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Letters from Tokyo
Sudan, South Sudan Crisis & Int'l Community
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
Sudan, South Sudan Crisis & International Community

Recent tensions between Sudan and South Sudan are setting off alarm bells within the African Union (AU) and throughout the international community. The policies of Arabization and Islamizaton were endless for many decades because of various rulers in Khartoum, which desired to enforce Islamic Sharia law on non-Muslims. This meant that African culture was reduced to a colonial policy by various Khartoum governments which were bent on domination and Arabization. Therefore, when South Sudan became independent it was hoped that “a new dawn” would emerge. However, past history and the continuing interference into the internal affairs of both nations is creating mutual distrust.

In the last few weeks it is clear that recent developments are being manipulated by leaders in Khartoum. After all, leaders in Juba have stated that they are open to compromise and sitting down with political leaders in Sudan. Yet, the political and military elites in Khartoum have made it clear that they don’t desire a solution to the latest crisis.

The AU is trying to steady the situation by calling on both nations to pull out of the disputed border zone in order to stabilize the situation. During the initial stages of the current crisis the Khartoum government pointed the finger at political leaders in Juba for starting recent hostilities. This is denied by President Salva Kiir of South Sudan but irrespective of which nation started the current crisis, it is clear that the rhetoric from Khartoum is inflaming the situation.

During a recent meeting held at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) many similar avenues were explored, with regards to the AU. However, the UNSC also rebuked Sudan because of aerial bombardments by the military of the Khartoum government. Indeed, President Salva Kiir commented that Sudan has already “declared war” on the people of South Sudan.

In another article about the current crisis by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Recent tensions between Sudan and South Sudan point clearly in the favor of South Sudan which is seeking a solution to a very delicate situation. President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, on the other hand, is sprouting the words of war and increasing the rhetoric to a level of deep concern. Therefore, Uganda is making it clear that they will not stand by and allow South Sudan to be torn apart by the policies of Khartoum.”

The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, stated that “We strongly condemn Sudan’s incursion into South Sudan and, in particular, its heavy aerial bombardments of civilian areas and infrastructure, and we call for the immediate cessation of hostilities.”

“We recognize the right of South Sudan to defend itself and urge South Sudan to exercise maximal restraint in its reaction to Sudan’s attacks.”

This comment would appear that America is hardening its position against the Khartoum government because earlier President Obama had stated that “Sudan needs to halt all military actions, including aerial bombardments; give aid workers unfettered access to people in need; and end support for armed groups…. Similarly, South Sudan must end its support for armed groups inside Sudan and cease its military actions across the border.”

The above comment by President Obama is much more even-handed because he also states that South Sudan must “cease its military actions across the border.” This would imply that the initial presumptions of who started the latest crisis is now in doubt and in view of the words by the leader of Sudan, then America is seeking to put pressure on the Khartoum government.

After all, the leader of Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir, stated that “Sudan should not be ruled separately in the north and the south, either they (SPLM) come and control Khartoum or we go and control Juba. Heglig isn’t the end, it is the beginning, and we shall go all the way to [South Sudanese capital] Juba.”

However, like previously mentioned in another article it is clear that regional powers like Uganda will not tolerate the threat towards South Sudan. General Aronda Kyakarima, Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, commented that “We will not sit by and do nothing. We will be involved having suffered a proxy war by Khartoum.”

It is also difficult for the international community to tell South Sudan to keep out of the affairs of Sudan because the Khartoum government is responsible for many massacres in Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and the Blue Nile. If these opposition forces to the Khartoum government are defeated, then clearly a unified Sudan under the current leader would be a serious threat to South Sudan. Therefore, it is essential that South Sudan gets involved with a military pact with Uganda and Kenya, and possibly Ethiopia, which is defensive in nature.

If this happens, then South Sudan can be confident in its survival and tensions in Sudan can be solved internally and with the help of the AU and UN. This would appear to be a logical way to tackle the many internal issues of both Sudan and South Sudan.

http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/13478.html Book about Arab slavery of Africans in Sudan

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com



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Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, he earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies at Nottingham Trent University. His website is at http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

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