The Benefit of Secession

KHARTOUM/JUBA/BERLIN | | sudan

KHARTOUM/JUBA/BERLIN (Own report) - Thanks to years of support, also from Berlin, southern Sudan now stands at the threshold of secession with yesterday's beginning of the secession referendum. There is no doubt that a large majority will vote for seceding from Khartoum. The Western geostrategic operation is about to reach its climax, in attaining its objective of extricating that natural resources rich area of Sudan from Arab government control, linking it to pro-western East African states. Berlin has been engaged in this project with millions in so-called development aide, with the systematic establishment of state structures and the development of infrastructure projects. Ending Sudan's civil war is the PR justification for this operation. But secession threatens, in fact, to provoke even more warfare. Serious observers are predicting that the population's high hopes for better living conditions will be greatly disappointed by the secession, because of the desolate supply situation and the repressive character of the southern Sudanese regime. They also see the danger of new power struggles between rival language groups in southern Sudan, which could lead to more casualties than, for example, in the Darfur Civil War.

Threat of War

The declaration of a new nation in southern Sudan will be the step following the vote in favor of the region's secession from the north of the country - an outcome considered certain. The referendum that began yesterday was among the terms of the peace agreement between the central government in Khartoum and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM), which was signed at the beginning of 2005, essentially under pressure of the United States, Great Britain and Germany. It was never doubted that a majority would vote in favor of secession - Washington and Berlin's geostrategic objective. The West is applying massive pressure to Khartoum to prevent the Sudanese government from attempting to keep the country together by force. And yet there still is a threat of war. It is not sure whether Khartoum will back down, but heavy conflicts are also expected in the Abyei Region, whose population is divided into partisans of the North and those of the South. Extensive oil deposits in this region are claimed both by Khartoum and Juba. Once secession is effective, Juba will be in control of up to 80 percent of all Sudanese oil deposits. Commentators point out that throughout history there have been less important reasons that led to war.

Establishment of State Structures

Since the second half of the 1990s, Germany has been ostensibly supporting southern Sudanese secessionism. Since 1998, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, in Heidelberg, has been active in southern Sudan. Its activities include not only legal training for judges and judicial functionaries but also giving legislative advice. So as not to completely lose the appearance of neutrality, these programs were carried out in both southern Sudan and to an extent also in Khartoum. The draft for the southern Sudanese constitution has also been drawn up under the institute's direction. The German foreign ministry earmarked 2.8 million Euros for setting up the police force in the area of secession, with the Joint Integrated Police Unit in Abyei receiving an additional 550,000 Euros. Both projects were implemented by the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ, formerly GTZ) development agency, which, since 2007, has been also involved in a ten-year "Program for the Support of the Establishment of State Structures" in Juba. The GIZ is also charged with the task of conceptually developing the establishment of a southern Sudanese news magazine and is therefore organizing training courses for radio journalists - in cooperation with the German government-financed Deutsche Welle radio station. According to the German foreign ministry, since 2005, Juba has received more than 50 million Euros in so-called development aid.[1]

Disempowering the Arabs

German activities have been aimed at solving one of the most difficult problems of southern Sudan: the establishment of an infrastructure that would enable the South to secede from the North. Up until now the infrastructure of southern Sudan had been oriented on links to the northern part of the country. Oil pipelines, for example, are still running through a region under Khartoum's control. This presents an obstacle for secession from the North. Years ago, the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) had already begun road construction from southern Sudan to Uganda on the southern border. This will facilitate a reorientation of the secessionist region. Since 2003, German entrepreneurs have been pursuing plans to construct a railroad line to the Kenyan coast to create an alternative to oil transport through northern Sudan. When the small German Thormaehlen Schweißtechnik - Welding Engineering Company failed [2], ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik took on the project. The infrastructure projects are a clear indication of a strategy to extricate oil-rich southern Sudan from the control of the Arab north and link it to pro-Western, English speaking East African countries. This geostrategic operation is the real objective of Western support for this secession.

A Blind Eye to Combat Tanks

Cooperation with East African countries is not without its problems, but is satisfactory in fundamental areas. This has been confirmed by several documents made public by WikiLeaks. It has long been known that the 32 battle tanks, Somali pirates had discovered on a freighter hijacked in 2008 were to be delivered to southern Sudan via Mombassa. They had been embarked in the Ukraine. The Western supported Yushchenko government, had signed the sales contract shortly after arriving in office. New WikiLeaks documents have confirmed what experts had been already reporting [3]: the West is assisting in southern Sudan's systematic arms buildup against Khartoum - including combat tanks.[4] Kenya is helping with logistics - transports are being organized across its territory. Assistance also comes from the German Bundeswehr, which, within the framework of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), has maintained surveillance of the adherence to the terms of the southern Sudan cease-fire agreement, but has for years been successfully turning a blind eye to the secessionist regime's arms build-up amounting to a triple-digit amount of combat tanks and similar inconspicuous weapons.

Human Rights

For public relations, Berlin is justifying its geostrategic motivated support for secession with the pretext of safeguarding human rights. But observers are already reporting serious human rights violations in southern Sudan without Khartoum's involvement. In 2009, Human Rights Watch reported that the Juba government does not seriously intervene against crimes committed by its forces of repression. They are usually not punished when they commit such crimes as intimidation, robbery and sexual abuse.[5] Amnesty International has recently reported on arbitrary measures taken by the state against critical journalists, who were detained without legal basis after having written articles on opposition forces.[6] There is a growing number of complaints about Juba's SPLM regime favoring the Dinka portion of the population, thereby fomenting ethnic strife. Ethnic strife has been very brutal in southern Sudan. According to the United Nations, more than 700 people were killed during the first six months of 2010 and 150,000 displaced by clashes between various language groups.[7] Serious observers repeatedly pointed out that by far more people are being massacred during inner-southern Sudanese clashes than in Darfur. With its support for the secessionists, the West is also accepting the risk of a new North-South upsurge in violence for example in Abyei. Discussion has already begun on the possibility of sending an EU Battle Group into the disputed area and this shows that Brussels is well aware of the consequences of secession. Peace and human rights in Sudan are being propagated by the West for purposes of public relations but in reality they play a subordinate role in the implementation of Western interests. This is a geostrategic operation.

Please read also Nucleus of a Germ, Soldering Technique, Sudan: The Anti-Khartoum Front, Sudan: The Left Disguise, Smash and Rebuild, Transatlantic Front, An Instrument of Western Power, Establishing a State and The Train to Independence (II).

[1] see also Establishing a State and Nächstes Jahr ein neuer Staat
[2] see also Die Bahn zur Unabhängigkeit, Nucleus of a Germ and The Train to Independence (II)
[3] see also Establishing a State
[4] Pirates' Catch Exposed Route of Arms in Sudan; www.nytimes.com 08.12.2010
[5] Human Rights Watch: “There is no Protection”. Insecurity and Human Rights in Southern Sudan, 2009
[6] Amnesty International: The Chains Remain. Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Sudan, 2010
[7] United Nations Security Council: Report of the Secretary-General on the Sudan, 19 July 2010