World's hypocrisy over South Sudan's liberation of Panthou

Category: Writing aboard the Kenya Airways: A story on coming to Rwanda for the first time
Published on Saturday, 28 April 2012 11:03
Written by Panther Alier, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),
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(Jonglei, Bor, South Sudan) - In the aftermath of falling of Panthou (mistakenly called Heglig) in the hands of South Sudan’s army, the entire world rushed to condemn South Sudan. This unanimity in categorizing “illegal action” by South Sudan was foolishly led by the so the called “United Nations”. The UN Chief, Ban K-Moon, rushed in demanding “immediate and unconditional” withdrawal of the South’s Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA). Strangely, in so doing, he ordered the head of State, President Salva Kiir (Republic of South Sudan), to heed to his call.

But, then, first things come first. It has been close to a year since the Sudan’s government started its aggression toward the people of South Sudan. I have worked in Northern Bahr El Ghazal and have witnessed that people of Raja County in Western Bahr El Ghazal, people of Nyiboli and Majok-nyincol, people of Kiir, and people of Meriam, in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, are at constant terror of Khartoum’s regime. This is not to mention folks in Unity and Upper Nile States. For these South Sudanese at the border, civil war is still an active volcano. It erupts at anywhere, anytime. I wonder the hypocritical silence of the world’s governing bodies since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), while Khartoum never rested for just a second!

At some point in process of preparation for the conduct of South Sudan’s referendum, a Khartoum appointed Chairman of the referendum, Professor Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, declared a timely conduct of it would be a “miracle”. If there was ever a time we needed international community, this was the time. Unfortunately, though, we were left to fend for ourselves. Thank God, the government of South Sudan showed unprecedented maturity. Despite all this continuous sabotage, South Sudan kept on pushing for the referendum to take place. Indeed, it did. And in July, 2011, the world came to a standstill in recognition of the new national anthem. Mr. Ban-Ki-Moon was in attendance! And in New York, the Secretary General welcomed this republic to the world. In fact, the world welcomed the Republic of South Sudan. It is worth mentioning here, though, the world had done little or no effort to remove South Sudan from the Sudan’s map, prior to the independence.

 The silence over border demarcation prior to the independence of the South Sudan was contrary to a well articulated procedure of border demarcation, indeed, to have been done before the conduct of the referendum. If any leader did not see a looming crisis over the bypassing of this requirement, then that leader is not worthy of the virtue. I am, therefore, here to remind the Chief of the UN, Mr. Authoritative Kimoon, that he was mistaken when he attended a celebration of the new country to which he didn’t even have delineated and demarcated borders.  His judgment, leadership, and wisdom is in question here.

Furthermore, shortly after the declaration of independent, the Sudan and South Sudan embarked on illogical negotiations. These negotiations, until recently, were protracted, at best. The events at Ethiopian capital have become a show ground for Mr. High Level Panel, Thabo Mbeki to show case his failed leadership. What I find amusing was a complete lack of leadership to question the logic of Khartoum’s demand for $36 a barrel for the South Sudan to export its oil! What is equally amazing is the failure of the Arab world to evoke a quaran section regarding theft. To date, Khartoum government is on rampant spree of stealing any oil that comes to sight in South Sudan. In fact, looking objectively at the interest of the Khartoum, an honest person would agree that the current conflict is more so to the oil than it is to the mere border. A recent discovered tie-in pipeline is a telling story of Khartoum’s interest. Again, all those violations continue unabated or not condemned by both the AU and UN. It looks, as it is, the presumptuous statement by George Owell that “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” is grossly applied here.

I am aware, of the failure of our government to conduct a similar shuttle diplomacy as that of Khartoum. Now, Khartoum is crying foul of “illegal” occupation of its “territory”. And, in the process, they are gaining everyone’s sympathy. They are even evoking international law against territorial invasion and the fools internationally are blindly siding with them. For God sake! Since when have borders between Sudan and South Sudan been legally demarcated? Can someone provide any legal proof? The fact of the matter is, when the time for border demarcation comes, many areas currently deemed to be north will come south. The ruling of Permanent Court of Arbitration on Abyei must not be interpreted as a border demarcation mechanism. Even this ruling is not legal, if we were to go by the stand of the Khartoum Government. Now, I find it fascinating to hear Khartoum accepting legality of the Court of Arbitration. The last few weeks have seen Khartoum playing a victim’s game – South Sudan Army “illegally” occupying its territory.

Yet, a few weeks ago, the news is that, Sudan has officially designated South Sudan as an “enemy”! I take this as no surprise. We have been and will continue to be enemies until when the oil in South Sudan’s fields is depleted. That being said, I believe, a declaration of a neighboring state as an enemy deserves more than an empty condermnation, leave alone referring to them as "insects!"

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