Before two states

In two weeks Sudan will become two states. Its last ever president, Omar Al-Bashir will continue to dodge an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity issued by the International Criminal Court. Tonight China (not an ICC signatory) is his host.

Meanwhile the disputed oil-rich border territory of Abyei represents an economic reason for north-south conflict. Yesterday the South Kordufan village of Kurchi was reported to have been strafed with rockets from Khartoum in the north, killing 16 including a three-year-old and a baby, and seriously injuring 32. This is one of many ongoing attacks, and the number of internally displaced people is currently estimated at around 80,000. Today the UNSC voted to deploy 4000 Ethiopian peace-keeping troops.

There is more to the Abyei conflict than oil. Khartoum is targeting people on ethnic and political grounds, but there are some who defy these categories. A Sudan analyst interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight views the conflict as between those who want to impose Khartoum’s sharia law and those – Nuba SPLA, a northern opposition group of Muslims and Christians together – who are fighting for basic economic and social rights in a pluralistic, religiously tolerant society, resisting the fundamentalist policies of Khartoum.

The analyst also expressed deep regret at the “depressingly little” international attention paid to this conflict:

“This struggle is particularly important because it is offering one of the few alternatives to division between north and south, between Christian and Muslim, or black and Arab, so the lack of international support is really shocking at this stage, even if we put aside the immediate suffering of innocent people.”

Sudan will split on 9th July.

5 Responses to “Before two states”

  1. Benjamin Says:

    Funny how I’ve never heard calls for Sudan to be a bi-national state, or that Sudan should remain one state.

  2. Mira Vogel Says:

    It’s bizarre.

  3. Thomas Venner Says:

    I’ve just had a brilliant idea – we should come up with a list of all the countries whose terrible situations are being mysteriously ignored by the West, and see if we can persuade Israel to invade them. It doesn’t have to be much, just a few troops on the ground. Then, perhaps, these countries might finally get some attention.

    • Bill Says:

      And to validate the BDS movement we don’t even need troops. We can send a couple Israeli schoolmarms over there!

      • Benjamin Says:

        Maybe we can convince a convoy to visit Sudan to raise awareness of the barbarity inflicted on the South and Darfur. I’m positive that they’d receive the support of the BDSers and other supporters of the Palestinian cause.

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