The long-suffering people of southern Sudan (south of the red line on the map) are going to the polls today to vote for independence. The vote in favor of secession from the northern part of the country is expected to be overwhelming, in spite of warnings by the Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir, who is currently charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide, that this might lead to “instability.”
My one question is this. How much more unstable could the predominantly Christian and animist south possibly be after so many years of genocidal abuse by the Moslem north? I’m guessing that, in comparison to the past, even the troubles that usually attend establishing a new government will be easy to take. Easy, that is, provided that the Sudanese government really means it when it says that it will abide by the results of the vote.
The Sudanese southerner Abraham Parrying said it best in a BBC interview:
“My vote is for my mother and father, and my brothers and sisters who were murdered in the war,” [he] told the BBC as he waited to vote in the southern capital, Juba. “I also vote for my children-to-be – if God grants me that – so that they can grow up in a south Sudan that is free and is at peace.”
Here’s some perspective on what the Moslems from the north have been doing in the south – mass murder, slavery, mayhem, wanton destruction. FPRI estimates of the numbers of the victimized beggar the imagination:
The result of this (i.e. the Sudanese government’s) brutal counterinsurgency was massive displacement. Four million southern Sudanese were displaced internally, one million fled as refugees, and some two million died. Most victims weren’t killed by a bullet or bomb but as a result of the disruption from the war, losing access to their farms or clean water or medical care. This is typical in Africa,…
I’m holding my fingers crossed, hoping that the fledgling Government of Southern Sudan will successfully manage the enormous tasks that lie before it. Given its extensive oil reserves and hopefully a willingness to manage them competently, it will at least have the cash flow to do right.
Here’s a thought. Imagine, if you would, what a few U.S. airborne/airmobile regiments and/or Marine Expeditionary Units could do to protect and stabilize the young country. Will they be deployed, together with European and African units? Damn good question.
Another good question. To what extent is the Obama administration secretly “in bed” with the Moslem government of Sudan (and will therefore do nothing)?
As much as I dislike Julian Assange, a big part of me hopes that Wikileaks will soon shed some light on this.