Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Norway Donor's Conference.. what gives?!!!

Like many Southern Sudanese, I followed with interest the buildup to the conference in Norway on donor commitments and pledges for reconstruction in Sudan. The latest news suggest that the pledge amounts exceeded the expectations and requests of the Sudanese and the various NGOs that conducted assessments on post-war needs.

What was a bit dismaying was how the Americans are now conditioning their pledges to the resolution of the Darfur conflict. Obviously, Darfur's situation needs to be resolved, and all Sudanese of all stripes would agree that a dominant strand in the NIF power clique in Khartoum was the main catalyst and instigator of the genocidal conflict in the region.

What should not immediately follow is to correlate whatever needed international assistance to the beleguered Southern Sudan to the political gymnastics taking place with regards to Darfur.

The two regions have suffered, among other marginalized areas, in the hands of successive Northern regimes, and now the International community is trying to use assistance to Southern Sudan as a stick to prod the Khartoum government to act more responsibly in Darfur. I don't see how denying the nascent authorities in Southern Sudan the funds they need to resettle people and start to reconstruct the war devastated South is an incentive for Khartoum's current rulers to hurry up and halt the war in Darfur.

That just shows, even with good intentions, some of the highest echelons of the western powers are clueless about how their policy positions really play out in the developing world. It reminds me of the hoopla made by the Americans at the begining of the Darfur crisis when they announced the denial of travel privileges and freezing of the assets of the leadership of the so-called Janjaweed Militias.

  • These tribal leaders are stooges of their masters in the government security forces.
  • They do not have assets that can be frozen in Washington.
  • They have never, nor are they inclined, to visit or hobnob with anyone in the West or even any other African capital.
Thats pure impotence masquareding as the new TOUGH INTERNATIONAL ORDER.

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