A few weeks ago, we talked about The New Scramble for Africa. Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in Sudan as unrest rises in the country. Those who think that this is a “simple” feud between two generals, or two “brothers” as portrayed in the news, must look deeper. Why are US troops getting deployed there? In the early 2000s, people around the globe were bombarded non-stop with information about the genocide in Darfur and “slavery” in Sudan; we were all told that Northern Sudanese were “white” who treated poorly their Southern Sudanese brothers who were “Black” which is a very simplistic and exaggerated way of looking at Sudan (remember Libya and Slavery: Sheep without a Shepherd in recent years?). Hollywood stars such as George Clooney came out in numbers claiming to care about the plight of the Black man, and saying that the Black people of Darfur Sudan were enslaved by their lighter skinned Sudanese brothers.To all who know the tactic of divide-and-conquer, and know social conflicts in Africa, we are always manipulated into thinking that every conflict in Africa is about this tribe vs. that tribe, this group vs. group; thus neighbors become enemies, when in reality, it is a diamond mine or oil field coveted by external forces which is at the core of the issue (Northern Mozambique today). The conflict in Sudan led to the split of Sudan, which was then Africa’s largest country, into Sudan with capital in Khartoum, and South Sudan with capital in Juba. Many forget that the southern part of then-Sudan was rich in oil fields, and that this split diminished Sudan’s oil output to the detriment of the newly created South Sudan (in passing, wasn’t the Pope in South Sudan in February? The Pope Visits the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan), thus putting a big dint on Sudan’s partnerships with China (Sudan was providing more than 10% of China’s oil needs and a Chinese presence on the horn of Africa). After the split, the world’s attention which was on Darfur moved on, Darfur which was supposedly the goal of Western interventions was never resolved, but South Sudan with the oil fields was detached from Sudan.
The cold war between the West and the East took place mostly in other countries like Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Afghanistan, Nicaragua in Africa, Asia, Latin America with many coups d’état and conflicts around the globe. Similarly today, the new kind of war has started yet again, but this time, it is on African soil with The New Scramble for Africa as the world moves toward energy-“conscious” policies.
How do we, Africans, stop from having our lands be a theater for others’ wars? How can we independently make learned decisions for our people without being dragged in others’ conflict?