Get AfricaFocus Bulletin by e-mail!
on your Newsreader!
Format for print or mobile
Sudan: Reflections, 1
Jan 10, 2011 (110110)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
"Both the Government of Sudan and the SPLM have made the solemn and
vitally important commitment that should the people of South Sudan
vote for secession, they will work to ensure the emergence and
peaceful coexistence of two viable states, informed by the
objectives of renewed friendship and cooperation between the people
of the North and the South." - Thabo Mbeki, University of Khartoum,
January 5, 2011
As world attention focuses on the dramatic process of the
referendum in Southern Sudan, this series of AfricaFocus Bulletins
contains several reflections on the historical significance of the
referendum and the transition process
which will be unfolding in the coming months.
- Two lectures by Thabo Mbeki, Chairperson of the African Union
High Level Implementation Panel, one at the University of Khartoum
(sent out by e-mail and available on the web at
http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/sud1101a.php) and one at the
University of Juba (available at
http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/sud1101b.php), are both
diplomatic interventions and nuanced reflections which warrant
- An op-ed by Mo Ibrahim, Sudanese mobile phone magnate and
philanthropist, and a statement by the Sudan Democracy Group
entitled "A letter from the men and women of the North to the men
and women of the South On your Democratic Right to Self
Determination," available at
http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/sud1101c.php) address both the
referendum and the future for the expected two separate states.
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on Sudan, see
For up-to-date news coverage, see
++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note++++++++++++++++++++
Lecture by Thabo Mbeki, Chairperson of the AUHIP,
for the University of Khartoum, Friendship Hall, Khartoum
January 5, 2011.
Director of Ceremonies,
President Pierre Buyoya,
Students and staff of the University of Khartoum,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and gentlemen:
On behalf of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for
Sudan I would like to thank the University of Khartoum and its
Peace Research Institute for giving us the opportunity to address
this important gathering today.
When the Panel was constituted, at the conclusion of our work as
the AU Panel on Darfur, the Peace and Security Council of the AU
said our mandate was to work with the Government and people of
Sudan (i) to pursue policies it had adopted focused on the
resolution of the conflict in Darfur, (ii) to assist in the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and (iii) to
support the process of the democratisation of Sudan.
And as you can see, this mandate covers virtually all the important
challenges currently facing Sudan. For this reason, to honour our
present and earlier mandates, we have spent the greater part of the
past 21 months here in Sudan, having had virtually to defer all our
other engagements in our own countries.
You may ask why I have told you all of this.
I thought this might be important in order to communicate what I
believe is an important message. That message is that your
Continent, Africa, and its premier organisation, the African Union,
are deeply concerned to do everything possible to assist the sister
people of Sudan to address the challenges I have mentioned.
As a token of its seriousness in this regard, the AU did what it
had never done before and appointed three former Heads of State to
act as its Task Force to help resolve what the Union views as
matters that are of critical importance to the future of our
As students or casual observers of African politics, especially as
you celebrated your 55th anniversary of independence only four days
ago, you will be aware of the fact that most commentators and
African histories say that Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country
to gain independence after the Second World War.
The historical reality however is that it was this country, Sudan,
that gained its independence more than a year ahead of Ghana, which
became independent in 1957.
The question therefore arises - why is the mistake made so
repeatedly, that Ghana became independent ahead of Sudan, with many
of even your fellow Africans even being unaware of when Sudan
gained its independence!
The truth is that this mistake derives from this country's unhappy
As all of us know, a year ahead of your independence, in 1955, a
rebellion broke out in Southern Sudan. The essential reason for the
rebellion was that your compatriots in the South saw the impending
independence as a threat to them, which they elected to oppose by
resorting to the weapons of war.
I would like to suggest that it was the 1955 rebellion, and the
subsequent first civil war, which communicated the firm message to
the overwhelming majority of your fellow Africans, throughout
Africa, that Sudan's independence was not complete as it still had
to complete the process of decolonisation.
It is from this that the view emerged that Ghana was the first
sub-Saharan African country post-Second World War to achieve
I am certain that you will have understood from what I have said
that I believe that it was inevitable that as long as the rest of
the continent entertained the belief that Sudan had not yet
addressed the important issue of the peaceful coexistence of its
diverse communities, so long would it sustain an ambivalent
attitude towards this country's independence.
That ambivalence was further reinforced by the outbreak of the
second civil war in 1983 which encompassed not only southern Sudan
but also the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, and finally ended 21
years later when the CPA was signed. As you would expect, it was
also fed by the rebellions which broke out in Eastern Sudan and
Before I proceed any further, I would like to say something else
about our Panel.
We have come among you not as foreigners, but as fellow Africans
who are convinced that we share a common destiny. Accordingly, it
is not possible for us to distance ourselves from the problems that
this sister country and people face, arguing that these are
Sudanese problems. To us the problems of Sudan are our problems,
its challenges and successes our challenges and successes.
Accordingly we cannot and will not stand on some high pedestal, as
some from somewhere else in the world do, demanding that Sudan must
do this or do the other. Rather we will say, let us, together, do
this or do the other, while, at the same time, we respect the
sovereign right of the people of Sudan to determine their destiny.
This also means that to solve our common problems, to respond
together to our common challenges and to determine our shared
destiny as one African people, we must speak to you and to one
another about those problems, challenges and destiny, frankly and
openly as fellow combatants for Africa's renewal who share the same
It is in this spirit that we speak to you today, to respond to one
another as the fellow combatants for Africa's renewal, who share
the same trenches I have mentioned.
The reality we face as we discuss Sudan's contemporary challenges
is that during the British colonial period, this city, Khartoum,
and its wider environs came to serve as the focal point of the
concentration of political and economic power, leaving the rest of
the country as a marginalised, disempowered and underdeveloped
It was inevitable that sooner or later this periphery would rebel
to contest its marginalisation, as was signalled by the South Sudan
rebellion which broke out in 1955.
Part of our tragedy is that throughout the years of independence,
until the conclusion of the CPA in 2005, the Darfur Peace Agreement
in 2006 and the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement again in 2006, ruling
groups in this country failed successfully to resolve the problem
posed by the polarisation of Sudan into one centre and many
Rather, to maintain its position of dominance and privilege, the
centre chose to rely on the use of force and the silencing of the
voice of the periphery by doing its best to stifle democratic
opinion and action, seeing such democratic expression as a threat
to its continued survival.
The historic peace agreements signed in 2005 and 2006 represented
a decisive break with this costly past, a great leap forward away
from the heritage which independent Sudan inherited from the
inherently unjust and unsustainable colonial construct imposed on
Sudan by the British-dominated Anglo-Egyptian Condominium.
All three of us, members of the AU Panel for Sudan, have had direct
experience of radical change in our own countries.
Accordingly, all three of us, both singly and collectively, are
especially sensitive to the challenges and enormous burdens those
charged by historical circumstance to exercise the function of
leadership have to face and carry during periods requiring radical
political and social change.
We are therefore very mindful of the sacrifices the political
leaders of Sudan have to make, even in terms of their personal
lives, to play their roles as change agents for the creation of a
new reality which portends a future of hope, of happiness and a
better life for all the people of Sudan.
In this regard, we would like to pay special tribute to their
Excellencies, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Vice President
Ali Osman Taha.
All of us owe the outstanding Sudanese and African success of the
conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to the courage of
these eminent Sudanese and African patriots to break with a painful
past, and their commitment to work for a life of peace, of
happiness and prosperity for all Sudanese men, women and children.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank these
respected leaders and their colleagues for the manner in which they
have opened theirs and all other doors in Sudan to enable us to do
what we have had to do to discharge our obligation to work with all
Sudanese to help determine our shared destiny.
We will continue confidently to rely on them, as must the Sudanese
people as a whole, to continue to work for the implementation of
the Peace Agreement we have mentioned, since they are not only
signatories to those Agreements, but also their most eminent
We are also confident that the search for peace in Darfur will be
pursued to a successful conclusion and that the Eastern Sudan Peace
Agreement will also be implemented fully, to become another African
Yesterday, speaking in Juba, President Bashir displayed once again
his commitment to the CPA and his qualities of national leadership.
Indeed we would believe that there is no greater test of
statesmanship than to accept, in a graceful, generous and humane
manner, the decision of those of your people who have the
opportunity to choose secession. President Bashir's Juba speech
demonstrated that he, and the Sudanese leadership, are indeed
rising to the occasion, meeting the challenge of the exercise of
self-determination by the southern Sudanese.
Similarly we would like to pay equal tribute to the late Dr John
Garang de Mabior, so cruelly taken away from all of us by a most
unfortunate accident, and His Excellency the First Vice President
of the Republic and President of the Government of South Sudan,
Salva Kiir Mayardit.
In particular, together, these two outstanding African patriots and
their colleagues, overcame the constraints imposed on them and the
people they led and lead by the pain and bitterness which are an
unavoidable part of four decades of a deadly civil war.
Thus did they commit themselves to work to make the continued unity
of the Sudanese people attractive, inspired by the noble vision to
build a Sudan that would be characterised by forgiveness and
reconciliation, informed by the imperative to achieve peace and
friendship among all Africans, while fully respecting the right to
self-determination of the people of Southern Sudan.
Again we would like to use this opportunity to thank H.E. President
Salva Kiir Mayardit for everything he has done to facilitate the
work of our Panel, being available at all times to receive us and
listen to our views.
And again we will continue to rely on him, as must the Sudanese
people as a whole, to continue to contribute to the reconstruction
of Sudan, regardless of the outcome of the South Sudan Referendum,
to help guarantee that all Sudanese live in conditions of peace, of
democracy, prosperity and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Those with little knowledge of Africa might conclude that the
remarks I made earlier concerning our Continent's ambivalence about
the meaning of Sudan's independence in 1956 represent the only
factor that defines the attitude of the rest of Africa towards the
sister people of Sudan.
What might therefore come across as a paradox to these is that, to
the contrary, Sudan is for us as Africans, a valuable geographic
and human segment of our Continent which inspires both pride and
For a millennium Europe accustomed itself to a particularly
negative and dehumanising view of all of us as Africans. For
instance in his Natural History, the Roman, Pliny the Elder, wrote:
"Then come regions (in Africa) that are purely imaginary: towards
the west of the Ethiopian Kingdom of Merowe are... the Agriophagi
(wild-beast eaters), who live chiefly on the flesh of panthers and
lions; the Pamphagi (eat-alls), who devour everything; the
Anthropophagi (man-eaters), whose diet is human flesh."
In the end this presentation of the African as a wild wild-beast
eater, an omnivore and a cannibal, cultivated a demeaning vision of
ourselves as Africans, which created the ideology which made it
possible for our neighbours north of the Mediterranean to see us as
fit objects to serve them as slaves, and whose lands they could
later seize and treat as their property, and us as their colonial
subjects, whom the colonisers said had every reason to be happy to
be colonised and therefore exposed to their civilising influence.
However, and fortunately, contrary to the view of ourselves
propagated by those inspired by notions of white supremacy, we now
know of Nubian Sudan and its seminal contribution to the evolution
of human civilisation and can see this contribution for instance in
the pyramids north of this city, which are older than those of
Egypt, and the ancient artefacts and remains, including mummies,
which are in the National Museum located in this city.
Five thousand years ago the capital city of Kerma was one of the
wonders of the world, its artists creating monumental granite
statues of the Nubian Pharoahs of the era. Even today,
archaeologists are making new finds, uncovering the true extent of
the ancient civilisations of Sudan, which confirm that the first
cities in the world were established along the banks of the Nile in
I would like to believe that many among us here will be familiar
with the comments made by the outstanding Senegalese scholar, Cheik
Anta Diop, in his famous book, Civilisation or Barbarism.
Among other things Diop writes of "proof (being) now established
that Nubian monarchy is the oldest in the history of humanity" and
that the "Nubian royalty, which appears to us with the future
essential attributes of the Egyptian monarchy, had preceded it by
at least three generations."
I refer to this ancient history because of its critical importance
in the struggle we have to continue to wage as Africans, to reclaim
our place as equals with other human beings, and not the sub-humans
others claimed we were, thus to justify our transportation out of
Africa as slaves and our subjugation as colonial subjects.
As I have indicated, much of that ancient history originates from
this country, and serves to confirm Africa's critical contribution
to human civilisation. This cannot but position Sudan in our
consciousness as Africans as a source of pride, a place from which
we should draw inspiration as we work to achieve the renaissance of
Further to this, Sudan gives us pride because it is a crossroads of
Africa. Among the Sudanese, we find individuals and whole
communities that originate from different corners of Africa. Every
border, whether north, south, east or west, is straddled by
communities that live both in Sudan and in the neighbouring
Thus do we have Nubians here and in Egypt, the Beja in Sudan, Egypt
and Eritrea, the Nuer and the Anuak here and in Ethiopia, the
Toposa shared with Kenya, the Acholi and Madi here and in Uganda,
and the Zande here and the Congo.
The Fertit people are also in the Central African Republic and the
Masalit, Zaghawa, Salamat and Rizeigat also in Chad.
The Zaghawa, the Zayadiya and the Meidob are also in Libya, as the
Rashaida are on both sides of the Red Sea.
Immigration from West Africa, over many generations, has also
enriched Sudan. Literally millions of people of West African origin
are to be found in Sudan, fully integrated and accepted as Sudanese
We also find the very African identity of Sudan in the manner in
which Islam and Arabic were introduced to this country. As the
eminent Sudanese historian Yusuf Fadl Hasan has shown, Islam came
to Sudan peacefully, not through invasion. The rulers of Sennar and
later of Darfur embraced Islam, and adopted the use of the Arabic
language for jurisprudence and for religious teaching, without
Reflecting modern scholarship on the Funj kingdom, Professor
Mahmood Mamdani writes:
"This historical narrative clarifies one noteworthy fact: 'Arab'
signified the cultural self-identity of the new middle class. To be
sure, there were immigrant 'Arabs', many of whom intermarried and
became Sudanese over generations. As a group, however, the Arabs of
the Nile Valley in northern Sudan are native Arabs. Using today's
political vocabulary, they are African Arabs."
The Sudanese nation is a true melting pot of African peoples.
Sudan's Pan-Africanism has been of the most practical kind,
welcoming and integrating people from across the continent. It has
provided the Sudanese people with an exceptionally rich cultural
heritage, and an unparalleled tradition of accepting and absorbing
To emphasise our pride in this country as Africans, we can also
speak of the historic struggles waged by many Sudanese patriots to
resist the colonisation of our Continent. In this context we would
speak of resistance leaders whom you know, such as Mohamed Ahmed al
Mahdi, the Masalit Sultan Taj el Din Ismail, the Zande King, Gbudwe
Basingbe, the Nuer Prophet, Ngundeng and his son, Wek, and Ali
Abdel Latif who called for the self-determination for the peoples
of the Nile Valley in 1922, which was followed by the formation of
the White Flag League two years later.
I have said everything I have said about the ancient history of
Sudan, its character as an African crossroads and welcoming home
for all Africans and its historic and heroic engagement in the
struggle against the colonisation of our Continent both to indicate
our pride in this country and to emphasise its responsibilities to
the rest of Africa.
In this context I said that Sudan also serves as a place of hope
for the rest of our Continent, which I will explain shortly.
We have gathered here a mere four days before the people of
Southern Sudan vote in the historic referendum which will determine
whether this remains one country or separates into two independent
In this context we would like to emphasise that should Sudan
divide, it will not divide into an "African" south and an "Arab"
north, still less into two states divided by adherence to different
faiths. In the case of secession, the multi-ethnic, multi-religious
African country of Sudan will divide into two countries, north and
south, both of which are equally African, and both of which will of
necessity embrace diversity.
We hold firmly to the view that northern Sudan is no less "African"
than southern Sudan, and that Islam is a religion of Africa, just
as the Arabs of Sudan and the Mahgreb are people of Africa. As
pan-Africans we are proud of the achievements of the Arab and
Muslim civilisations on this continent, which we regard as an
integral part of our heritage.
Contemporary African generations should not use religion and race
to divide Africa. Rather, inspired by many examples from Africa's
past, they should work to ensure that our diversity unites our
We proceed from this understanding in our consideration of the
challenges which Sudan faces today and how the country is
responding to these challenges.
Few countries in the world have had a more troubled legacy, dating
back to an exceptionally bloody and bitter experience of imperial
conquest, and including extreme divergence in methods of imperial
rule and levels of social and economic development. In its
post-colonial history, Sudan has struggled with unusually acute
versions of the same challenges as other African nations, namely
how to construct a polity informed by the principle and practice of
forging unity in diversity.
It is natural that as we approach the South Sudan referendum, you
in this hall, the Sudanese people as a whole and the rest of our
Continent are keenly interested to know the answer to the question
- whither Sudan?
What we would like to say to you in this regard is that we are
convinced that regardless of the outcome of the referendum, you and
all of us should use it as a decisive moment which gives Sudan the
historic possibility to make a new beginning, a new start towards
a future of hope, of peace and a better life for all the people of
It is also a decisive moment for Sudan in the context of its role
and place in Africa. As it makes its new start, Sudan has the
possibility to convey important lessons to the rest of our
Continent, for the benefit of the peoples of Africa, about how to
establish genuine and lasting peace after a period of war and how
to construct successful societies and states based on true respect
for the rich diversity characteristic of many African countries and
so clearly exemplified by this country.
A former leader of this country, the late President Jaafar
el-Nimiery, presented this challenge to make a new beginning to his
fellow Sudanese in 1975 when he said:
"Unity based on diversity has become the essence and the raison
d'etre of the political and national entity of many an emerging
African country today. We take pride in that the Sudan of the
Revolution has become the exemplary essence of this new hope. The
Sudan is the biggest country in Africa. It lies in its heart and at
its crossroads. Its extensive territory borders nine African
countries. Common frontiers mean common ethnical origins, common
cultures and shared ways of life and environmental conditions.
Trouble in the Sudan would, by necessity, spill over its frontiers,
and vice versa. A turbulent and unstable Sudan would not therefore
be a catalyst of peace and stability in Africa, and vice versa."
President Nimeiry was not, of course, able to fulfil this vision
during his long rule which degenerated into dictatorship. His
immediate successors, General Abdel Rahman Suwar al Dahab and Prime
Minister Sadiq el-Mahdi, focused their energies on another proud
strand of the Sudanese political tradition, namely nurturing
democracy. Today, Sudan needs both the embrace of diversity and the
promotion of democracy.
During the years of independence struggle, Sudan possessed one of
the strongest progressive movements in Africa and the Middle East.
The trade unions, the Communist Party and the University of
Khartoum, were all beacons of progressive thought and action. And
indeed, Sudan's Islamist movement, though inspired by thinkers in
Egypt, Pakistan and elsewhere, was and remains an authentically
Sudanese, and hence African, movement.
We are arguing that the peace and transformation processes
represented by the CPA, the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement and the
Peace Agreement for Darfur currently under discussion present Sudan
with the opportunity of which Jaafar el-Nimeiry spoke 35 years ago,
to position itself as "the exemplary essence of the new hope in
Africa" which would be expressed by the success of Sudan, whether
as one or two countries, to achieve social and national cohesion
through meaningful respect for the diversity of its population.
Relying on our experience in this country during the last 21
months, we would make bold to say that the overwhelming majority of
the broad Sudanese leadership and the people as a whole are
determined to respond to the challenge of making the new beginning,
the new start of which I have spoken.
In this context, let me deal with a few of the tasks which have to
be carried out as part of that new beginning.
As you know, some in the rest of the world have persisted in
communicating the false and negative messages that the Government
of Sudan would do everything possible to ensure that the South
Sudan referendum does not take place and that if it does, resulting
in the secession of the South, this would lead to the resumption of
the war between the North and the South.
The truth these naysayers, driven by a superior sense of
themselves, do not want to accept is that the Sudanese people and
the Sudanese leaders are perfectly rational human beings, who are
deeply committed to peace and well being for all the people of
Sudan. The Sudanese leaders committed themselves to the CPA because
it was the right thing to do for the Sudanese people, not because
they were so dictated to or pressured by the international
The referendum will take place, to fulfil the commitment made in
the CPA. If the people of South Sudan vote for separation there
will be no war, since the peace brought about by the CPA will be
And yet, the more the people of Sudan have communicated these
messages in unequivocal terms, those who do not wish Sudan well,
have grown ever more strident in their propagation of their
scenarios of gloom and doom.
We are very happy that their ill-advised expectations will be
disappointed as the leaders and people of Sudan honour their solemn
undertakings and do what is right for them and the rest of Africa.
We are equally very happy to inform this important gathering that
both the Government of Sudan and the SPLM have made the solemn and
vitally important commitment that should the people of South Sudan
vote for secession, they will work to ensure the emergence and
peaceful coexistence of two viable states, informed by the
objectives of renewed friendship and cooperation between the people
of the North and the South.
Among other things, the concept of the construction of two viable
states means that the two governments will work together to ensure
that each of the states they lead will achieve such viability in
all areas of human activity, including the economy, security and
stability, national unity and territorial integrity.
It also means that the two governments will take all necessary
measures to ensure that the southerners resident in the North and
the northerners in the South are not adversely affected by the
separation in terms of their socio-economic rights. Among other
things this means that nobody will be rendered stateless.
Similarly, it means that the two states will maintain a 'soft
border', to allow the people in both states to continue to interact
with one another with no negative impact in terms of their economic
and social relations and in terms of respect for the rights of the
At the same time, other outstanding commitments will be met,
including the conduct of the Popular Consultations in Blue Nile and
South Kordofan, the resolution of the issue of Abyei and the
demarcation of the North-South border.
What all this means is that if Sudan becomes two states six months
hence, on 9th July, the necessary decisions will have been taken
which will make it possible for Sudan to make the new start I have
mentioned, which will be a new beginning informed by a shared
determination to ensure that all of the citizens of present day
Sudan live a better life of equality, a shared peace, a shared
friendship and a shared prosperity.
Even if the people of South Sudan vote for unity, this will also
mean that Sudan will again be obliged to make a new beginning,
basing itself on the objectives contained in the CPA, again to
ensure that the people of Sudan enjoy a better life of equality, of
that shared peace, and shared friendship and shared prosperity.
It is within this context that the work will continue finally to
resolve the conflict in Darfur. In this regard we would like to
express our appreciation for the enormous amount of work that has
been done by the AU/UN Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur and the
Government of the State of Qatar to facilitate the conclusion of a
comprehensive peace and political agreement for Darfur through the
This agreement will require the support of the people of Darfur as
a whole. Accordingly it has been agreed that the outcome of the
Doha negotiations will, as soon as possible, be submitted to an
inclusive process which will take place in Darfur, to give the
people in this region the opportunity to help to determine their
future within the Republic of Sudan.
We are happy that the Government of Sudan has agreed to all of
this, which would give effect to a decision taken by the African
Union in October 2009, and which was later endorsed by the United
Consistent with the new beginning we have mentioned, the agreement
which will emerge through the inclusive Darfur process will address
all the necessary issues, such as power and wealth sharing,
compensation and development, justice and reconciliation, and the
place of Darfur within the larger Sudanese polity.
Thus should this agreement lay the basis to end what in our October
2009 Report we described as the crisis of Sudan in Darfur.
We are hopeful that this outcome will be achieved well ahead of the
end of the CPA interim period on 9th July, and can see no reason
why this objective cannot be realised.
We must also mention that we were greatly inspired by the resolve
to honour the commitments contained in the Eastern Sudan Peace
Agreement as represented by the highly successful pledging
conference which was held recently in Kuwait and promises to
provide considerable resources to develop Eastern Sudan to end its
We are convinced that regardless of the outcome of the South Sudan
referendum, you, the Sudanese people face an exciting period which
history has given you to make something new of this ancient African
I am very pleased that the University of Khartoum, an eminent
African centre of learning, has given us the opportunity to speak
to the youth of Sudan at this critical moment in the history of
There are a few things we would like you, the youth, to know by the
time you leave this Hall at the end of this interaction.
One of these is that current developments in your country,
including the South Sudan referendum, present you with the
challenge and opportunity to reconstruct Sudan so that it lives up
to its historic obligations contained in its ancient history, its
traditional role as a welcoming home for all Africans, and its
eminent contribution to the struggle to maintain Africa's
That challenge of reconstruction will fall particularly on your
shoulders, because as the youth you represent the future of Sudan.
Secondly, we would like you to know that the future ahead of you is
one of hope rather than despair. This country, in both its northern
and southern parts, contains enormous agricultural and natural
resources which can and must be exploited to provide the Sudanese
people the better life which is their due.
It has the possibility relatively quickly to address some of its
essential social and economic infrastructure needs, sufficient to
accelerate its process of development.
In the context of the development challenge, we are happy to say
that Sudan disposes of considerable human capital, the trained and
qualified men and women, including yourselves, both here and
outside the country, who must serve as the drivers of Sudan's
socio-economic development. Liberated at last from the curse of war
and violent conflicts, there is absolutely no reason why Sudan,
whether as one country or two, does not advance to take its place
as one of the leading economic powers on our Continent.
And thirdly, Sudan, whether as one or two countries, will continue
to serve as an African crossroads. Accordingly, willy-nilly, what
happens in this part of Africa will continue to have an important
impact on the rest of our Continent. The new beginning of which we
have spoken means that this area of Africa has the continuing
possibility to act as one of the principal drivers of the process
of the renaissance of Africa.
You, the Sudanese people have the accumulated experience, the
wealth and depth of intellectual prowess, and the invaluable
African patriotism, to empower and enable you to live up to this
obligation to yourselves and the rest of your fellow Africans.
As Africans we know that the future of Sudan is our future. And as
Sudanese, you must know that Africa stands and will stand with you
regardless of the political season, and that our solidarity and
friendship are unconditional.
As Africans we know that whatever the challenges of the moment,
Sudan will achieve peace within itself and friendship among all its
people, which peace and friendship will draw the Sudanese people,
their neighbours and all Africa, ever closer together.
We, who represent an older generation, which has made its own
mistakes and its own contribution to a better Africa, count on you,
the youth of Africa, to discover and carry out your own mission,
which would surely contain the objective to achieve the renaissance
both of Sudan and your mother Continent, Africa.
I thank you very much.
AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication
providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with
a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus
Bulletin is edited by William Minter.
AfricaFocus Bulletin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
write to this address to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin,
or to suggest material for inclusion. For more information about
reposted material, please contact directly the original source
mentioned. For a full archive and other resources, see