If some of you remember, a while ago, I wrote this on my blog:
Anyways, happy 51st independence day to Sudan and to my fellow Sudanese bloggers. It’s been 51 years already and we need to ask ourselves what have we achieved so far as a nation?
I don’t know if you could tell but I’m not really the kind of Sudanese that gets terribly excited every year on the day of Sudan’s independence. In fact, sometimes I don’t get excited at all. My reason is simple. Sudan’s Independence Day for me is a painful reminder of a sad reality. Today, I was reminded of that reality by something else. I found the following in the comments section of a post at Sudan Watch. It’s an email received by Ingrid from one of her readers:
“The Janjaweed are carrying out their orders with the same merry enthusiasm that Hitler’s executioners killed Jews, Slavs, and Gypsies in millions! That’s what humans do best, if they get half a chance. The orders they received were brutally logical, given the need at the centre to withstand rebel insurgency in the West of the country — sparked largely by the fortuitous discovery of oil there.”
And, he went on to say this:
1) The Sudan has indeed suffered, for many centuries, a bloody history of war and famine — until the arrival of Scottish engineers and British Administrators (like me) from 1911 onwards, producing a short interval between the customary brutalities. Once the Sudanese gained independence, in 1955, they rapidly squandered the riches collected for them by those damned colonialists. Then the Dictator and former Army General Nimeiry (with whom I had several meetings) set up a religious government, based on Quranic law, deeply offending the Southerners, and here we are again.
2) It doesn’t look as if things will change in future, either. Perhaps that will finally discourage people from living there.
3) Like Egypt, the Sudan is ‘the gift of the Nile’ and would collapse if anyone (for instance) sabotaged the Sennar dam, or blew up the White Nile barrage above Khartoum.
4) There are already plans to drain the Sadd marshes in the South, so that the wonderful Dinka become extinct, to the profit of the Northeners, whose threatened supply of water will be augmented throuogh a reduction in the rate of evaporation of the White Nile.
5) I say again: too many people in the wrong place.
While I don’t like the tone and don’t completely agree with everything mentioned, I have to say that in an overall sense, it’s sadly true. Even my own father who was very politically active against the British during the days of colonialism, admits the same thing. I know many Sudanese who will vehemently disagree because of this.