Differences Cost Will Be High

Omer B. Abu Haraz

Colonel Jackson was one of the famous British leaders during the British colonization of Sudan (1898 – 1956).

Citing some of his words about Sudan and its people just before the departure of the English from Sudan after granting it independence. He said Sudan is a great country with huge natural resources, if well managed Sudan would be a great country with a strong economy. Despite their good traits and observed morals, they all meet in a consensus of hatred for each other which leads to animosity, envy, disgrace, selfishness, and lack of cooperation.

He added, by those elements, they will not be able to manage the huge resources of the great country and direct it to the general welfare of their people. He concluded by saying “I’m afraid our departure will be very harmful to them.

The words of Jackson 66 years ago proved to be true and correct. But before filtering his words to the situation of Sudan since independence, let me try to elaborate on the leverage of Sudan in terms of location and resources.

  • It is located in the heart of Africa and is a bridge between Africans and Arabs.

It has 6819 km of land borders with 7 countries and 853 km of coastal borders with one: S. Sudan (2158 km), Tchad (1403), Egypt (1276), Ethiopia (744), Eritrea (682), Central African Republic (174) and 853 km with Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea.

  • In its location as part of the strategic Horm of Africa, Sudan has an additional advantage as the Horn of Africa is in the cross-hairs of international big countries like America, Russia, France, China, and others.
  • Sudan has sustained plentiful water resources. The longest river in the world runs in the center from border to border. Regular annual rainwater plus huge resources of underground water.
  • Sudan had about 350 million acres of arable land before the secession of the South. Now it has about 220 million acres. Only 44million are cultivated of which only 4 million are irrigated and the other 40 million are rain-fed. Since 1929, the date the Nile Agreement was amended in 1959 Sudan failed to consume its 18.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile’s water.

The maximum usage did not exceed 10 billion cubic meters, The balance of the quota goes to Egypt. It is worth mentioning that the 18.5billion cubic meters coming to Sudan from Ethiopia in only 4 months of the year, after the completion of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam the same comes uniformly in 12 months which means Sudan can triple the agriculture rotations and triple production on the banks of the river. Ironically enough Sudan’s stance on the issue of the dam is ambivalent and more inclined towards Egypt.

  • Sudan’s animal resources are estimated at 120 million cows, camels, goats, and sheep. It also has about 100 thousand tons of fish and seafood.
  • Sudan has huge mineral resources – gold, copper, iron, chrome, and oil.
  • Sudan produces 85% of the dear Gum Arabic of the total global production.
  • The strategic location of Sudan was and is catching the attention and concern of America as manifested by the recognition of America to the Independence of Sudan as the first country in the world and by the building of the greatest embassy in the region of Africa and the Middle East. Sudan is right in the middle of the various elements of American national security.

Back to Jackson’s words about the Sudanese, I say he was right. We failed to manage our resources and sustain democratic rule.

following enhances Jackson’s words:

  • Since Independence Sudanese politicians failed to sustain democratic rule due to hatred, animosity, and envy. Two years after independence the Umma Party prime minister for fear of a cast of no vote to his government on the parliament session of November 17, 1958, and the come back of his rival Al-Azhari asked the army top brass to take over and it was the first military coup in Sudan. It was followed by two more coups in 1969 and 1989. The military ruled 54 years out of 66 years after independence.
  • Disgrace and hate for Southern people led to the secession of South Sudan on July 2011.
  • Now all political leaders and factions are in dreadful disarray because they hate each other. Hatred is shrouded by mistrust. Now it is extremely difficult for them to reach a consensus at any low level.

The cost and consequences of this irrational and selfish attitude will be high.

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