When South Sudan embarked on seceding, it became more a fact than a thought that they would vote for freedom. Unstoppable as it was then, we now are waiting for the genesis of a new Nation on 9th July. This is the culmination of decisive vote for freedom. Yeah. Freedom. Everybody wants to be free and, of course, everybody deserves to be free. Freedom means, among other things, honour, sense of belonging and deciding one's destiny.
Now the freedom of South Sudan is a reality, what will north do? It must be noted. Northern Africans calling themselves Arabs or Jallaba , for long, have enslaved, killed, robbed, raped and subjugated southerners. In doing so, they forgot one cardinal thing: all goodies they thought are God given come from south. Look at oil, farm produce, water, pastures for their animals and what not.
Though in the beginning northerners rebuffed the idea of independence of southern Sudan, now that it is the fact, it is time for them to lick their wounds and accept the bitter pill of reality.
Notorious and obnoxious north has always been, it is time for it to behave well. For even Arabs who used to brainwash and use them will go where yum yum is- south. So too, North should stop supporting separatists who are currently fighting for no cause except manipulation from North. Again, it must be noted: currently South Sudanese are facing allegations that Dinka tribe has taken everything and forgot other communities making this new nation. This needs to be addressed and arrested altogether shall South think of forging ahead. Tribalism, corruption and nepotism are not a good beginning. South Sudan as a nation is for all from majority Dinka and Nuer, Shulluk, Azande, Acholi, Kakwa, Shilifi, Bari, Lotuka and others regardless their size.
We're encouraged by the stance once taken by Sudanese dictator Omar Bashir who in the past promised to honor the verdict of Southerners. But as things go, Bashir did not honour his promises.
To us, freedom of South Sudan is the stepping stone for the freedom of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Darfur. What agonizes to the bone is what BBC recently reported, if it is true, that Southern Sudanese new regime promised Bashir not to support Darfur rebels. This is tarnishing the good name and promise this 54the new nation has. If other countries supported and helped SPLA what is wrong with helping Dafuris? Is this better than thou or reporting out of context?
Obviously, some can assert that when SPLA was fighting Khartoum, Darfur was in bed with Bashir thanks to his propagation of Islam. They, so too, goofed. They need to be forgiven.
I vividly remember the words of the late John Garang de Mabior as if he said them just yesterday . He was addressing the war prisoners from north and some government soldiers from Darfur.
He told them that what they were fighting for was not Islam but criminality dressed in the good suit of Islam. He went further as saying that once north is done with SPLA would turn to Darfur thanks to being regarded as slave simply because of being viewed as black despite identifying themselves as Muslims.
And indeed, Garang's messianic prophecy was fully fulfilled even before his demise. For after signing the CPA, Khartoum turned to Darfur with new vim and zeal. To cut a long story short,what followed is history.
After all, Khartoum has always supported anti-SPLA elements to see to it that south does nary go solo. What's wrong with supporting Darfur?
We understand. Salva Kiir Mayardit and south Sudanese are mature and brave people. Being that is not the end in itself. They need others especially east Africa and other Sudanese states under siege. It is the right time for a new South Sudan to join their true brothers and sisters in the East African Community. In the EA South Sudan is likely to benefit even more thanks to the already established infrastructures to transports her produce. Also North still needs South the same way South needs North. You can choose a friend but not a neighbour. Therefore, there is no way any of the duo can live peacefully without depending on the other. It will be sheer stupidity for any of the duo to think she can live without another. Their border is still the same. Therefore, their peace and tranquility will depend on each other.
So too, Southerners need to abide by the law of reciprocity when it come to help others that are still brutalized by Khartoum whereas they are duty bound to help their brethren in Darfur. Their enemy is one and the same shall she not change. They all suffer the same anathema thanks to being black not a bit lighter like those Arab-duped northerners.
If, indeed, it is true that GOSS intends to expel Darfur fighters, this will indeed defeat its zeal of being an ideal new nation.
We urge south Sudanese not to tarnish their good image. In Africa we have a great saying that when you come across the stick that was used to whack your colleague you burn it. In this case, the adage tells it all. Don't entertain or spare the stick that whacked your friend or neighbour as it has been the case in Sudan.
To avoid wars and unnecessary insecurity in the region, North be told that it can not stop south even if it tries to manipulate some sections to revolt against it. Importantly, the leaders of south should see to it that they embark on judicious manner of running this new nation. Tribalism, nepotism, corruption and the likes are not going to help except to give north the weapon to sabotage this young nation. East African countries and other reasonable neighbours need to come in and see to it that South Sudan is not relegating back to anarchy and conflicts.
More on tribalism, the hell that has already broken loose in Burundi and Rwanda should hammer a lesson to them shall they think one tribe can take it all.
In sum, to know how south is more crucial to north than north is, look at the accompanying map and decide where real life lies. North needs south more than south needs north. So whatever north is promising not just because it is willingly. It is just because she has her back on the wall.
Source: The African Executive Magazine July 13, 2011.