“Withdraw formally from a federation of states or a political or religious organization”
The Sudanese’s voting for secession during this week (as of 9 to 15 January) this week has a sentimentality liken to that of South Africans when we voted for our first democratic government. That gleaming hope on the voters’ faces as they emerged from voting poling stations having voted for the party of their choice is similar to the expressions we see beamed on the faces of the Sudanese as they vote during the referendum1 which is set to take a week. The freedom to have an influence in the turn of events through voting gives a person that Zen feeling that they have a say in the turn of events shaping their country. The future is another topic altogether although it begins with the present act, choice. During the referendum, the world knows this by now, the freedom to choose will allow the Sudan population to vote either for unity (Hands clasping) of the North and South or separation of the two areas (Open Palm). Darfur remains unresolved however Qatar’s government is hosting peace talks for this region.
The referendum is the culmination of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 20052 ending a decade long war. Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa has been at the forefront of peace talks and the hitherto referendum.
What does secession mean? For the southern Sudanese it means peace and the leeway to self determination from decades of conflict which has seen more than 2 million lives lost following this countries independence from Anglo-Egyptian control post 19563. Sudan could do well if peace reigns following the referendum. Given the minerals that it boasts, but most importantly it is the oil which accounts for its wealth and 85 percent of it is located in Southern Sudan. It is important for the ‘soft border’ at Abyei to be upheld and adhered to, with stability this could perhaps lead to democratic election in either area in the near future.
Peace, corporation and diplomacy is important for two reasons, one, for the nomadic tribes who crosses Abyei during the dry season in search of water and pastures for their livestock4 to have access and easier mobility to cross over to the South and secondly to enable the South to have access to the infrastructure to transport oil which predominantly lies in the North2. For a prospective future to engulf Sudan both leaders, in the North, Omar Hassan al-Bashir (National Congress Party), and South Salvi Kiir Mayardt (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) should continue to keep the diplomatic status quo intact beyond the referendum in order that the whole county as a whole could move out misery it is in into prosperity.
With interest to its wellbeing from the superpower5, USA, who have brokered the peace talk six years ago and the rising Dragon, China, which has strategically positioned itself through its state owned Petroleum Company, Sudan can pull out of misery through suppression and ultimate conquering of humanities degrading enemies – tribalism, clientelism6, religious and fundamentalism.
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2010
1. The reader may also refer to an earlier work African Consciousness at http://wp.me/puRfy-7C
1. Kinnock, Glenys. Sunday Independent, page 8, Sunday 9 January 2011.
2. Tromp, Bearegard. Sunday Independent, page 8 – 9, Sunday 9 January 2011.
3. Perry, Alex. Can Sudan Split Without Falling Apart? Time Magazine (page 23 – 27), January 10, 2011
4. Singh, Amarnath. Splitting Sudan. Financial Mail (page 17), December 24, 2010.
5. Zakaria, Fareed. Two Cheers for 2011. Time Magazine (page 15), January 10, 2011.In this article Zakaria, charting the year ahead by reflecting on politics and economics globally, points out that the American economy remains the world biggest. That at $15 trillion, it is still three times as large as China’s. Note also that towards the end of his article Zakaria asserts that Given that the world has just one [sic] superpower right now, only an America with credibility can act to propose global solutions to global problems, whether on terrorism, trade or climate change
6. A kind of Tammany Hall-style patronage, dependent on personal, family and similar networks of local interest: Insofar as it is a ‘system’, clientelism has become the way politics in Africa largely operates. It rivalries naturally sow chaos (see Guest, Robert 2004:110)
– Withdraw formally from a federation of states or a political or religious organization
A Word closer to the galaxy: secession (n)
N.B. See Oxford dictionary 2001
Neo Symbol: Open Palm
Guest, R 2004. The Shackled Continent. Pen Books, London.