This week’s excursion to African country of South Sudan will be by means of Poetry. South Sudan is the youngest African nation, became an independent state on July 9, 2011. South Sudan is bordered by Ethiopia on east; to the north is North Sudan; on the west is Central African Republic; on the southern border are Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Kenya.
South Sudan has a long and very interesting history. She was a part of geo-political space known as Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. This political arrangement dates back to Mohammed Ali’s dynasty in Egypt, which later included British Empire from 1899-1956. Between 1914 and 1922, when Egypt became independent nation and 1956 Sudanese’ turn to gain independence, several political developments took place among the political actors of the three-nation-joint-system.
When Sudan gained independence, first Sudanese Civil War or Anyanya Rebellion followed. Multiple rebellions followed between Southern Christians and Northern predominant Muslim, which lasted decades under John Garang until South Sudan Region was created in 1974. The creation of semi-autonomous region did not end the fight between the warring parties, rather, it escalated it.
Today, Southern Sudan is an independent nation; unfortunately, the new nation had been embroiled in the crisis from bitter feud between President Salva Kiir and his vice president, Riek Machar, which had caused over 400,000 deaths and the worst refugee crisis in Africa. Many political and religious figures had mediated to end the crisis, but failure between the two to reach agreement on unity government became the source of worries and concerns. Now that the combatants have sheathed their swords and agree to work for the good of South Sudan, one hope other African nations plague by ethnio-religious war may have one or two lessons to learn from South Sudan.