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Is Sudan ready?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 16:04 UK time, Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sudan, Africa's largest country, is on the brink of history. tens of thousands of southern Sudanese have been returning home

On 9 January, southeners go to the polls to vote in a referendum which could lead to separation and the creation of an independent state in the south.

The run-up to the vote has been uncertain with accusations of intimidation, ethnic tensions and talk of war.

As the country hovers between apprehension and anticipation, is Sudan ready for its moment of history? What can it learn from the Eritrea's separation from Ethiopia? What's the significance of the referendum to Africa?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 5 January at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I just have the positive feeling that sunday referendum will give birth to a new African country and bring partial peace.The southeners are prepare to live with their neighbour. the whole of sudan need the support in this process, if this is the last chance for peace.The challenges are countless but with determination, unity and love they can cross the RED SEA. go for it the southeners!

  • Comment number 2.


    Yes... Sudan must be ready to her moment of history simply because "Sudan intentionally and deliberately worked for her history" the regimes of khartoum for many years gone, have never had love for country's solidarity. Also Countries that have experienced split like Ethiopia to Eritrea are now politically stable and so Sudan and its Offspring shall enjoy ever lasting peace in their respective countries. Africa as a continent as well shall enjoy peace,Sudan's decades war has been a thread to Africans and to the world peace.Therefore Southerners must separate inorder to taste how peace smell for the first time ever.

  • Comment number 3.

    [Personal details removed by Moderator] The Sudanese divide is simply a compromise that is intended to give some group of politicians their long awaited political power on either side of the line. This is not about peace among the people. Watch my worlds, as soon as the line is drawn the infighting will begin.

  • Comment number 4.

    "The best time to slap a king, is when he has a fly on his chick"....This proverb applies on the situation of my brothers in South Sudan. It's time to slap the giant Northerners.Don't let the efforts of George Clooney and others go down the drian..We Believe in You

  • Comment number 5.

    Bashir has no choice but to let the Southerners go. If he starts a war he'll lose whatever friends he's got left internationally, and he'll eventually find himself on trial or dead before his time, like Saddam and Milosevic did

  • Comment number 6.

    I believe the timing of the referendum is very appropriate and it will pass on without any major hitches. The indictments against President Bashir have greatly calmed him down. I now he's keen to get into the good books of the West and proper organization of the referendum happens to be one of the things that can secure him that goal. The referendum is just a formality because the North has already accepted that the battle is over; the South will break off!

    Chi Primus

  • Comment number 7.

    I see no coorelation between the Sudan case and Ethi-Eritrea.

    Eritrea without the will and consent of the citizens of Eritrea has been forcibly annexed to Ethiopia for the benefit of then US administration. In contrast South Sudan is part and parcel of the greater Sudan. Neither South nor North could claim the nation Sudan as sole theirs. It is a unified nation. However, the greed of human nature and the intervention of other countries in their internal affairs made life miserable to live together at least until before the peace accord that took place in Niavasha in Kenya.

    Hence, the core agreement was that the Southern part of Sudan will decide if they want to stay a unison nation or secede. That is what is happening now.

    In the case of Eritrea as stated above the force annexation was forcefully lifted and Eritrea gained its independence despite the unconditional help of military, financial, and political assistance to Ethiopia.

    I see no relation here. As to our brothers in Sudan, if the Southerners wanted to secede, it is their God given right to do so. Although, I am the believer unity of Sudan might be to the benefit of all Sudanese under the conditions of all Sudanese have the full right to live in a democratic secular Sudan. If this can not take place then a separate South Sudan and also North Sudan states can live in peace with dignity under their own way of living.

    Ibrahim

  • Comment number 8.

    Eritrea without the will and consent of the citizens of Eritrea has been forcibly annexed to Ethiopia for the benefit of then US administration. In contrast South Sudan is part and parcel of the greater Sudan. Neither South nor North could claim the nation Sudan as sole theirs. It is a unified nation. However, the greed of human nature and the intervention of other countries in their internal affairs made life miserable to live together at least until before the peace accord that took place in Niavasha in Kenya.

    Hence, the core agreement was that the Southern part of Sudan will decide if they want to stay a unison nation or secede. That is what is happening now.

    In the case of Eritrea as stated above the force annexation was forcefully lifted and Eritrea gained its independence despite the unconditional help of military, financial, and political assistance to Ethiopia.

    I see no relation here. As to our brothers in Sudan, if the Southerners wanted to secede, it is their God given right to do so. Although, I am the believer unity of Sudan might be to the benefit of all Sudanese under the conditions of all Sudanese have the full right to live in a democratic secular Sudan. If this can not take place then a separate South Sudan and also North Sudan states can live in peace with dignity under their own way of living.

    Ibrahim

  • Comment number 9.

    TO split is the best answer and only option for Sudan, engaging in dialog will worsen the situation, let them go,who knows if southern Sudan might be a good example for good governance as regards to Democracy, let justice not to be distorted.

  • Comment number 10.

    The independence of the Southern Sudanese is long overdue, we are waiting to see them vote their way to freedom.

  • Comment number 11.

    In the context of Africa, Eritrea has being a country with borders since the invasion and colonization of Africa by the Europeans, 1890. In 1951 the winners of world war 2 gave the Ethiopian yes-man Haile sellalsi a christmas gift in exchange for an american base and access to sea for ethiopia. Eritrea was covertly taken off the map. Referredum or no referredum, Eritreans shed 30 years of blood to end all occupation of our country. South Sudan has never being a state and if they do split it will be first of its kind. they may not even be known as south sudan anymore. This is totally new for africa as they will be drawing up their own border. so BBC if western sahara ever gain their independance from morocco then please then you can make compare with eri/eth but instead try to do more research to make truthful articles. PEACE to all Sudan.

  • Comment number 12.

    At the moment there are 52 african enclaves commonly known as countries, an addational 2 or three more will not make any difference.

    The bottom line is these 52 enclaves must and will have to find a way of presenting and representing their intrest with one voice, in their dealings with extra african nations. short of that african countries and indead the collective african countinent will countinue on the trejectory of the status co, of economic "wanna bees" instead of a "mover and shaker" that she should be.

    ecomomic intigeration of africa is political intigeration, it is only then that the combined effect of both is able to marginalise the usual tribal impact in africa as we know it. May god bless THE SUDANS.

  • Comment number 13.

    As it was observed in many parts of Africa failure to accommodate diversity has been the major reason for every war. Also in Sudan the way the regime treated the southerners might have pushed to Sunday referendum. Now it seems somewhat difficult to reverse the outcome of the referendum. What is really important for Sudan right now is to accept the possibility of having a new neighboring state, as many southerners are expected to vote for independence, and try to establish sound diplomatic relation.

  • Comment number 14.

    if the south decide to opt for independence so what, that's could be because of how they were treated by the north, have a good day the BBC-Peace.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Ready or not, South Sudan has no option but to separate. Since Sudan's independence from the British fifty odd years ago, the North has been treating the South with so much contempt and discrimination. They should also learn from Eritrea, that independence just for the sake of it,is meaningless unless the people who are lined up to govern are capable individuals who care about their people not personal power!!! They need to establish their institutions quickly and the rule of law must apply from day one. As, a new country, it is important they establish a culture of transparency from the beginning which is paramount for their long term success. There are going to be serious challenges ahead especially given the curse of oil which corrupts the power chain. If they resist that,who knows, the newest country in Africa may bring the best leadership in the troubled continent . Good Luck South Sudan, you can do it!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    Yes,actually Sudan is ready to divide into two nieghbours Countries very soon on coming Referendum Voting.On my view,Sudan will not miss this chance to split into two peacefully Countries,because Sudan never enjoys the peace since the indefendance.The civil wars destroyed the country, nothings were gained in the unity excepted the absences of basic services such as Health,Education,Shelters,Lack of good Governance,Losts of properties & Lives, Enforcement of Slamic Religion Arabization to Endeginous Black African in Sudan by Ruling System which is mainly dominated by Arab-Muslem in Sudan & Eforcement of Arab-Culture to Black African, specially the Southern Sudanese.And the Country did not taste the goodness of development,stable security,human rights development&ignorence of Black African groups by Arab-Muslem.I hope if Sudan separate it will allow both Counties to solve all above issues and give them chances to have brights future.

  • Comment number 18.

    Yes southern Sudan should gain full independent from the North

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    This shouldn't be considered as an opportunity for "partition and scramble" for Sundan! May be the Southerners want to consolidated on their minimal resources to sustain themselves independent of North! But how about Darfour in the East which is also crying of Khartoum marginalisation? Should it also go independent?

  • Comment number 21.

    Can't wait to see the blacks free themselves from the Arab bondage, as we all know, oil and water doesn't mix, black skin and light skin are never too friendly, the Arab light skin believe they are better than the African dark skin thereby treating the blacks as secondhand citizen, denied opportunities, freedom and justice in their own land. January 9th is too far but very close for the elusive and blood soak freedom, i have started to celebrates with my fellow brothers and sisters in the south. The goal is emancipation from all kinds of oppressions, oportunity for self determination, take charge of their own destiny. Like the words of Mandela, never, never again will the blacks subjected to such inhumane oppression in their land, and never, never again will the sun of slavery shine again on the God blessed blacks of Africa in Sudan.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    I heard one of the Southern Sudanese Officials saying: 'PEOPLE VOTE FOR INDEPENDENCE NOT BECAUSE THEY HATE THE NORTHERN, RATHER THEY KNOW THAT LIVING WITH THEM IS A WAR".I also believe that it is not because creating new state from the already existing one is good, rather under the principle that "divorce is evil but remedy for a greater evil". If this is the case I support the better way to divorce, that is self determination. Secondly, I also believe that self-determination is one of the fundamental principles of people under UN Charter, ICCPR AND ICESCR. Thus, it should not be suppressed under the guise of territorial integrity.
    N.B. I wish the newly coming state will contribute to the efforts to make the volatile region stable and free from dictatorship. If they are to add insult to an injury, stay alarm!

  • Comment number 24.

    First and foremost, let's hope and pray for better days in Southern Sudan, Northern Sudan and most of the continent's nations that have been chronically drenched in socio-political and economic turmoil for decades. Let's try to see beyond the tip of our nose (i.e separation now, independence now,..etc),by entertaining the idea of enjoying freedom in the newely formed nation. Let's attempt to define and forcast the following ISSUES OF CRUCIAL CONCERN AND NECESSITIES OF LIFE: freedoom, democratic rights with no preconditions attached, such as; basic human rights,the freedom to live, work, prosper, exercise your faith, travel with no restictions, freedom from state or group sponsored violence, individual rights, elections, economic opportunities to meet my needs and other people's needs. Overflowing or the abundance of natural resources is not going to amount to ANYTHING, if I can't even drive a car because I happened to be a female, I can't share the wealth because I happen not to belong to the ruling party or the so called "The liberator party/front", I can't work because I happened to have been born to a tribe/parents/religion/clan/political party that cooperated with the former "Occupiers/enemies", or simply I happened to have been educated in "western world", and in the eyes of the ruling party I "Appear" to have some "CIA" tendencies". Last but not least, ask yourself; freedom/independence from what and freedom/independence for what? The bottom line is, if we, as human beings/people/individuals/families CAN NOT be respected/protected/defended/represented/rewarded/encouraged/afforded the opportunity/enjoyed peace, prosperity and YES THE PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS in the very land/country we were born and raised, where our ancestors lived and burried, then HELL WITH THIS TYPE OF FREEDOM/INDEPENDENCE. It makes no difference whatsoever, if a citizen is arrested/killed/deprived/forced to flee his native country or tortured by his own people or the people known to be "Foreigners/occupiers/colonizers/outsiders/non native..etc.Thanks

  • Comment number 25.

    Southern Sudan has been ready for Independence since 1956. The independence of South Sudan is long over due. Every country has it's beginning. I would say South Sudan has no obligation to prove itself to anyone if it can self govern. The most important thing South Sudan wants the world to know is the itwants it's people to live in freedom and enjoy their God given wealth.

  • Comment number 26.

    I am surprised by the number of similitudes people are trying to find between Eritrea-Ethiopia situation and Sudan. They are not similar at all. It is sad that the only solution Africans try to find involves bullets they don't even make or separation. Why can't we talk it out like others do? Belgians for example. Dear Africans come back to the table, come back home. It's sad that we are all pretending to be happy when we are not. Tragic, tragic Africa.

  • Comment number 27.

    I have spent most of my childhood in the refugee camp, and when those memories comeback I feel that I am not alive in this world just by missing my family members and friends. I always ask myself how can I be a refugee while I have my own country. I love my culture and I want to be around my family, and friends. But the government in Khartoum has forced us to adapt many cultures around the world. My prayers go to my sisters and friends who didn't make until this time, I wish they were with us to enjoy the peace we fought for many years, and may God rest their souls in peace.

  • Comment number 28.

    Some people are making noise about the petty issues that our returnee from Northern Sudan are going to face. But they also seem to forget that these people were not living in Basir's Palace in the North or in some forms of decent mansions. They were living in the camps in the desert.

    In addition, they were not even given a chance to put up some concrete strucures as their shelters.One would really wonder, which is better being home and safe from some ill treatment and being abused here and there as if you are not son and daughter of such a country. This is their homeland, they will feel at home;they will face some problems; they will overcome them with the help from their government.

  • Comment number 29.

    I am proud to be a Southerner, I am in a position that we have people whom we are proud of since the beginning of struggle, In this case, it is just a matter of time, we shall be there a Southerners through this vital referendum.
    The question could be, are we learning anything in all these games since day one? Are we sure of where we want to go? Are we able to organize ourselves as one people for South Sudan? Definitely these are answerable to anyone who know the vision of our hero Dr. John Garang who brought us to this end CPA of which we shall today enjoy it fruits forever.

    Malou Riak
    Juba South Sudan.

 

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