The Sudanese got to accept the fact that the country is now divided into three groups; the going to be poor Muslim in the North, the resource rich Christian in the South and the left behind tribe in between. The North under the leadership of a president that has been indicted by the International Criminal court might find it difficult to progress economically with its 35 million populations. The South on the other hand, has huge economic potential in oil & gas reserves and with population only between 7 – 9 mills to take care of.
Western has long interest in Sudan’s O&G potential especially in the South and Western Sudan of Darfur. The human right conflict is no other than to create pressure to the President to release the South from Khartoum. President Bashir might no longer be able to withstand the pressure and probably by agreeing to the referendum and secession were the only way to maintain his position in Khartoum. I foresee the new independent Southern Sudan will be fully backed by Western countries considering its potential in producing oil & gas (85% of Sudan’s oil input comes from the South). The current O&G player especially China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and PETRONAS who both of them holds 70% stake of block 1, 2 & 4 will find it difficult to ‘maintain’ the relationship in the future. After all, both companies have been labeled as the ‘provider’ to the wealthy elites of Khartoum (reported almost 40% of O&G profit was siphoned by these elites). Ethiopia as its neighboring country will also play a pivotal role in ensuring Southern resources will be easily made available to the Western. I have for all time believed Ethiopia is a reflection of Israel in Africa (so as Singapore in South East Asia).
“The Jews and the Christians will never be satisfied with you, O Muhammad, until you follow their way” (Al Baqarah:120). Everyone knew about this verse but what amaze me is how they able to manipulate the situation to achieve their goals.
Whether separation is good? Well, the feeling of oppression and marginalized for decades has turned Southern peoples’ attention from poverty, instability and struggle in maintaining a new nation to a jubilant 98.8% voters agreeing to the secession.
What will happen to the tribes in between? I suppose they will be forever in their uncivilized world. I was in Khartoum, Gezira and Addis Ababa in 2006 following a business trip to Sudan & Ethiopia. How I missed friendly Sudanese, the famous Blue & White Nile and Pak Mandy?