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Friday, October 15, 2010

Southern Sudan: The Birth Pangs of Africa's Newest

El-Bashir was visiting with Mr. Gadaffi last week and they had not a so hopeful message on the up coming referendum that could see Southern Sudan go its separate way.

And lately, the north has been going after Salva Kiir, accusing him of not being committed to the unification of Sudan. But Salva Kiir is not alone. The south want's out.

But my sense is that we need look at this against the hard reality of the "state-readiness" of the south. I am not convinced that the south has the human capacity or the infrastructure to be functional as a viable state. The US has been the biggest support of the quest for independence of the south. For the most part, in both the Bush and the Obama administration, the US is committed to checking the advance what America thinks is Islamic fundamentalism.

I dare to say that if the south goes its separate way after the referendum, it will collapse and fail under its own weight of incompetence. It was hard enough for African countries to emerge from the clutch of colonialism, even when most of these countries had a modest number of civil servants, good infrastructure etc. The tragedy is that southern Sudan is coming out something worse than colonialism, African dictatorship.

All I can say that southern Sudan is embarking on a most improbable journey and one for which they are least prepared for it is least prepared and a journey that the El-Bashir does not want to go along with. And the US, the south's godfather, is strained at home with a stagnating economy and budget deficits and challenged abroad in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Good luck southern Sudan. What else can I say?

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