Genocide in Sudan, Part 2? The Worst Case Scenario for Southern Sudan Independence

Sudan is scheduled to be cleaved in two, as previously posted on here, here and here. While many are celebrating this as a great move for freedom, the problem from the beginning has been deciding where Southern Sudan begins, as I noted in a previous post:

But where exactly is Southern Sudan? This is the bigger question that most news articles trumpeting the referendum are ignoring. The new border has not yet been precisely drawn, and beyond the local squabbles over grazing rights and water rights is the larger issue as the border will become the new border between Black Africa and the Arab World. The geographical margin is small, but any doubt leaves open the possibility of local violence that could mushroom into something much worse. The key hotspot is Abyei, a town located on the western most light blue box on the map below, and which is representative of a larger problem in what is increasingly likely to be a demarcation creating a new country in Southern Sudan.

There have been several reports over the past week about fighting erupting in multiple spots across the border. Abyei appears to be the most contested area, but there are stories of violence in a number of villages. And the United Nations Peacekeeping Force has a mandate that expires next month upon the scheduled independence of Southern Sudan, with Northern Sudan insisting that they leave by then. There is a proposal for an Ethiopian force to take its place.

The latest reports are that Sudan — which may soon be known as “Northern Sudan” — is gathering its forces near the disputed territories, and also reports that there could be genocide all over again in the border territories in the attempt to limit the territory that becomes Southern Sudan. As evidence that this is already occurring, the New York Times quotes a report that tens of thousands are fleeing, mass graves containing thousands of bodies have been found, and vigilante (or government forces) are going door-to-door in bordertowns to carry out executions on the spot.

So Sudan’s independence is not as smooth as some had expected, and as warned on these pages more recently. Independence — now scheduled for less than a month away — is not going to be easy.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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12 Responses to Genocide in Sudan, Part 2? The Worst Case Scenario for Southern Sudan Independence

  1. spandrell says:

    I´m shocked, shocked!! to hear that Muslims are killing their neighbours.

  2. Curzon says:

    Sure, Christians never do that, Ireland up until the 1990s was a unique event in 20 centuries of history. /sarcasm

  3. Michael says:

    Instead of asking Where Southern Sudan is, it might be better to ask What Southern Sudan is. Is it defined by geopolitical common interest, a common cultural or religious heritage or what? The answer to that question would dictate where the logical boundaries are and hence the question of Where. The worst case scenario would be if it was defined exclusively by opposition to rule by Khartoum in general and Omar Bashir in particular; not only does that make stable boundaries hard to draw, it leaves a newly independent country with nothing to unite it except hatred for a neighbor.

  4. Curzon says:

    The best definition to Southern Sudan is the territories of the peoples subject to deliberate slaughter over the past two decades. But defining any border is difficult.

  5. spandrell says:

    Ok all cultures have waged war: lets forget about nuances and play the equivalence game.
    I would think the original Curzon would have known what Islam is about, as every other English aristocrat. Of course they didn’t live in an Arab emirate. Still being a polite guest is one thing, pretending the Islamic world is civilized is too much of a stretch.

  6. The Victorians considered Muslims to be a martial and warlike community. This is all over the writings from the time, and was based on their direct experience fighting Muslims, and leading Muslim troops who served the Queen. However, the original Curzon and his contemporaries would not have said Muslims were not civilized, categorically. Curzon himself would have noted the vast difference between the Afghan hill man, the Muslims of Hyderabad, or Persia, or the Sudan. The men of those days appreciate diversity to a degree that puts to shame our bogus platitudes about that word.

  7. ElamBend says:

    I couldn’t under stand why so many people inthemedia were so sanguine about the realities of the cleving of Sudan, this isn’t Czechoslovakia. I figured war as the percent outcome of a vote for independence and after that, i expect civil war in the south after that.

  8. spandrell says:

    Muslims were warlike, still are, and those warlike passions are directed against all we hold dear. For all purposes Muslims are not part of the civilized global society of today.

    Good for them I say, they have their right to worship Allah while pumping babies until they all starve. But lets stop being shocked when they kill their neighbors as their holy texts commands them.

  9. Aceface says:

    I know you are keeping very liberal position on regulating the comment section.Curzon.
    But isn’t it about time to have some kind of regulation measure who keeps on murmuring ever-the-same islamophobic crap?This guy disgusts me from the day one.
    Just for once bring something new on the table for chrissake….

  10. spandrell says:

    言論封殺始まったぞ

  11. theslittyeye says:

    Religion (monotheism) is always the best surrogate for fanaticism, since their believers tend to think their god is the one and superior to all other infidels’. There were tons of religiously induced holy war in the old Europe, but Christianity (or Europeans as Christians) evolved much better since that (the unique case of Ireland and Yugoslavia to less extent have more to deal with a sense of identity than just the religion). In my view, the Islamic mentality is like medieval Christianity, it is indeed still a perfect surrogate for fanaticism. Their killings could always be justified by their religion. How fucked up is that? In other words, the sense of universal equality and freedom don’t apply to those people’s philosophy, just there’s really no point of treating them the way they don’t deserve.

  12. Abelard Lindsey says:

    Islamophobia? is it an irrational fear?

    http://duaat.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/how-islam-will-dominate-the-world/

    Sometimes, you just have to take these guys at their word.