Did you see Omar al-Beshir and Dr. John Garang making peace and shaking hands on international TV news yesterday (Sunday, January 9th)? Wasn’t that somethin, isn’t that nice of them? After all this time (since 1983) and more than 2 million people dead these guys finally decide to stop fighting one another and work out a deal for the sake of the Sudanese people.
Now I know I may sound a little skeptical about how this is all gonna work out over the next months and years but honestly I am delighted that the two sides could get this far, at least on paper. I’m sort of sitting back like Colin Powell was doing yesterday and watching this new agreement real close, watching everybody’s “body language”. The time is overdue that the rest of us around the world who really care and have something to offer the people of Sudan work together with them to implement this new peace agreement in meaningful and sustainable ways. It’s time to get busy and help the people of Sudan rebuild their war-torn country and their war-torn lives, especially for the children of the country. That’s what time it is, it’s time to make it work in the Sudan and that goes for Darfur as well. You hear me Khartoum!? I sure hope so?
There is plenty of coverage on this story in the traditional media of course and in the Internet so there is no more that I need to add at the moment. We are gonna “drill down” on some other issues regarding the recent history of Sudan here on Jewels in the Jungle in the next weeks and months, and we are not going to be drilling for oil. In the meantime here are a few links to some good online articles on the new North/South Peace Accords for Sudan:
- Washington Post article: Sudanese Sign Peace Agreement
- Sudan Tribune article(s): Dr. John Garang’s Speech (real nice)
- BBC News: Sudan in Depth (see photo essay “refugee’s comment”)
I’m sure that we all have a lot of folks to thank for helping to bring this new agreement into being. I believe special thanks should go to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and to the Government and the people of Kenya for hosting talks and negotiations between the two sides. Ugandan and Kenyan authorities have provided land and assistance for numerous refugee camps for the 100,000’s of Sudanese who fled the fighting in the South over the past two decades. I hear there are more than 4 million IDP's (Internally Displaced Persons) from the south of Sudan who live in and around Khartoum who are anxious to be able to return to their homelands... and I am certain that many of them did not end up in Khartoum by choice but by force or worse.
Northern Kenya is the main base of operations for much of the humanitarian relief airlifted and trucked to the people of southern Sudan including the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions. Without this assistance the number of people dead from war and starvation in the south of Sudan would be closer to 6 million or more. Of course we should not forget the $2 billion dollars in aid and relief supplies that the people of the United States of America have contributed alone over the past many years. Thank you very much...you are welcome.
I haven't seen any numbers on aid contributions from other countries to the people of southern Sudan (yet). I wonder what the oil-rich Arab and Muslim countries and The Arab League and their humanitarian foundations have given to help relieve the suffering of peoples in the south of Sudan over the past two decades?
I’ll tell you what, after watching how the regime in Khartoum and their various “partners” operate over these past few years, we (the people of my country) will know what to give the people of southern Sudan the next time there's trouble, I’ll tell you that.
Pray for Peace.