On April 24, Sudan declared war on its neighbor, South Sudan. The declaration of war comes less than one year after South Sudan separated from Sudan. From the U.K. Telegraph:
On a visit to China, Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s president, told his counterpart, Hu Jintao, that, “[my visit] comes at a very critical moment … because our neighbour in Khartoum has declared war on the Republic of South Sudan”.
Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, last week promised revenge on earlier South Sudanese incursions into his territory by “eliminating” the “insects” ruling South Sudan and “liberating” its people.
Eight bombs were dropped on areas south of the countries’ disputed border late on Monday night, South Sudanese officials said yesterday. The extent of the casualties was not immediately clear.
Several people were badly wounded, and one young boy was killed, when aircraft dropped three bombs around Bentiu town, a South Sudanese town 40 miles from the border area, earlier on Monday.
Civilian protection groups in Bentiu called for more outside help from the African Union and Western powers, including Britain, which helped broker a 2005 peace deal that ended the countries’ last civil war.
“The continued attack on the civilian settlements is no longer just an aggression, it is becoming a clear human rights violation,” said Biel Boutros, executive director of the South Sudan Human Rights Association.
A Brief History of South Sudan
Before the arrival of whites, there was only one kingdom – Kush – that existed in the area that is now the Sudan. The area has always been populated by tribes that lived in relative peace and harmony. These same original people of Kush still occupy these territories that are now divided by political boundaries.
When Europeans first arrived, South Sudan became the main source of trade commodities such as slaves, gold, ivory and timber. The region’s physical and human capital was plundered for generations thereafter.
Sudan became a political entity after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. Britain and Egypt occupied the region and forced the Sudanese to accept the rule of the new Anglo-Egyptian regime. For the next 33 years, the Sudan region was under colonial control.
During this period of colonial control, Sudan suffered seventeen years of civil war during the First Sudanese Civil War (1955–1972) followed by ethnic, religious and economic conflicts between the Muslim Arab northern Sudanese and the mostly animist and Christian Nilotes of Southern Sudan.
THIS IS IMPORTANT! The Nilotes (a word derived from the word Nile, indicating that these people were the original inhabitants of the Nile, and the descendants of Ancient Egypt) were pushed out of their homelands along the Nile and into the south.
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of colonial control, White Arabs from Egypt pushed all the way into what is today Norther Sudan. The Black Christians were then pushed into the Southern part of the country, and were subject to abuse, atrocities, and deprivation. The struggle in the Sudan today is a struggle between Black and White. Between Muslim and Christian. Between colonialism and independence.
Because of continuing political and military struggles, Sudan was seized in a bloodless coup d’état by colonel Omar al-Bashir in 1989, who thereafter proclaimed himself President of Sudan. The civil war ended with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement which granted independence to what was then the southern region of the country.
The South Sudanese voted for total independence during January 2011, and was declared a sovereign state on 9 July 2011.
Omar al-Bashir is currently wanted for war crimes committed against the Black people of Darfur. The Prosecutor has claimed that Mr. al-Bashir “masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part” three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity.
The story we see unfolding in the Sudan shows us the failure of the Nation-State in Africa. But before we can understand why nation-states can never work in Africa, we must first understand what a Nation-State is.
The Nation-State as a European Means of ControlA Nation-State can be defined as a political boundary imposed on the people of a region. This boundary can separate two otherwise cooperative and peaceful peoples into enemies and competitors.
For instance, when Europeans drew the lines of nation-states like Nigeria, Togo, and Cameroon, they drew the lines right through tribal lands that had existed for centuries. Now, one half of the tribe belonged to the Nigerian government, while the other half belonged to the government of Cameroon.
Similar political divisions occurred in the past between the Soviet States, between Germany at the end of World War II, and between North and South Korea. These divisions separated and destroyed families, languages, cultures, and values systems – all in the name of political control.
The idea behind nation-states can best be described by MIT Professor Noam Chomsky:
The Nation-State is a European invention, [and] was largely created in Europe over many centuries. It’s so unnatural and artificial that it had to be imposed by extreme violence. In fact that’s the primary reason why Europe was the most savage part of the world for centuries. It was due to trying to impose a Nation-State system on cultures and societies that are varied and if you look at them had no relation to this artificial structure.
In fact the derivative effects were also the main reason the concept spread elsewhere. In the course of creating modern Nation-State, Europe developed a culture of savagery and a technology of violence which enabled it to conquer the world, and as it conquered the world it attempted to impose Nation-State systems wherever it went, also artificial and violent.
If you look at today’s major conflicts around the world, most of them are the residue of European efforts to impose Nation-State systems where it doesn’t make any sense, which is almost everywhere. The few exceptions to this are places of European colonization where they simply exterminated the indigenous population, like the United States and Australia. So there you get more homogeneous societies.
On the other hand, the primary reason why the savage conflicts in Europe ended in 1945 was that it was recognized that if they continued this game any longer, they’d just wipe themselves out. So you have, since 1945, a peace internal to Europe. Germans and French don’t regard it as their highest goal in life to slaughter each other anymore.
In the course of the development of the Nation-State system, there also developed on the side various economic arrangements which about a century ago turned into what became contemporary corporate capitalism…It’s impossible to distinguish the modern dominant states from the multinational corporate system, the conglomerates that rely on them, that have a relation of both dependency and domination to them.
In fact, two centuries ago, James Madison in a very early period of modern capitalism described the relation of business to government as that of “tools and tyrants.” He said that businesses are the “tools and tyrants” of government. By now that’s become virtually the definition of the world. Multinational corporations are the tools and the tyrants of the powerful states, so making a distinction between them is extremely hard.
Noam Chomsky teaches us that not only are these Nation-States unnatural and artificial, they are also used as tools of economic and political control to the detriment of the original people that the system is imposed on. That’s what we have seen in Africa, and specifically in the conflict between
Sudan and the Failure of the Nation-State in Africa
Why are nation-states doomed to fail in Africa? Nation-states are based on the White values of Individualism, ownership, conflict and control. The idea of a Nation-State goes against the original values of collectivism, cooperation, and common heritage that are inherent in most indigenous cultures. A nation-state works only for its self interest, rather than the interests of all people. For example, when AFRICOM was created, Navy Vice Admiral Robert Moeller wrote in Foreign Policy Magazine;
Let there be no mistake. AFRICOM’s job is to protect American lives and promote American interests. That is what nations and militaries do.
Is there anyone who can tell me how a military presence in Africa protects American lives? The truth is that AFRICOM is more about American interests that the welfare of the African people. In fact, that is ALL AFRICOM is about.
A United States of Africa
South Sudan’s separation from North Sudan is the exact opposite of what should be happening in Africa. Imagine what would happen here in the U.S. if Georgia decided to tear away from the United States and become its own country. Then Texas also decided to leave the Union. Then Florida. Then the Carolinas. This is exactly what nearly happened during the civil war. What you would then have are a bunch of small countries fighting with each other until the end of time over the most petty of issues.
To solve this problem, the United States defeated the separatists and united all states into one country – The UNITED States of America.
If Africa hopes to end the perpetual warfare, exploitation, and division that it has seen since the age of colonialism began, it must do the same. Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and every other African nation must come together into one unified state. Its political boundaries must be erased, and the political divisions set for her must be removed.
There must be a United States of Africa.
Africans at home and abroad must wake up to the fact that we are Africans, and until we do – we will be the bastard children of the world – orphans wandering from one country to the next with hat in hand asking to be a part of a system that will have nothing to do with us beyond exploitation.
Black men and women, hear me:
Our ethnicities can change, our nationalities can change, but our race is permanent. Therefore, let us follow the example of every other successful people on the planet, and unite into one grand racial hierarchy.
United we stand, divided we fall. Or as Lincoln said, “a house divided will not stand” The United States of Africa is the only way to fix the current situation in Africa. We must tear down the borders and establish a One Africa federation.
1 government + 1 currency + 1 military = One people
I leave you with this poem, written by Marcus Garvey entitled Hail! United States of Africa
Marcus Garvey – Hail! United States of Africa!
Hail! United States of Africa-free!
Hail! Motherland most bright, divinely fair!
State in perfect sisterhood united,
Born of truth; mighty thou shalt ever be.
Hail! Sweet land of our father’s noble kin!
Let joy within thy bounds be ever known;
Friend of the wandering poor, and helpless, thou,
Light to all, such as freedorn’s reigns within.
From Liberia’s peaceful western coast
To the foaming Cape at the southern end,
There’s but one law and sentiment sublime,
One flag, and its emblem of which we boast.
The Nigerians are all united now,
Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast, too.
Gambia, Senegal, not divided,
But in one union happily bow.
The treason of the centuries is dead,
All alien whites are forever gone;
The glad home of Sheba is once more free,
As o’er the world the black n-tan raised his head.
Bechuanaland, a State with Kenya,
Members of the Federal Union grand,
Send their greetings to sister Zanzibar,
And so does laughing Tanganyika.
Over in Grand Mother Mozambique,
The pretty Union Flag floats in the air,
She is sister to good Somaliland,
Smiling with the children of Dahomey.
Three lusty cheers for old Basutoland,
Timbuctoo, Tunis and Algeria,
Uganda, Kamerun, all together
Are in the Union with Nyasaland.
We waited long for fiery Morocco,
Now with Guinea and Togo she has come,
All free and equal in the sisterhood,
Like Swazi, Zuduland and the Congo.
There is no state left out of the Union-
The East, West, North, South, including Central,
Are in the nation, strong forever,
Over blacks in glorious dominion.
Hail! United States of Africa-free!
Country of the brave black man’s liberty;
State of greater nationhood thou hast won,
A new life for the race is just begun.