BY: Dr. Anthony Lupai Simon, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; In every encounter involving two parties in this world today one is always labeled as the favorite while the other one seen as the underdog, a classification related to some disparities in their mental, physical, economical and military capabilities.
Today south Sudan and Sudan are in a ring that started a long time before the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement. The two sides have been rivaling over so many issues and each time the international community jumps in to control the situation, one party gets out smiling while the other one drops his head down with a gloomy face; crying out foul with a tone that is only heard by him and his people. And this side is none other than the south Sudan.
It has never scored any win against Khartoum since the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement apart from the referendum. Going a little bit backwards to some of the terms of the CPA which was under the international supervision, we heard of a wealth sharing provision. But unfortunately not a single item from Khartoum was shared instead south Sudan was forced to donate more than 50 percent of her oil production to Khartoum.
The arbitration of the international court on Abyei clearly defined the region as belonging to the 9 Ngok Dinkas chieftainship but again gave some rights to the Arab tribes that have nothing to do with the region; and the Ngok Dinkas that were supposed to hold a referendum on the 9th of January 2011 alongside the south Sudanese were not allowed to do that because of blockade put out by Khartoum.
South Sudan territory was being violated in the broad day light by aerial bombardment and occupation of some areas, yet it was the south that was blamed when it tried to hit back.
South Sudan shut down her oil because somebody was busy stealing it and using the money for buying weapons used against her, still the international community failed to condemn the thief but instead turned against the innocent south, citing that halting the oil production would crumble the economy of the two nations which in turn would jeopardize peaceful coexistence.
And after hearing all those kinds of talks Khartoum immediately chose to implement them and began attacking the south in justification of what has already been said. That act of aggression was not challenged by anyone but instead the voice of the international community was heard louder than necessary when the south forces tried to hit back at Panthou.
For the past gone-by-months following the outbreak of hostilities at the border areas, Juba and Khartoum were forced to engage in talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to resolve some of the post independence issues that were still hanging in the air including security, border demarcation and Abyei. The UN Security Council came up with a resolution 2046 and mandated the AU high level implementation panel to work with the two parties to reach to a deal for all the issues.
Unfortunately the officials were just in Ethiopia to talk on what Khartoum want but not to enforce the resolution. And in what could again be seen as a biased stand, the international body represented by Thabo Mbeki left everything and concentrated on how the south oil should be given to Khartoum in the interest of peace. It was just a way of forcing the south to buy peace with their oil from Khartoum.
Major problems like the border demarcation were undermined while at the same time Khartoum enjoys occupying south territories like Panthou, Kafia Kingi, and Hufra Nahas etc.. with impunity.
Why it is that little attention is paid to things that concern the south while the international body including the USA president Obama shout loudly to help Khartoum’s position?
Is it because we are seen as the underdogs as we are unable to secure our air space allowing continuous air raids from Khartoum, economically unstable and still lack many things? Nobody knows as so many questions still remain to be answered. Do we blame the outsiders for not helping us properly or we also have some defects in us.
Could it also be because we lack the abilities of convincing the outsiders to come into terms with our real problems? Or it is just the common cursed underdogs endure in this world that south Sudan has got her share from. The stigma planted in our veins is always robbing us of all rights we deserve in this word.
No matter how different we try to be, we are seen as the underdogs by the outsiders in relation to Khartoum. And by pleasing Khartoum the military might it has would be avoided and peace will reign between the two sisterly countries.
The international community needs peace in the region and at the same time more oil in the market. But they care less if this can be easily achieved at the expense of the underdog. Because the underdog always shies down letting his rights go. Our voices have gone low in giving more negotiating tone to the border issues than the rest of the items.
A clear border would reduce border tension and clarify who legally owns what in his territory. A clear border will be the set point where the buffer zone will be instituted. Again the border is the domain because it was the main cause of hostilities between the two countries that took place some months back. And Khartoum was the side to blame for all the failures because of her rejection to abide by all the treaties signed.
Having known all these, the international community tails down at Khartoum and barks at south Sudan to continuously reconsider her positions in more talks while Khartoum increases her demands and swells with our land and resources.
The international community guided by the AU allows itself to be directed by Khartoum all the time and there is no secret that it will again be used by Khartoum in choosing where the buffer zone should be erected.
As usual Khartoum will always convince Thabo Mbeki to abide by the de facto border drown by the barrel of the gun which includes south Sudan territory as the set point for the demilitarized area.
Yes, south Sudan is the underdog but until when shall it remain so, and until when will the international community come to its sense and say to Khartoum, please stop here with a clear tone than it understands?
People of south Sudan are sad about the deal signed because they see that it has not strongly addressed what concern them most.
Dr. Anthony Lupai Simon
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and not those of the website).