Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Which way Sudan? A Pan African Reflection

As the people of South Sudan prepare for the January 9 referendum to decide if they want a separate state, the country stands at the crossroads of the Africa of wars, conquest and enslavement and a future of peace and reconstruction. At the November 2010 meeting of the Inter Government Authority on Development (IGAD), an agreement was reached between North and South Sudan to establish a ‘soft border’ between the two areas ahead of the referendum. We have to interrogate if this concept of a ‘soft border’ is another recipe for war in Africa.
Complex historical legacies – slavery, Arabization and Islamization – weigh heavily on all Sudanese, especially the Southerners. The wealth of Sudan attracted invaders into a region and for centuries precipitated resource wars. People from Arabia were also attracted to this region and participated in the enslavement of Africans. These legacies call for a historical rendering to cleanse former slave dealers from arrogant attitudes of perceived superiority, beyond the referendum.... More