Daily Archives: %A %B %e%q, %Y
This analysis by Rift Valley Institute Fellow and renowned South Sudan historian Douglas Johnson weighs up the implications of South Sudan’s independence on the new nation’s history, historiography and sense of identity.
The text is taken from a keynote lecture Johnson gave to the 9th International South Sudan and Sudan Studies Conference, held in Bonn, from 23?25 July this year.
As the RVI website describes:
… he discusses the South Sudan as ‘a missing piece in the jigsaw of Africa’s past’, offering a robust critique of the various outside prejudices and preconceptions that have continued to inform, or misinform, many research programmes. South Sudan may no longer be part of Sudan, he concludes, but it is part of the Nile basin, of north-east Africa, of Africa itself—and ‘will be all the poorer if its history were to be written in parochial, essentialist terms’.
The full text can be downloaded below.
A New History for a New Nation: The Search for South Sudan’s Usable Past
Douglas H. Johnson
Keynote address given at the 9th International South Sudan and Sudan Studies Conference Bonn, 23-25 July 2012
A new history for a new nation by Douglas Johnson (2012)
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article43828
By Peter Tibber, the new ambassador of the United Kingdom in Sudan
We (my wife, Eve, and I) arrived nearly two weeks ago. As the doors of the aircraft opened so too did the heavens. We got soaked as we dashed the short distance from the foot of the aircraft steps to the waiting vehicle. It wasn’t the weather we were expecting. But it was more than compensated for by the warm welcome we received from the representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs..
It poured too when we got married nearly 30 years ago. All our guests told us that a rainy wedding foretold a happy marriage. And so it has proved. Maybe a rainy arrival in Sudan signals a happy posting here. I certainly hope so. Rain is good for Sudan, though sadly it has also brought death and displacement.
We arrived in the last days of Ramadan. It’s a nice time to arrive as people take time to reflect on things beyond the immediate and to recharge spiritual batteries. It’s given me the opportunity to start meeting people informally at a couple of Iftars and to make some Eid calls. The joy of Eid has been dimmed by the plane crash which killed Minister Ghazi al-Sadiq Abdel Rahim, and several other senior Sudanese. I send my heartfelt sympathies to the families of the deceased. The Minister for Africa, Mr Bellingham has written formally to Foreign Minister Karti to express our condolences.
I was told before I came here about the traditional Sudanese warmth and hospitality. I am already experiencing it at first hand. We received our first dinner invitation before we had even arrived here. The conversations I have had over Eid have been universally warm and welcoming.
That is a reflection of Sudanese culture. But I think, I hope, it is also a consequence of the ties between us. We go back a long way. We have shared some history. Many Sudanese have lived or studied in the UK. One of my first early impressions is of the strength of the educational links. There is a thirst to learn English.
We are here to work with Sudan to deal with the challenges it faces: challenges of conflict, of development in the broadest sense and of poverty. As my predecessor pithily put it: build peace and reduce poverty. We want to enable better lives in Sudan. This is an end in itself. But it’s not just altruism. Frankly it’s in our interests just as much as in the interests of Sudan. We spend over £150m a year on Sudan. More peace means less need for peacekeepers. Less poverty means less need for development assistance.
Of course, the prime responsibility for dealing with a country’s issues, here or anywhere else, lies with the Government and people of that country. But we believe we can make a contribution, and more importantly, so do many in Sudanese. Some of that help is practical; bringing humanitarian relief or better access to clean water to those that need it. Some of it is about working with institutions of Government and civil society
We have been doing this for some time. We’ve invested heavily in helping to end conflict, most notably through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement process that led to the creation of South Sudan. Here, too, the primary credit must go to Sudan itself. The process is not complete and we will continue to play a supporting role when the negotiations resume shortly in Addis.
I hope that through my own role here, and the activities of this embassy, we will be able to make a contribution. My ambition is to work with the Government and people of Sudan to help make this a better place for all. And if at the end of my posting I have made even small progress in that direction and in building the ties between our two countries the soaking I got on first arrival here will have been well worth it.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article43716
September 6, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The governor of North Darfur State, Osman Youssef Kibir, has accused an armed group “affiliated with regular forces” of being behind the intensification of unrest in his state. where at least five policemen were killed during confrontations involving different branches of regular forces in the last two days.
Speaking to the subtly pro-government Al-Shorog Satellite TV on Thursday, Kibir acknowledged the ethnic dimensions of the unrest that has been plaguing two localities in his state since the assassination of a district commissioner by known men on 1 August, attributing current events to the “grievances between tribes due to the conflict in the region.”
Kibir, who yesterday declared a state of emergency and appointed a temporary military ruler in the localities of Kutum and Al-Waha, said that the incidents of the last two days were “isolated and will not affect the reconciliation memo signed recently by the area’s tribes”
He was referring to the clashes that occurred on Wednesday between members of the central reserves police and the army. The clashes led to the death and injury of a large number of people but no exact toll is known.
On Thursday the next day, an armed group burned the police headquarters in Kutum after confrontation with police members. Three armed men were killed in the attack. Others were injured.
Kibir said that the group responsible for the events of the last two days is affiliated to “regular forces” but decided to forgo their professionalism and become involved in tribal conflicts. He said that the “marauding” group, as he put it, should have been loyal to the institution not the tribe.
It is known that the central government and regional governments in Darfur conscripted members of Arab ethnic tribes to fight alongside government forces against the insurgency that erupted in Darfur in 2003.
Those Arab militiamen became known as the Jangaweed and are associated with atrocities committed against the African ethnic groups to which rebels are affiliated.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article43827