November 11, 2010

Out of Sticks, US Offers Sudan a Carrot to Let South Sudan Secede

by Alan Boswell

Fearing a new surge of violence in Sudan, Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts played diplomat once again this week by flying out to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, for the second time in just two weeks.

Senator Kerry brought with him a message from President Obama: If President Omar al-Bashir lets Sudan's oil-rich southern region secede peacefully in an upcoming referendum in January, the US will remove Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror as early as the middle of next year. The State Department designation is shared by only 3 other countries: Cuba, Iran, and Syria.

Semiautonomous South Sudan heads to the polls on Jan. 9 for a referendum on secession, . . .


"The New Scramble for Africa," The Wisdom Fund, June 1, 2005

"Sudan President Charged With War Crimes," The Wisdom Fund, March 4, 2009

[Booklist: Griswold may be the first to explain how global warming intensifies religious conflict. For as she travels the climactically vulnerable region near 10 degrees latitude, she sees climate change exacerbating tensions dividing 700 million Muslims and 1.2 billion Christians. These tensions emerge in probing interviews with religious leaders - Christian and Muslim - aflame with spiritual passions now rare in the secular West. Yet Griswold also discovers how the West has helped incubate the region's interfaith hostility. It was, after all, Western colonizers whose arbitrary boundaries helped harden religious differences: in Sudan, for instance, the British established the tenth parallel as a partition between the Islamic north and the Christian south. More recently, it was the U.S.-led invasion of distant Afghanistan that triggered bloody clashes between Muslim and Christian mobs in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.--Eliza Griswold, "The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam," Farrar, Straus and Giroux (August 17, 2010)

[Sudan, like most countries in Africa, is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious. In some ways it is a microcosm of Africa. Just like the United States found a way to resolve enough of its issues to remain one country, and later become a great power, Sudan has a greater chance of realizing its potential if, even at this late date, it can resolve enough of its problems to stay united.

Howard University professor Dr. Mae King gave the analogy recently that if a "Gallop Poll" were taken in 1865 at the end of the Civil War in the confederacy, there is no doubt that the majority would have voted for succession. This is the case with southern Sudanese. Many have suffered a lifetime of war and poverty.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) effectively ended the war in 2005 between the north and the south, and for the most part, it has held up and been implemented. It contained a "poison pill" of a vote next year allowing southern Sudanese to vote to keep the country together or to separate.--Hodari Abdul-Ali, "Sudan Needs Unity,", November 11, 2010]

[Sudan is sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest oil producer, behind Nigeria and Angola.--Maggie Fick, "Control of Sudan's oil a big issue in January vote: Control of Sudan's oil moves south after January referendum vote, but pipelines run in north," AP, December 23, 2010]

Alan Boswell, "China shifts stance in Sudan, advancing prospects for partition," McClatchy Newspapers, December 24, 2010

[Obama's Uganda surge is also a classic Pipelineistan gambit. The possibly "billions of barrels" of oil reserves discovered recently in sub-Saharan Africa are located in the sensitive cross-border of Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.--Pepe Escobar, "The US power grab in Africa,", October 21, 2011]

"Sudan claims Israeli airstrikes behind explosion in military factory in capital, Khartoum," Associated Press, October 23, 2012

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