South Sudan: Underdogs always suffer from Injustice

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).


  1. tutbol says:

    Well articulated piece, Mr. Lupai. the problems here don’t solely emanate from Khartoum, but do have their origin at the UN; chiefly from the UK and France. These two nations were against South Sudan secession and when the South forced her way through with help of the US, then they rubbed their noses and nudged Khartoum to harass the South and possibly destabilize it if it can and indeed Khartoum succeeded.

    We all know that China used to pay Khartoum for oil remittances, but Khartoum elites keep their money in London and Paris and when South Sudan got away with wealth, then those who benefited from that wealth whether wholly or in part became jittery and began to scheme every way they can to get the wealth back and that is the use of the UN threat of sanctions if the South won’t compromise or let Khartoum bomb the South to submission and the UN will look other way. Who doesn’t know who is footing Thabo Mbeki’s bill?

    It has been obvious all along that when Khartoum feel some heat from the US, the chief South Sudan’s ally; then it will not get a second chance before they accused the US of supporting South Sudan and it will never ever utter a single word of condemnation against these two nations!

    And our leaders blindly put their trust in the US as if South Sudan have became America’s 51st state when they clearly always call it the Republic of South Sudan. The US is not there to run our international relations. The foreign affairs or the leadership at large won’t look these two nations in the eye and say hey, something is fundamentally wrong here and needs correction.

    Kiir proves to be a complete failure in articulating issues of interest to our people and to the friendly international community members who would want to help south Sudan people; his vice, Riek Machar is not far behind with his ever numerous plans and projects on press releases, but will never be implemented and Kuol Manyang, the governor of our restive Jonglei state and who mostly put Kiir on the throne have as well become a self smug.

    They have cut the UN troops loose in Jonglei who have become part of a problem than a solution. They are not tackling Yau Yau open rebellion.

    They only good thing is, we the Youth are fully aware of what the so-called international community is all about; we didn’t rid ourselves of the devil only to be replaced by another devil. We need to keep an eye on Jonglei so-called investors near our wild life. and if the government won’t disarm Yau Yau then youth of Jonglei will do it and we will request the Government to rein in the UN troops and move them else where for they have become a nuisance.

  2. Chinthiangyom says:

    Nothing has been done clear to South Sudan. United Nations (UN) disarmed South Sudan by killing John Garang De Mabior. I’m very sad, UN is an organization where everyone shares anything, that why South Sudan became a garden of United Nation’s sharing nation.

  3. Lranga Ndabu says:

    For me, it’s true that the so-called international community care less about South Sudan. This is much complicated because of some UN elements in the country which they called UN’s Secretary General Special Representatives, especially the one in Sudan “Hailemariam Mankarios” that Eritrean man,,,,,that is the guy who engineers everything in favor of Bashir and Company.

    Their trip to the UN with Thabo Mbeki to garner support in favor of Khartoum after the attack by SPLA of Panthou, condemning this move when they perfectly know that Bashir’s war planes have been dropping bombs on villages in South Sudan, while they remain silent. This so called Mankaroius can’t be some one to trust. He is married to one closer aids of Bashir’s daughter.

    He clearly talked of need for South Sudan to pay some amount of money to the Government in Khartoum to compensate for lost they’ll experience due the break away of the region, chatting with his fellow western UN colleagues here in UNMISS Tukul Restaurant, I mean he was like “this is what I’m suggesting to the politicians here in South Sudan.
    He then went to say the issue of border, Abyei, and all this could be solved if khnartoum is assured of its economic viability, which I think is what this Addis Ababa agreement confirms, to me South Sudan is going to deep her hand much deeper in her pocket to buy peace.

    All in all, I don’t see nothing like any regional or international bodies in this world in this day and age which seem to be working seriously for peace. Syria and others are clear examples.

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