America, Land of the Brave, Home the Free. America is a place of extremities and sphere of Paradox to all. America offers Hope and Disappear, Slavery and Freedom, Revolution and Change and the melting pot of nations. The country of Terry Jones, “A Quran Judge” where shamefully burned the Holy Book of Islam, not far from his eventual future residence for abnormal men- South Florida State Mental Hospital. He is out of his mind! He found his sense for a few month and halted his crazy plans to burn a Quran on the 9/11 anniversary last year. He finally lost his nerve and oversaw the burning of the Islamic holy book on Sunday after he so called found it «guilty” during a mock «trial” at his so called “church” rather a plate form of extremism and intolerance. Today is the Quran tomorrow what… who?
Terry forgot one thing important to all of us that whatever happens in America, good or bad affects the whole planet – like 9/11 or a preacher of hope like the Great speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ” I have A Dream”… But Terry Jones is a preacher of night mare and destruction. It is hard to generalize America from Terry Jones or Dr. King one has to comprehend how the dream of the founding father took the spirit of others even across the Atlantic reaching to our time.
“We had a court process,” said “Pastor” Terry Jones, “We tried to set it up as fair as possible, which you can imagine, of course, is very difficult.”Jones said about 30 people attended the mock trial at his Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville. Jones considered the “International Judge the Quran Day” to be a fairer way of addressing the Islamic holy book, and denied breaking earlier promises not to burn a Quran. If the jury had reached a different conclusion, Jones said he would have issued an apology for his accusations that the Quran promotes violence.”We still don’t feel that we broke our word — that was in relationship to International Burn a Quran Day,” he said, referring to his previous plan to burn a pile of Qurans on the 9/11 anniversary to protest plans for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. “We would not establish another International Burn a Quran Day.”
Last year’s aborted event provoked criticism from U.S. religious leaders, violent protests abroad and pressure from President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gatesbefore Jones called it off.
After a six-hour crazy trial on Sunday that featured a Christian convert from Islam as a prosecuting attorney and a Dallas imam as a defense lawyer, a jury of 12 church members and volunteers made the judgment , Jones said.
He said the punishment — burning the book after it had been soaked in kerosene for an hour He said “several hundred” were polled and voted for burning over shredding, drowning and facing a firing squad.
Jones considered the burning — which was conducted by another pastor since Jones was serving as the judge — a one-time event.
“That is not our intention, to run around America burning Qurans,” he said.
Jones has launched a new organization, Stand up America, and plans to protest the Quran, Sharia law and “radical Islam,” and has scheduled an April event in front of an Islamic center in Dearborn, Mich.
Such an act will not help intera religion relation globally and will drag the already weaken American image to ashes in Islamic world.
Today non western Muslims are blaming and manifesting against the US for letting such insane person play with their Holy Book as seen in Afghanistan, a country where many American and collation lives are put in arms way in daily basis. Furthermore, the Western Muslims has been engaged in double sociological dilemma since 9/11 in general. Firstly they are confronting a new expanding era of Islamophobia. Secondly they are fighting their Islamic conscious in daily basis, due to the more and more constraint of their spiritual and cultural life to their personal residences or legal worship centers and Mosques.
The Ethiopian Mubarak, Melese Zenawie has been using Islam and Islamists as main enemy of his regime to win the sympathy of western islamophobia since 911 terrorist acts. The dictatorial ruler of Ethiopia has been supported by the west especially the US as a main allay to fight Islamic terrorism in the Horn of Africa. He has prepared and trained qualified agents to provoke the mob in the name of & in the protection of their faith. The recent Church burning in the south is targeted to the western Evangelical faith is trained and prepared by the genocidal regime of Melse Zenawie. This was done by the agents of the genocidal dictators himself to show that he is fighting Islam extremism in his country of Christians . He is not even ashamed to incarcerate the victims themselves in the pretext of protecting them. The dictator is qualified in playing such games since he could not imprison his own agents sent for such in human mission, rather easier to persecute the victim. This is done to prove to the West that Muslims in Ethiopia are defusing extremist ideologies endangering the existence of pro Western “Christian Ethiopia”. The same game was played by Hosni Mubarak against the Copts to perpetuate his power over Egypt and to assure finical support for West for over four decades. The news went on playing in the hands of the Ethiopian dictator by declaring that “Southern Ethiopia 5 evangelical Christian churches are burned down by the Ethiopian Muslim extremist”. Why not local orthodox churches were not burned down at the same time since in every corner in Ethiopia you find Orthodox Churches . Both have cohabited for centuries together. one has to ask,Why then it is targeted against the evangelical western Church ? Ethiopia is a country where Muslims and Christians cohabit for over a millennium. Ethiopia is cited in the Holy Book of Islam the Quran at far at the outset of Islam far back in the time of the Prophet. The country is considered as a country not subjected to Jihad. It is considered as Beled Al Aareb.( country of Semitic Arabic Culture) The first hijra (migration in Islam history was done in Ethiopia by the order of the Prophet himself:-
“Abyssinia, there you would find a king there who does not wrong anyone!”
The Prophet saw the persecution to which his followers were subjected in Mecca, ordered his followers to find safe haven in Ethiopia. Today the expansion of Islam is due to the Ethiopian King Negasi known in Arabic Tradition Ashama ibn Abjar who saved from annihilation the first ever sect who escaped to Ethiopia from the persecution of the leader of Quraysh tribe . Thus Ethiopia played a great role in safe guarding the prophet family.
The pervert Melese regime programmed his agents to burn down evangelical Churches in the South. As expected the International Christian Concern reacted fast by reporting that ” the Ethiopian Muslims burnt down five churches, and more attacks are feared from the religion of barbarianism “, with out considering both side of the story , by a simple reality judgment .” Everything is playing in his hand a dictator trying to turn the world attention from Northern Africa revolutionary events . Moreover, even the church leaders ask for government protection from the ongoing Muslim attacks. The mob followed his orders and thousands instigated mobs came out and have razed five churches and the homes of two evangelists in Asendabo, Ethiopia. The response of the Ethiopian regime is to send security forces ordered simply to watch that the rest of the the remaining two churches to burn to ashes and put to jail the remaining Christians asking for protection. Thus hiding the main cause that sparked the violent, the regime itself. The story falsely blamed the executing mob, and the official version of the story for the western consumption, goes the following wise:- “The Christians of desecrating the Qur’an, more than ten thousand Muslims shouted “Allah Akbar” (Allah is great) as they burned down five evangelical churches.” The government sent the federal police force to protect the Christians after the Muslims burned down the first three churches. The Muslims overwhelmed the police force and burned down two more churches today.”
And the Christian leaders played what is expected for them by the Ethiopian regime “that Muslims will start killing the Christians unless the government sends more security forces to contain the Muslim attackers.” Yes with the help and finance of the West ! The manipulating dictatorial regime could not put the culprit in prison, the instigators and attackers have not been arrested. The government officials detained some Christians and took them to the nearby Jimma town stating that they need to do that for their own security. The International Christian Concern (ICC) reaction fall in the hands of the Ethiopian regime which has instigated the scenario for its final games that “The Ethiopian regime need to be supported to fight Muslim extremist in his country and the region”. So the story goes in the government favor since nobody dares to tell the truth rather the next news of ICC went:- “Ethiopia is a Christian majority country and was one of the first nations to accept Christianity. However, in the areas of the country where Muslims are the majority, Christians face attacks.” And further:- “We urge Ethiopian government forces to send reinforcement to protect the Christians in the city of Asendabo from the Muslim attacks. We ask Christians around the world to prevent any further attacks by calling the Ethiopian officials in their countries and asking them to protect the Christians and their property,” said ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho. “Please urgently contact the Ethiopian officials in your country and urge them to send more security forces to protect the Christians from the Muslim attacks.” It is a high time that the international community to understand the game of this dictatorial regimes to maintain its personal powers by prorogating religious and ethnically based conflicts to perpetuate its grip on Ethiopia using the western finical and military support.
The recent sectarian destruction of Egyptian Coptic church in Egypt it’s ha long historical roots. Since the introduction of Islam in Egypt there has been confrontation between the two Abrhamic root religions. I n the past the Abyssinian church was given arch Bishop from Egypt for over its first 1500 years history. In return the Ethiopian Kings had had responsibilities for the protection over the Egyptian& Nubian Christians. This was done either by direct writing the Egyptian rulers or using the Nile as a deterrent force against Egyptian rulers. In 1950’s for the 1st time Ethiopia had severed its relation with the Egyptian Copts and start naming its own Abuna (patriarch). Both sisterly churches even reached to rivalry and are disputing for the guard of the Key of the Holy sepulcher in the Old city Jerusalem. Since the Islamic insurrection on the Nubian and Egyptian Churches stop being under the protection of the Ethiopian Negus he was also the spiritual head of the Church.
In the past few years the Egyptian churches have been victim of sectarian attacks. In Ethiopia the sisterly Church has lost its force since the fall of the Negus 1974 Revolution. Thus the church in Abyssinia even did not condemn the burning of the churches let alone to take a position in their favor.
The last few days, Christian churches have been attacked not only in Egypt but also in Nigeria, and Iraq. Attacks against Christians are not uncommon in the Islamic world, driven by local issues and groups, but also coordinated, international groups at least in the point of view of the Egyptian authorities. There is a strong case to be made for the idea that there is nothing new in all of this.
Due to the concordance events in three countries match, the Egyptians are claiming regional coordinated connections. For them the attacks are not coincidental, a coordinated campaign is being conducted against Christian churches at least in these three countries.
A period of transition in Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria where the Islamic forces would like to put their domino with the help of extra territorial support. No firm new government is in place, no dynamic leadership is provided the three strategic countries accompanied by sectarian upheavals. If the radical Islamists assert themselves now, they could well draw down the wrath of the security services. In that case, they would be no worse off than they were before. But if the impending succession crisis divides already sclerotic states, it might open the door to a resurgence of radical Islamism, in Jos Nigeria, in Baghdad in Iraq and in aging seen of the Egyptian presidency.
It is very sad and condemnable to use civilian as a tragic target for such in human act, especially those sport fans of the World Cup. Today the Mogadishu syndrome is expanding in the Horn of Africa with highest rhythm than before. And the enemy of democracy could exploit any situation to mark its ruthlessness across the world. The world Cup that unites us in peace has been denounced in Mogadishu and blasted in Kampala!!!
The Ugandan Capital is the new old target for the continues Somalian syndrome which is havocking the Horn of Africa. The main cause of the conflict in the Horn of Africa is the the perpetuation of the reign of dictators which become fertile ground for terrorist acts. There is no any democratically elected head of state or any democratic power transition in all of the seven countries in the region except that of unrecognized break away Somaliland. Somalia (Mogadishu), Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda leaders came to power through arms way, either using liberation struggle or a mere coup d’etat. In the Horn of Africa the state power is forged under the barrel of the gun. These men in arm once in power they cling to it and continue to monger war in the region via Somalia. They play a sham democratic election to lulle the west. And they always win over 90% of the vote by ragging. Eash of the state helping AMISON the African union peace keeping mission in Somali are member states of IGAD and infested by internal unresolved conflicts. Somalia has been the Kurdistan of these dictatorial regimes. Since its colonial inception, the dream of “Great Somaliland” with five sided stares are pointing to the five different Somali populated regions in the Horn of Africa. Somalis like most of the post colonial African ethnic minorities are distributed through the post colonial frontiers of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya. The rest Somalis are at war and divided into the break away Somaliland, Puntland and Mogadishu. The Somalian internal conflict helps to maintain the balkanization of the colonially divided regions like Kashmir and Kurdistan. It looks very far before the Great Somaliland come to reality. Rather the balkanization of Somalia and the rest of the Horn of African States will continue. Under the foot step of Eritrea, Southern Sudan will soon be the new state with that of Puntland and Somaliland on the agenda. The short term consequences of the Somalian syndrome would be the continual tragic Mogadishu type suicidal bastes making civilian victims in and around the region. In the middle term such syndrom would perpetuate the power of the armed dictators in the political scene. The worst would be the long term consequences which will result in the balkanization of the region to small ethical ungovernable auto proclaimed states. This is following the paradigm set by the Ethiopian ethno-genocidal Dictator Melese Ethnical states since 1991.
The Horn of Africa has been a fertile ground for conflict and extremism since the fall of the Eastern block in 1991. This collapse brought the fall of the satellite regimes in Somalia and Ethiopia preceded by a military coup in Khartoum in 1989 where Ben Laden was the institutionalist . It was soon followed by the collapse of the Dictatorial Regime of Siad Bare in Mogadisho provocating the the fall of the Somalian State. This was further ignited by the comming in power of an irridetist rouge regime of Melese Zenawie in Addis Ababa, at the fall of the Communist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam the same year. These dictatorial regimes use the Somalia as a proxy to their internal and regional post East-West conflict. The best demonstration would be that of Eritea and Ethiopian proxy war in Somalia. The more the Somalian exterime group create havoc, the more the power of these fallen states increaseas. The the regional dictators existance in power is directely proportional to the militarization and radicalized Somalia. The Somalian exterime ideology is also helping the other dictators of the region to use it to their Machiavellian political ends to disguise as peace makers and fighters of liberity and stability in the region. Today to prove your solidarity you have to send a solider to Somalia or Support the fallen regime in Mogadishu controlling only his residence. Such outright support is a ticket to western finical and diplomatic support to your own dictatorial military regime to perpetuate at the cost of the people of Somalia.
The Somalian resistance to the creation of state is not a news phenomenon in pre and post colonial Africa. The Somalis speaking the same language and having the same religion are highly divided by a sphosticated clan based rivalry.
Today the horn of African dictators use Somalia as a escape goat to cover up their internal undemocratic tyrancial regimes. Uganda is mined with its long overdue internal conflict with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), of Joseph Kony. The Ugandian strong man needs the Somali conflict to classify Kony’s Sudanese assisted movment under auspices of international terrorism. The unfinished Baganda revolution who gave the country its name has recently manifested to the international scenario at the recent unjustified burning of their respected King’s cemetery in Kampala. This cynical act has revived the most challenging long awaited but never delivered power transition by Yoweri Museveni’s regime. The Ugandan participation in AMISOM is just as Trojan horse for Melese Zenawi and pretext to perpetuate his grip on power home. Yoweri Museveni originated from Ankoli Bahima ethnic group which drives its tribal ancestry from the Merotic kings of Ethiopia. The Ankoli in power in Uganda are the same Ethnic configuration with that of the Tutis in Rwanda, Burundi and Bayamalenge in Congo. The Kampala world cup blast could be from one the internal factors attached by the majority population resisting the Bahima hegemony starching from Burundi to the highland of Ethiopia. Uganda & Burundi’s implication in the Somalia will have a far reaching consequences resulting in a serious of conflict that will engulf Mogadishu , Addis Ababa, Nirobi, Bujumbura and Asmara as continuation of internal ethnic and political crisis of the Eastern Africa beleaguered states . The de facto attribution of the worldcup blast in Kampala to Somalia war lords minimizing the internal factors of each canoutries political set up will be simplification and playing in the hands of dictatorial regimes in the region. The bomb is symbolically set to blast in the Ethiopian restaurant to show and protest the implication of the leaders of Uganda to the conflict in the horn of Africa .
Burundi also needs Somalian cover up to fashion its long unsolved internal conflict whcih costs thousands of lifes since the Genocide of 1972. The country is undergoing post colonial internal Ethnic imbalance between the Tutis 15 % ( controlling the army originated from Ethiopia like the Ankole Of Uganda) and the majority Bawetu over 80% of the population. Burundi’s participating in Somalia is an internal balancing act of Tutsi controlled army by outreaching and supporting the minority regime of Ethiopia in Somalia and as a reenforcement to their minority power internally.
Kenya has its northern federated region revendicated by Greater Somalia as one of its five corner stares. The incumbent president, Kibaki, is a member of Kenya’s largest and probably most powerful ethnic group, the Kikuyu, who total about 22 percent of the population; his rival, Odinga, is a member of the Luo, who comprise some 13 percent of the populace and live predominantly in western Kenya. In their bitter contest, in which Odinga promised to end ethnic favoritism and spread the country’s wealth more equitably, ethnicity was the deciding factor, and a marred victory on either side had always been likely to spark violence. The resent June 2010 Electoral and that of the 2008 bombing in Nairobi has its Somalian factor resourcing from the Somalian populated western region of Kenya. Kenya and Djibouti are inside the volcano of the Somalian syndrome as long as they are under the domino of minority dictatorial regimes like that of Ethiopia.
In conclusion the Somlians are the Kurdistans of the Horn of Africa, every regime in the region uses Somalia to cover up their internal crime. The result is the expansion of the conflict in all of the region of 200 million inhabitants. In days to come the regime is condemned we will be seeing more crisis griping the region so long as minority dictators are in power. And more of refugees will be escaping these rouge and fallen states to save their lives. The international terrosort orgnaization have found a fertile ground cultivated and delivred by dictatorial regimes. In colnclusion more drastic blasts will be daily life in the diffrent capitlas of the horn of Africa as long as democraitationzion and power sharing is in political impasse.
Kris Sledge, a U.S. citizen injured after an explosion attack at the "Ethiopian village" restaurant rests inside a ward at the International hospital in Kampala, July 12, 2010. Somali Islamists said ...
Museveni’s critics fear he is seeking a third term in office
Uganda’s electoral board has published the question to be asked in next month’s referendum on whether multiparty politics should be restored.
It is: “Do you agree to open up the political space to allow those who wish to join different organisations/ parties to do so to compete for political power?”
The electoral board said it had consulted closely with both sides of the debate before deciding on the question.
Since President Yoweri Museveni came to power 19 years ago, Uganda has operated a unique political system which severely restricted political parties.
Five years ago a similar referendum backed keeping the “movement” system.
Last month, Uganda’s parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a referendum on the country returning to a full multi-party democracy.
The motion was backed by all but 21 MPs and is being pushed for by Mr Museveni who says “it must go ahead”.
The one-party movement system of government was introduced to try and prevent the chaos and ethnic conflicts that plagued Uganda throughout the 1970s and early 80s.
At present political parties are allowed to exist but candidates for office must run as individuals – not representatives of a party.
Some had argued that holding a referendum would be too expensive but Mr Museveni has said the people must decide.
The Ugandan government and opposition parties all support a return to multi-party politics ahead of elections in a year’s time.
Mr Museveni’s critics, however, fear that as the constitution is amended to bring in multiparty elections, it will also be altered to let the president seek a third term in office, from which he is currently barred.
Tuesday 13 July 2010
‘Terrorism was not really part of the landscape in Uganda’
Sunday’s bomb blasts in Kampala have left the city’s residents shocked. Ugandans face many challenges, but their capital city has, for the past decade or so, felt like a safe, familiar place
One of the victims of the Uganda bomb blasts receives treatment at Mulago hospital in Kampala. Photograph: Str/EPA
Like many people in Uganda, I went to bed at about 9pm on Sunday. I was not really following the World Cup, and I was tired after travelling across the city to visited a friend’s daughter at her boarding school. It had been a long, hot afternoon, and I was happy to get some rest.
At about 1am I woke up and turned the radio on for company. I turned to the BBC World Service. First of all I picked up the result: Spain had won and the Dutch had not played well. Then I realised I was listening to the newsreader announce that there had been two bomb blasts in Kampala.
My first reaction was a mixture of surprise and shock. Ugandans face many challenges, but their capital city has, for the past decade or so, felt like a safe, familiar place. The nightlife is open and easy-going. And the gentleness of central Kampala makes a sharp contrast with other African cities, such as Nairobi and Johannesburg, where hustling and theft is common. Terrorism, of the variety reported on the radio, was not really part of the landscape.
What have people made of the bombings? Over the past day I have picked up a mixture of shock, but also a certain wariness about what the bombings mean.
As is often the case, details emerged in sketchy fashion. At first the numbers were put at 13, then somewhere in the 20s. The local newsreader kept on commenting on the sadness of the events. By the time I left the house yesterday morning there were at least 64 confirmed deaths. Today, the number is 74. The venues targeted were the Kyadondo rugby club in Lugogo, an elegant venue that you pass as you head out of town on the Jinja Road, and the Ethiopian Village restaurant in Kabalaga. Both are popular spots for westerners living in Kampala.
The wariness probably came from the need to be careful about what you say to a foreigner (particularly on something that might link up to national security questions). Many of the people I spoke to refused to offer a definitive statement on what had gone on, and instead focused on the very real human tragedy. As yesterday progressed, survivor’s tales, often in gothic detail, started to emerge in the Ugandan media.
By contrast Uganda’s government was quick to assert culpability. Uganda’s inspector of police, general Kale Kayihura, told the New Vision newspaper that “these people” perpetrated the attack, meaning Somali Islamist movement al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab is strongly opposed to the presence of an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (Amisom). Uganda has been by far the largest contributor to this peacekeeping mission. The Ugandan military has long been a recipient of support and technical advice from the US government.
Thinking back to yesterday morning, I was struck by the fairly circumspect comments of the BBC’s east Africa correspondent, Will Ross. In fairly diplomatic language he pointed out that there is no proof of al-Shabaab involvement and that “the blasts could be linked to next year’s elections in Uganda”.
Though this will get less play in the west, which mostly sees Africa through its own interests, Ross was referring to the instability of the domestic political scene in Uganda. Ethnic, regional and political antagonisms remain and they will shape next year’s elections. The current government is keen to ensure that President Museveni – in power for 24 years already – continues to serve as Uganda’s head of state.
The nature of the violence – bombings, in a part of the city popular with westerners – has been the hallmark of Islamist violence in Africa and the Middle East. The violence is unlikely to be connected to domestic politics, though this will not silence the rumour-mongerers and conspiracy theorists that congregate around terrorist acts.
What can be said is that Uganda is an increasingly nervous place. The elections give most people cause for concern. The alliance with the US is not without problems. An increasingly hardline version of Christianity may result in tensions with Uganda’s sizeable Muslim population (about 10%). There is also a fairly large Somali population in Kampala, which must now feel vulnerable.
From next Monday to 27 July, Kampala will be hosting the 15th annual summit of the African Union, when heads of state including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be in town. For those living in Kampala it will be a difficult time
Terror Bombings in Uganda: A Prelude to Regional War?
Sunday’s terror bombings, which murdered 76 people in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, are another signal that East Africa could face a devastating regional war.
The attack demonstrates that Islamist terrorists willing to commit mass murder to advance their criminal theology remain active in eastern Africa. Americans first became aware of al-Qaida following the August 1998 terror bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Somalia’s al-Qaida-affiliated Al Shabab Islamist terror group has claimed credit for the Kampala massacre. One bomb exploded in an Ethiopian cafe filled with World Cup soccer fans. Al Shabab’s murderers picked that target carefully. Ethiopia supports Al Shabab’s nationalist opponents in Somalia.
Ugandan troops serve with the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, which makes Uganda a special target for Al Shabab. Al Shabab’s attacks in Kampala may be an attempt to repeat al-Qaida’s “Madrid Precedent.” Recall al-Qaida launched attacks in Madrid in March 2004, just before Spain’s national elections. A “pro-peace” government was elected, and it withdrew Spanish forces serving in Iraq. Uganda has national elections scheduled for early next year.
A more dangerous regional war, however, lurks in East Africa. Uganda borders on south Sudan. Every day relations between the semi-autonomous Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and Sudan’s national (northern) government in Khartoum deteriorate. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended the last north-south war, the Second Sudan Civil War, stipulated that a plebiscite on southern independence be held in 2011. Many southerners believe South Sudan is already a separate country. They support independence — except the national government calls it “secession.”
Conditions exist for renewed civil war, and a nudge or two, a bomb here and assassination there, might ensure it. Al Shabab has studied the map. Should the Third Sudan Civil War erupt, Ethiopia would face war on a third front. Ethiopia already confronts Eritrea and Somalia. Radical Islamists would exploit the religious facets of renewed civil war: South Sudan is predominantly Christian and animist, and the north is predominantly Muslim.
The Second Sudan Civil War lasted two decades, left 2 million dead, created millions of refugees and — despite ritual denials by Khartoum’s Islamists — involved slaving by northern-backed “Arab” militias. Southern Christian and animist black tribespeople were kidnapped then sold. Uganda was a covert ally of the southerners, for many reasons, including close links with the Dinka tribe, which provided the leaders in the south’s Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). Arab slaving, however, played a role.
Tribal violence already afflicts southern Sudan. Estimates vary (the areas involved are isolated), but a thousand people died in 2009 in tribal violence in South Sudan. The GOSS claims the north incites violence by providing arms to troublemakers. Sudan’s national president, Omar al-Bashir, is under indictment by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur. Providing arms to willing killers is a proven Bashir policy.
Oil fuels North-South disputes, and in a new civil war oil fields will be battlefields. Roughly 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves are in territory that GOSS claims. “Claims” is appropriate because the exact north-south border has not been finalized. The two governments argue over oil income. South Sudan relies on oil royalties for 95 percent of its budget. The north dispenses the revenues. The GOSS contends the north cheated it of $300 million it was due in 2009.
Uganda insists Khartoum still supports Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group, so a new war could bring in Uganda as a military ally of the south. Kenya, and conceivably Ethiopia, might also be openly involved. Kenya has been a conduit for arms to the SPLA. In 2008, Somali pirates hijacked a ship transporting Ukrainian tanks to Kenya. The tanks’ destination was South Sudan.
A vital environmental and economic conflict further exacerbates tensions. Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia have announced they will no longer abide by a 1929 colonial treaty that gives the downriver nations what they regard as an unjust share of Nile water. The Khartoum government and Egypt reject the upriver nations’ contentions.
Oil revenue and water rights disputes, religious differences, ethnic struggles and terrorists exploiting every division — East Africa’s fragile states edge toward a war of the poor that will create greater poverty.