Inside the mud-and-wattle structures, eating places by day and pubs by night, littering the Juba streets, people often hurdle to discuss the future of Southern Sudan. But they are discovering that it’s becoming harder to discuss the future without discussing the wave of insecurity across the country.
“The reason for these incidents is not what many people think it is,” Dr Kenyi Spencer, told this writer outside one such makeshift iron-roofed eating place, a swirl of dust from the fast moving cars, blurring the view between us.Initially, the Lord’s Resistance Army took the blame for the attacks. The Government of Southern Sudan later blamed the Sudan Armed Forces.
The reason, many analysts said, was that the Khartoum traders had hired the Sudan Armed Forces elements to disrupt trade between Uganda and Southern Sudan. That trade, which has made Uganda's border points at Arua and Nimule boom towns, has also given the people an alternative source for goods and brought prices down. In the past goods here in Southern Sudan came from Khartoum, which is much farther from Juba than is Kampala.
But to many analysts, the reason for the attacks is shaping out to be different – and much, much worse and costly – than initially believable.That reason has to do with the future of Sudan.
“The people in Khartoum want to make it impossible for the referendum to take place,” said Spencer, an economist, who returned from South Africa to help rebuild his country.
But to get to that stage, there will have to be a referendum in 2011, according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the two parties in 2004. Blocking that referendum, to many Sudanese, is the key to blocking secession. As accusations intensify that Khartoum is fanning insecurity in order to torpedo a referendum that would allow the people of the south to determine their destiny, the Sudanese Defense Minister this week passed the blame to the Lord’s Resistance Army. “Those are the Sudanese LRA from Southern Sudan,” the Khartoum minister of Defense Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein said this week, as he traded words with the SPLA officials, The Juba Post, the south’s largest newspaper, reports in next week’s issue.
Ending the insecurity in the south, the official said Wednesday, during a security meeting is a responsibility for the Southern Sudan government. But the Government of Southern Sudan officials say the perpetrators are not LRA. Oyai Odeng, the SPLA Chief of Staff told Hussein that the perpetrators have been identified as Sudan Armed Forces personnel.
Last week, two SPLA guards and another person were killed a kilometer from Juba by attackers the SPLA said planned to set fire on a military depot.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Why Southern Sudanese feel trapped
I just thought I should pause with this article on South Sudan. I got it here.