Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A war that has no need of rebirth


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THERE IS a disturbing trend within the United Nations (UN) system that may be contributing to political instability in many parts of the world.
In an effort to resolve difficult situations, solutions are being proposed along ethnic and religious lines.
This is particularly evident in Africa, although the strategy was obvious in Bosnia. It was recently seen in Sudan and is now being driven in Mali. The situation in Sudan has deteriorated to the extent that the so-called velvet divorce between the North and South has turned ugly even before the July date when it becomes final.
Though the internal difficulties in Sudan are appreciated, we nonetheless expressed some apprehension about the decision to split the country along mainly ethnic lines. The problem was compounded because of location of most of the oil reserves in the landlocked South.
Sudan is now reaping the whirlwind and its politics is an endless roller coaster. Following a week of optimism after the visit of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) delegation to Khartoum, signs of a breakthrough in the negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan were evident.
President Hassan Al-Bashir had agreed to visit the South to finalize the agreement and it appeared that the warmongering voices were livid, but resigned themselves to the fact that the “curse of peace” was imminent.
However, last week the daydream was tragically ended after clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army were reported around the oil-rich region in the South. As a result, the meeting between presidents Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir scheduled for yesterday was cancelled.
Reports of fighting between the two flanks of Sudan are quite unfortunate. The situation is more confusing because they are at loggerheads over an issue that has been legally and politically addressed under the norms of international law.
Sudan’s newly independent Christian south and its Arab Muslim north are basically in a “feud of history interwoven with ethnicity”.
This is more than enough to reignite civil war and push back the region into the abyss of bloodshed and destruction.
This new flare in fighting involves the issue of peace and security of the entire region. After decades of war, we believe the UN Security Council is under an obligation to stem this new tide of violence and ensure that both governments stick to the Non-Aggression Pact they signed earlier this year.
The issues fuelling mistrust, particularly sharing of oil revenues, are part and parcel of any nation going through the pangs of independence. It is important that the world’s youngest republic does not descend into civil strife which explodes in the guise of realpolitik.


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