Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Divided in Sudan

Workers from the Ministry of Health seek to alleviate
suffering in Sudan
As the media beats its chest and weeps over the people killed and displaced in the recent Syria conflicts, they tend to forget another conflict that could prove to be vastly more dangerous: Sudan. Perhaps it is because it has been going on for years, or it is the media’s natural tendency to dismiss events that are older than 48 hours, but soon the dispute between the separated states of South Sudan and its northern counterpart will become to large to ignore.
            In July of 2011, the members of the South Sudanese leadership, took a vote in which there was a 98% affirmation in favor of a split of the country; a move which was made possible by conditions stated within the Comprehensive Peace Agreement drafted six years prior. Unfortunately, this separation was not one which the northern portion of the country took lightly, and violence began almost immediately. Over disputes between the constantly warring tribes, over oil boundaries and possession, over stolen cattle and pastoral grazing lands, millions of lives may once again be spent “resolving” the million-faceted dichotomy between north and south. Stemming from differences in culture, race and religion, the tensions that have already led to two civil wars and a death toll of two million people in Africa’s largest nation are the exposition of this latest conflict, and perhaps even the same war entirely, only with better distinguished boundaries.
Rebel leaders, like the above Khalil Ibrahim, divide
the countries between their warring factions.
            As push comes to shove, the disputes that have already claimed 1,100 lives and displaced roughly 20,000 people will escalate rapidly, with the catalysts of racism and rage unfettered by outside influence: military or humanitarian. The longer it continues; however, the less it appears the unified struggle of a people for their homeland and more like the individual scramble for safety at the cost of all else. In a time where these now separated nations should be consolidating and building up their newly effected economies and foreign relations, the result is nothing more than a further deterioration of political and social ties. Rebel groups battle, unite, and then fight again. The Sudan Liberation Army branch under Minni Minawi’s control remains separate from the Sudan Liberation Army’s branch under Abdul Wahid al-Nur’s control and these have even fractured into the SLA/Juba Unity, the SLA/Mother and the SLA/AW8; the Justic and Equality Movement and the Liberation and Justice Movement work together, but only to fed off the Sudan Armed Forces. Not to mention the conflict that has carved a region of Sudan into Central, Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Darfur.
Conflict in Sudan has led Darfur, a large region,
to be further split into Central and East Darfur
            That is the mantra of the 21st century: individualism. As nationalism defined the conflicts in the past decades, so has the intolerance and pride lead to the battles of this era. The Arab Springs revolutions in the Middle East, Occupy Wall Street in the United States and the European Labor Party movement define the demands of the people today. Entitlement without compromise. Disregarding the different and working only for the mutual benefit of those who think like they do, doesn’t strengthen these movements, it weakens them and the mutual tolerance and unity that is necessary. Middle Eastern countries continue to struggle with equality and violence; the Occupy movement has long been in shambles; and Europe’s economy speaks for itself. If, after this split, the organizations of Sudan and South Sudan remain unwilling to consolidate and unify for the betterment of their countries and people, this will be the legacy of their dreams and ambitions as well.

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