NEXT TO BE FREE: ABYEI, SOUTH KORDOFAN, BLUE NILE AND DARFUR
Khartoum’s regime leader, fresh from the humiliation of losing a major chunk of his country following his failed policies of war, oppression and disenfranchising the Southern African people, is busy to divert attention back home by beating the war drums again.
No sooner had ICC wanted alleged war criminal Bashir set foot back home in his lair, did he set out to warn the new Republic of South Sudan to stay clear of the disputed states of Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile unless they wanted to risk a resumption of war with his regime.
As is often the case with weakened dictators, Idi Amin being a prime example, they then lash out to create foreign adventures to keep those snapping at their heels at bay, and Bashir now stands accused as accursed by his own hardline followers of leading the united Sudan into a break up, losing their most prized possession, the oil, an accusation only second to having lost the liberation war and being forced into the CPA of 2006 against his will.
The past years, leading up to independence, were marked by Khartoum cheating on oil receipts, denying the South any meaningful investment in infrastructure when sharing out the national cake but rather engaged in overt and covert support for proxy militias, based in the Southern territories but notably also allegedly continuing their support for fellow ICC fugitive Joseph Kony, now based in either the Central African Republic or the Congo DR.
It was clear that within a year of the CPA being signed Khartoum had no interest in making any meaningful overtures to the semi autonomous region of Southern Sudan then, which could have convinced the people that indeed the proverbial leopard had changed spots, but here as otherwise, it did not and education, health and infrastructure projects were concentrated in the North, leaving the Southern region out in the development cold. Hence, when the referendum came, nearly 99 percent of those who voted opted for independence, certain in their knowledge that continuing unity would relegate them forever into the third class of citizens, condemned into lasting oppression and all for being true Africans.
Last Saturday therefore Bashir, in front of the world’s cameras and shunned by Western delegations, had to eat his final piece of Southern humblepie, when he stood next to the newly installed and now fellow president Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, and had to listen with a stony face to ‘we shall forgive but we shall not forget’.
The writing is now on the wall for Bashir, hampered by an ICC arrest warrant in his global movements and ability to represent his country abroad, that sooner or later he will be pushed out of office, the circumstances to be determined by his level of resistance, and the only question then will be if the new guys will be even greater warmongers or else in a departure from hostility truly try to reach cordial if not friendly relations with South Sudan, and let go of those wanting to go like the people in Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.
Time will tell, so keep watching this space.