Saturday, 4 January 2014


SOUTH SUDAN'S CALLOUS POLITICIANS

South Sudan has been an independent country for just over 2 years. The people there were exploited and harassed for years by their northern neighbours the Arabs. They are Negro and Christian and to the north are Arab, Islamic and it must be said, racist. The Arabs have, for millennia, regarded the Negroes as inferior and used them as slaves right up to the middle of the 20th century. The South Sudanese fought for decades to be free of this yolk. The country was another colonial dogs breakfast that did not take any account of local tribal boundaries. The boundaries were set by colonial rivals Britain and France in the 19th century. Britain won the tiff and ruled the country till January 1956. Thereafter the majority Arab population formed the government and started to bully its black population in the south.

So the fight has gone on till they finally got their chance for independence in a referendum, and took it. Although the country has very little in the way of infrastructure and is probably one of the poorest parts of the world, not long before independence they struck oil. So there was the promise that with the oil revenues and independence the country could prosper. This could alleviate the desperate poverty the bulk of the populace suffer. Everyone knew it would take time. The current president is one Salva Kiir Mayardit, and his vice president at independence was Riek Machar. People would hope that in this day and age these two would be civilised politicians and respect their new position of authority, their country, and especially the people in it. These poor people are genuinely some of the most disadvantaged and impoverished. Subsistence farming is what keeps most of them alive. Yet these two oafish and mindless politicians fall out and instead of thinking of their populace they start fighting. Tribal loyalties are instantly called upon and within weeks there is a full blown civil war between the two factions. The bulk of the population, who just want peace and a bit of prosperity, are sent scurrying for cover in meagre United Nations compounds.

It is difficult to evaluate these men without using such words uncaring, thoughtless, insensitive, heartless, even primitive. Certainly they have a total disregard for the good of their electors. In a three week period there have already been a couple of thousand deaths. Women and children have been slaughtered. Worse still there are now believed to be thousands of children left in the bush to fend for themselves. In Africa this usually means a slow and painful death by starvation. Is this what these politicians see as justifiable politics in a fledgling country? The UN has hurriedly flown in reinforcements to try and save more people but the world should shout its utter disgust at these cold-hearted leaders. Let these monsters look upon the suffering and pain they have visited on their impoverished people and hang their heads in shame.

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