English rather than Arabic

KHARTOUM/JUBA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government welcomes South Sudan's secession, which became official last Saturday and announces close cooperation with this new country. Germany will continue to support the government in Juba in its efforts to create its state structures, declared the German Chancellor and the Foreign Minister. Since the 1990s, Germany has been playing a major role in this natural resources rich region's preparation for separation and secession from Khartoum. Earlier, the German government in Bonn had for decades been engaged in close cooperation with the Sudanese central government, which, during the cold war, served as a partner against the influence of the socialist countries in the Arab world and in Eastern Africa. For its loyalty, Khartoum had been rewarded -since the end of the 1950s - with intensive police and military aid. West Germany furnished firearms and heavy war material, which had been used in the civil war against the South Sudanese secessionists. Not until the end of the cold war and the beginning of the conflicts with the Arab world in the 1990s, did the governments in Bonn and Washington discover a geostrategic interest in weakening their earlier ally in Khartoum. The most recent result has been the secession of South Sudan, coerced by the West.


The German government, which, since the 1990s, has been pushing for the separation of South Sudan (german-foreign-policy.com reported [1]), significantly strengthened its support for Juba recently. Already June 15, the German cabinet decided to grant international recognition to the secession. This step was taken last Saturday by the German president, thereby allowing the immediate establishment of diplomatic relations. At the end of June, the German foreign minister visited Sudan and held final talks both in Khartoum and in Juba. The Chancellor and the Foreign Minister conferred last week with Jean Ping, Chairman of the Commission of the African Union, on the issue of the secession. The government railroaded a decision through parliament with an expedited procedure for deploying up to 50 German soldiers in the Republic of South Sudan within the framework of the United Nations UNMISS mission. Saturday, the Chancellor and the Foreign Minister declared that the German government would continue to support the government in Juba in its efforts to create its state structures. The German government's Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) has been engaged in this task for years.[2]

Reequipped Completely

Berlin had been strongly encouraging the Sudanese civil war, which has lasted for decades, and culminated in the secession of South Sudan - but on the side of the central government in Khartoum. Immediately following Sudan's independence in 1956, the German government in Bonn began establishing strong ties to Khartoum, to stabilize Sudan as a western ally during the cold war. At the end of 1958, following a putsch by the commander in chief of the Sudanese armed forces', Ibrahim Abbud, the cooperation was even intensified. In December 1958, the West German state controlled Fritz Werner Corp. signed a contract for the construction of a munitions factory in Sheggera, just south of the capital, which began production in 1960. The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) was training Sudanese police officers, while the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and the German Military Counter Intelligence Service (MAD) were training the Sudanese secret services. At the end of 1961, the government in Bonn authorized the delivery of 120 million DM worth of equipment aid to Khartoum - far more than to any other African or Arab nation. "It was in the context of the generous training programs that the Sudanese army was completely reequipped and put thereby in a position to seek a military solution to the conflict with South Sudan," analyses the expert on secret services Erich Schmidt-Eenboom.[3] At that time, the Sudanese minister of the interior was one of the BND's direct contacts.

Munitions Plant

Cooperation between the secret services and aid with the arms buildup even stabilized West German contacts to Sudan, when Khartoum broke diplomatic relations with Bonn in 1969, to begin cooperation with the German Democratic Republic. In spite of official tensions, the Fritz Werner Corp. continued to supply large quantity of preliminary products to the munitions plant in Sheggera and a team from West Germany was still in charge of the plant's production. Bonn even continued its support for the police - in total disregard of the combat escalation in the south of the country. In the period from 1955 to 1972, up to 700,000 people were killed in the Sudanese civil war, not least of all by West German ammunition. From time to time, Bonn's diplomats helped fan the flames of war to weaken the Moscow-oriented forces in the Sudanese capital by supporting the Islamic militias. In the mid-1960s they were successful.[4]

Assault Rifles

Bonn rewarded Khartoum's resumption of diplomatic relations in 1971 with a renewed stepping-up of its police and military cooperation. Bonn delivered vehicles and intelligence technology to Sudan's police and - with the assistance of the BKA and several Regional Offices of Criminal Investigation (LKA) - provided training programs. The Sudanese military forces were not only delivered G3 assault rifles, but also submachine guns and machineguns from the Heckler and Koch weaponsmith in southern Germany as well as Rheinmetall-made MG3 machineguns. In 1979 and 1980, Germany's MBB delivered the Sudanese police 20 helicopters, of which some were later refitted as gunships for the armed forces. Sudan also acquired German armored personnel carriers and more G3 assault rifles produced under license in Saudi Arabia. Official US estimates for West German military exports to Sudan, solely for the years from 1976 to 1985, were at US $480 million. Bonn continued to furnish combat material, even when the civil war erupted anew in 1983. These arms deliveries were terminated only in 1993, after the confrontation of the two systems ended,[5] but not because of that country's domestic conflict, but rather because of the reorientation of western foreign policy, which had now begun to turn against the Arab world.

Language Policy

In Sudan, this reorientation has reached its climax, with the secession of Sudan's black African south from its Arab dominated north, and its central government in Khartoum. Berlin and Washington seek to make this secession irreversible within the next few years, which is to be accomplished through integrating South Sudan into the East African Community (EAC) (currently including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi). Infrastructure projects are planned that will bind Juba to the southern neighbors, Kenya and Uganda.[6] That English will become the official language in South Sudan is symptomatic for this geostrategic motivated operation. By way of contrast, the more widespread Arabic will be repressed. The national anthem, for example, will be sung in English, the language of the former European colonial power. This resembles Rwanda's language policy, where English, the language used since 2010 in schools and universities, is systematically replacing French, which had been the predominant language alongside Kinyarwanda. Since 1994, Rwanda is no longer considered within France's sphere of influence, but rather the German-US American. Rwanda's joining the EAC in 2007 has documented this fact and is to become permanent through the national language.

Merkel in Kenya

Over the next few weeks and months, practical steps will be taken to transform the poverty-stricken, illiterate South Sudan with its lack of infrastructure and perpetual climate of violence, into a halfway sustainable entity. According to Germany, the EAC is to lend a hand in this task. Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sets off for Kenya, where she intends to focus particularly on issues concerning South Sudan. Kenyan companies are already in South Sudan, with hopes of doing good business, which would already strengthen ties between Juba and the EAC countries. In the intermediate term, Juba plans the construction of an oil pipeline to Kenya to evade Khartoum's influence on its considerable resources, which are currently shipped over the Khartoum-controlled transport corridor to Port Sudan. This would complete the disempowerment of Bonn's former Arab ally from the days of cold war confrontation.

[1] see also Der Nutzen der Sezession, Nächstes Jahr ein neuer Staat and The Benefit of Secession
[2] see also Establishing a State
[3], [4], [5] Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: Der deutsche Geheimdienst im Nahen Osten. Geheime Hintergründe und Fakten, München 2007. Schmidt-Eenboom stützt sich bei seinen Ausführungen auf eine unveröffentlichte Arbeit des Sudanspezialisten Roman Deckert.
[6] see also The Train to Independence (II) and The Day After (II)