With the CPA South Sudanese have for the first time the right to choose between unity and separation. South Sudanese have lost confidence in the successive governments that have dishonoured many aggreements and cannot be trusted. The South remained under-developed and marginalized.

The choice for unity is being played out by selling what is referred to as "making unity attractive". In other words, if South Sudanese witness benefits and development during the six years of Government of National Unity, they will vote for unity.

So should the South separate? I will be putting forward the arguements for and against separation in my coming posts.


Anonymous said...

I beleive that as a result of such lenthy marginalization South Sudan should seperate. Althout it is a last choice option, I think that all other choices have been exhausted. This opinion results in great part from the oil reserves that Southern Sudan posseses. I find it difficult to beleive that another regime will ever honor the South's right to make desicions reguarding economic resources, infrastructure development and seperation between "church and state" (if you can call it such).

Black Kush said...

Thanks anon for your comment. It is worth noting that Abel Alier, the former Vice President of the Sudan (from South Sudan) under Nimeri puts it bluntly in his book 'Too Many Agreements Dishonoured'.

South Sudanese have lost trust in anything that comes out of Khartoum. The current CPA is being broken left, right and center! The government refused to implement many provisions, the most important being the Abyei border commision, the Oil commission and the redeployment of SAF two years after signing the agreement! Who do you blame when the South decides to go?

eland said...

Southern Sudan is and has been misrepresented in the north and for this reason must embrace the opportunity to decide on its own future at the referendum in 2011. Of course, there is no doubt that the run up to the great day will be fraught by broken promises and attempts at breaking up all Southern alliances, but there is no doubt in my mind that it will go ahead and the turn out will speak- preferably in favour of secession.

I would be delighted to hear about JUBA itself by the way, as i am in throes of moving there from London.

what am i to expect or should i not expect a great deal, that sort of thing.


Black Kush said...

I believe the process is not going to be an easy one, come 2011. The NIF will try their best to make eure either the referundum never take place, or they cheat! Evryone in the streets can tell you that. I am only disappointed that GOSS is not enlightening the masses enough.

You are welcome to Juba. It has been described by many as the biggest village in the world etc. But I guess you will not be disappointed. Come with an open mind!

Considering that we are coming out of 21 years of war what more could you expect. For now, the best we are enjoying is that the guns have fallen silent.

europia said...

Interesting post!

Concerning 'the biggest village in the world', it's funny as I live in Munich, Germany, which is often described with this same slogan.


Mathias Donien said...

I think that each county in Sudan should become as autonomous as possible. The Sudanese govt should only act as the international representation of these autonomous counties (same system like Switzerland).

Each county decides about which laws are valid in this respective county. That way everybody gets the society of choice.

Black Kush said...

Mathias, you are right there. The problem with Sudan is the system. Some people believe that they are divinely given the right to rule over others! It just cannot work in a country of one million square miles, many religions, diverse cultures and hundreds of languages!

Anonymous said...

i think that sudan should not separate. our unity in the long term could be beneficial. sudan has the potential to be super power if we manage to put our differences aside and focus on building our beloved nation.
i also have personal motive for the unity of sudan. i guess you could call me a "mixed" race sudanese. i'm shiluik because my father is shiluik and my mother is half north sudanese and half egptian egyptian. seperation will make contact with my north sudanese and egyptian relatives difficult. i have relatives who are pure arab, mixed arabs, southern sudanese and kenyans if we can put our differences aside such as culture, looks and religion and get along then why cant everybody else. diversity is something which should be embraced e.g my elder sister is married to ugandan and i am due to marry a emirati i do not see anthing wrong with this neither do any my relatives.

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