The State of the African Nation: ICC writ for arrest of Pres. Bashir of Sudan
20 July 2008 Juba,
The pending issue of the Writ by the ICC, for the arrest of President Bashir of Sudan, is already impacting on internal developments in Sudan and showcases internationally the current state of Afro-Arab relations. The background historical synopsis is that all of Africa was originally inhabited by Black Africans, producing its own civilizations in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kush, Egypt and elsewhere. Later a people entered north-east Africa called Arabs and conquered the Black African Egyptian civilization, making it a white Arab civilization. This happened a thousand years ago. Arab penetration into north east Africa has reached the current zone of conflict in Sudan – south Sudan, Darfur, Nuba etc .
In order to keep in check African nationalism, the British and Egyptians,the departing colonialists in Sudan, handed power on self-government in 1956 to a coloured/mixed-race minority, who are Arabised and Islamised, living in the center of the country, around Khartoum. Since the Khartoum islamists are a minority, they can only retain power over the majority, who happen to be black ( the marginalized ), by force. This resulted in genocide, bombings, rape as a weapon on a massive scale in south Sudan. With the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, between Khartoum and Juba, Khartoum implements the same policies in Darfur, to quell rising expectations and demands from Darfurians.
Why was the long war in south Sudan, starting in 1956, ending in 2005, with a break of some ten years in between, unknown. It was the outcome of that war, starting with the Anyan-yah fight in 1956, which created the conditions for the marginalized in Sudan to obtain a better dispensation, and to halt Arab expansion into Uganda, the Great Lakes etc. The answer to this question provides the key to unravelling the conspiracy that has seen Africans the victim of Arab expansion projects in the Sahel, in the unity movement and internationally.
The Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) kept quiet, either due to international pressure or due to the reticents of southern Sudanese to complain ( some 2-3 million lost their lives in south Sudan ), for to complain was seen as cowardice. South Sudan was never entirely pacified by invaders, be that Arab, Turk, or British. It has been a theatre of Afro-Arab contention and slavery over a millennium.
Reasons given for the absence of information in the past are - international conspiracy, reticence, limited access to international media, few researchers visited the south, poverty in the south, and Khartoum stifling news of the south by all means.
The Writ issue process has started and Khartoum’s first line of defence is Arabia. The war in south Sudan was never discussed by the OAU/AU due to Arab pressure. It was seen as a matter for the Arab League, the forum for the formulation of the Arab policy with the outside world, in this instance – Africa. The African Union will continue the former policy of complying with Arabia’s interests in Africa, at the expense of African lives, in this instance in Darfur, whereas formerly it was in south Sudan.
It would be a mistake to underestimate Khartoum’s ability to survive. It defends an age old system of oppression of weaker groups. It defends Arab interests in the area and it defends the post colonial status quo put in place by the Condominium –Europe ( Britain ) and Arabia (Egypt ). Sudanese diplomacy understands African nationalism better than the rulers of the neo-colonies in Africa. The Sudanese Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York was an attentive participant the 1994 proceedings of the 7th Pan-African Congress in Kampala. The Sudanese delegation to the Congress was the second largest, after the Ugandans. Arabia has long understood that to rule Africans you divided Africa from its Diasporas ( in the west – in the Americas, Caribbean etc and in the east – Arabia, north Africa, the Gulf etc ). When the OAU became the AU, one of the reasons for the change was supposedly to integrate the Diaspora. This did not happen due to Arab interference, with the Diaspora being named as the so-called 6th region of the AU, with no voting powers and no capacity to participate as an equal partner. There is also a plan to create a United States of Africa, to perpetuate Arab domination of Africans ad infinitum.
In the coming period the actions of the SPLM may be misunderstood, thus creating suspicion, by those who might otherwise be in solidarity. The CPA was signed by the National Congress Party (NCP) of Bashir and the SPLM. All other leading parties in Sudan denied it, stating that they were not cosulted. If the NCP loses power in Khartoum the CPA would be rendered useless and the north/south war could restart. If Bashir was to be arrested, would the successor leader of the NCP be able to implement the CPA ? Pronk, the former UNDP representative in Khartoum who was expelled, described the Writ issue as juridically understandable, but politically unwise.
Reaction to the Writ issue saw Khartoum immediately stop landing rights in Khartoum to UN planes, which undertake humanitarian work in Darfur. In Juba there was a proposal to form a Crisis Committee to handle any eventuality. As usual Khartoum will opportunistically maximize any benefits arising from the crisis.
Last week Dudley Thompson became the Chair the Honorary Board of the Sudan Sensitization Peace Project (SSPP). The Honorary Board is constituted by Garba Diallo, Dorothy Lewis, Kwesi Prah and Dani Nabudere. A North American Chapter of SSPP is in process of formation. There is a European Chapter. Last year SSPP undertook a mission to West Africa. It seeks to provide answers and a way forward out of the Sudan crisis, which solutions have application throughout the Borderlands, from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, which are illustrated by the situation in Mauritania and the rising expectations throughout the Sahel. Again the realities of this area are unknown or largely ignored by Africans. They contain duplications of the internal contradictions found in Sudan, but on a smaller scale.
South Sudan has few expectations from Africans. From Nkrumah to present Africans have chosen to ignore the earlier Arab colonialism, and base their analysis on only one side of the coin, European colonialism .This had unfortunate ramifications. For instance South Sudan has failed to develop meaningful relations with African America, rather developing ties with the white/Right. Africans need to engage the Sudan crisis, to ensure responsible action by their governments. They should cease to be spectators at their own funeral and become actors in their destiny.