19 Oct 2018

 

Why Khartoum Must Be In Dilemma Over Juba

"The real net losers in all this will be all of us, South Sudanese, because we refuse to unite and lead peacefully from the front for change of a system of governance we know has failed us miserably since 2005 up to date."

 

By Jacob J Akol*
 
Khartoum must be in a quandary on what to do over South Sudan. A stable South Sudan is good for a politically and economically stable Sudan.
 
On the other hand, a politically and economically stable South Sudan may also encourage the rebellious Sudanese at the periphery, such as the Nubba Mountain, Southern Blue Nile, Darfur, Nubians at the far north and Eastern Sudan, to want to secede, just like South Sudan.
 
An economically and politically stable South Sudan may insist on immediately having the border between the two countries demarcated along the 1956 border.
 
It may also harden demands for Sudan to immediately relinquish Abyei, Kafia Kingi and Panthou, the so-called ‘Higlig,’ which was annexed to Sudan in as late as 2004.
 
Such a stable South Sudan may indeed have time and resources to seriously consider alternative routes for exportation of her mineral resources, instead of the pipeline through Sudan, and development of its own petroleum industry.
 
With Kiir’s one time military strongman, General Malong Awan, now in open opposition to him, thus joining the long-time armed opposition by Riek Machar’s forces, in addition to rebellious Equatorian generals, Khartoum now sees a serious chink in Mayardit’s armour.
 
Khartoum is aware that Mading Awiel (of Northern Bahr el Ghazal), home of the so-called “King” Malong and remnants of long-time Khartoum-based rebellious Abdel Bhagi Ayii and his followers, is one of the most populous of the Dinka territories and one time the backbone of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA, as well as of President Kiir’s government.
 
Can such a widening chink in Kiir’s armour be exploited? Khartoum must be asking itself. And the answer must be ‘yes’ – BUT!
 
What if the Kiir’s government suddenly fall violently, will peace and stability follow or will chaos? Who is likely to replace Kiir and stabilize the rocking boat? General Malong? Riek Machar, one of the Equatorian generals or toothless (military-wise) self-exiled former political partners of President Kiir?
 
And Khartoum is not the only party interested in wanting to be ‘the king-maker’ in South Sudan for their own national interest: Kampala and Addis Ababa nearer home quickly come to mind; and there are others further afield in the Africa region and elsewhere around the world who will want to influence events in unstable South Sudan.
 
The real net losers in all this will be all of us, South Sudanese, because we refuse to unite and lead peacefully from the front for change of a system of governance we know has failed us miserably since 2005 up to date.
 
*Jacob J Akol is
Director and Editor of Gurtong         
 
Posted in: Opinions
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