10 June, 2011

Remapping Sudan and the way forward

With South Sudan almost certain to gain independence next month: Sudan's political coordinates will be updated. Sudan will be split and Sudan, as we know it, will no longer look or be the same. The largest country in Africa, has only had brief intervals without wars since its independence. And now its borders, inherited from colonialism, will be changed. North Sudan will still be very large: it will be the 3rd largest country in Africa, after the D.R. of Congo and Algeria; and the 17th largest country in the world. Already, demarcating the new border is causing immense friction between the North and the South; and the splitting of Sudan, is causing intense worries in many parts of ethnically and culturally, very diverse Africa. What will discourage other people in other countries of Africa, not to seek or even fight for independence? After south Sudan splits - what will dissuade people within it not to want, or struggle for, further separation?
North  Sudan map - click on map to enlarge
Many analysts believe that, the split will not be beneficial to both the North and to especially - the South. Only time will tell. But, on the whole, the North should benefit from Southern's secession; they will be much better off focusing on a smaller country; directing their resources and attention on and to that smaller area, only. Since independence, the Southern problem has caused much suffering and misery to the people of Sudan. So many lives and so much resources have been wasted, that - whatever happens after the split, has to be better for both sides. Even without oil, which is now the most contentious issue for both sides, the two Sudan's can develop and make the lives of their people, much, much better; reason: Sudan is still pristine and there are still vast and too many untapped resources in the country.
North  Sudan map - click on map to enlarge
After the split, the two Sudan have to manage and settle their border differences amicably and peacefully; there are no alternatives or options for that, except further suffering and misery for the people of Sudan; and further wastage of resources and loss of lives. For North Sudan to have peace, to settle and to move forward: land disputes have to be resolved, especially with with the South and in particular in relation to Abyei and oil. And as much as most Sudanese do not mention it, the border with Egypt, with Hala'ib in mind, should be decided upon too. "Hala'ib is Sudanese and will stay Sudanese", is what Sudanese President stated just one year ago; left unresolved, Hala'ib will be a cause for tension between Sudan and its northern neighbor. It is not oil that matters most. Societies, people and so do countries - grow, develop better and faster if they have peace; and friendly neighbors. The perquisite for peace and development, are: good, wise, visionary, humane and enlightened leadership.

More info on Sudan: SudanNet, Sudan Tribune, NationMaster, Google Map, Google Images

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