Confederal Unity Is Inevitable

Omer B. Abu Haraz

All of the military insurgencies in South Sudan were due to deep mistrust of the Southern politicians on Northern politicians.

The following chronicle of events that took place from 1955 to 2011 bolsters the argument that the three insurgencies were all about mistrust.

In 1955 military garrison revolted against the Northern officers and troops after being incited by elements of the colonization intelligence against the Northerners who were tough with southerners treating them like animals. The Southern troops of the garrison all of a sudden opened fire on the Northerners killing all troops and some civilians of North Sudan.

In 1962 Major General Joseph Lago, a commissioned officer in the Southern Army established a military movement called Ananya (snake poison)in Equatoria Province which carried military operations in almost all parts of South Sudan against the Sudanese army. The battles continued for ten years when President Nimeiri’s regime (1969 – 1985) signed Addis Ababa Agreement with Lago in 1972.

The agreement granted the three southern Sudan provinces (Equatoria, Bahr El-Ghazal, and Upper Nile) autonomy as a federal region governed by a Transitional Council in a united Sudan.

In 1982 Nimeiri breached the agreement by dissolving the Transitional Council of the Southern Region and reviving the three provinces’ governance as it used to be before 1972.

This immediately led to the defection of Colonel John Garang with his garrison of Boor to Ethiopia where he established the Sudan People Liberation Movement Army (SPLM/A).

The SPLM/A fought the Sudanese army in almost all parts of the South. Battles became more severe after the unwise decision of Nimeiri to impose Sharia Laws in September 1983. Nimeiri’s regime was ousted by the popular revolution of April 1985. Wars in the South continued even after the civilian governments of Imam Sadiq Al-Mahdi who was toppled by the Islamic coup of the Salvation Regime on June 30, 1989.

The SPLM/A widened the areas of operations after receiving military aid from Christian Western countries and Israel in response to the declaration of the Salvation regime that wars in the South are Holly and Jihadwars. They sent diehard Islamic militia troops. SPLA captured many towns in the South. Wars inflicted heavy casualties. Millions were dead or injured and tens of millions of civilians were displaced and took refuge in the North.

After more than twenty years of wars, and the international community intervened and brokered a deal that concluded in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005 in Naivasha – Kenya.

For the first time in the history of the North-South conflict and wars, the CPA granted the southerners the right of self-determination i.e. the right to secede. The CPA in almost all articles called for making unity attractive. It meant that the northerners – the Salvation regime – should work hard to build the trust of southerners to opt for unity after 1 and half years transitional period, The Salvation regime worked in calculated steps and rhetoric to make unity repulsive. Southern leaders were forced to opt for secession in July 2011 by a landslide vote of 98%to secede. The result of the secession was two failed states. South Sudan was and is still now hard hit by tribal conflicts and military confrontations. This deprived the South of any development albeit they own 75% of the oil export proceed.

The North also failed by the unprecedented corruption which deleted about US$60 billion worth of oil export from 1999 to 2011. The corruption of the Salvation regime was the most important factor in its ousting in April 2019. The incumbent hybrid rule- military and civilian – inherited a dreadful economic deterioration shrouded by a protracted deficit of US$5 billion in the Trade Balance.

Now and after the correct and courageous steps of removing subsidies and floating the national currency, Sudan regained the trust of the international community and financial institutions. Now Sudan started enjoying the benefits of the heavy indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative which resulted in the start of writing off debts and expected inflow of global investments.

The South is still lurking on tribal divisions.

So, it is high time to start rethinking some kind of smart re-union e.g. confederal. The two nations to be united in the army, foreign policies, and finance BUT on an equitable share of power and wealth that maintains the leverage of each Sudan on its resources and population.

It seems logical to have this re-union but after some time when all who were involved in the secession disappear from the arena.

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