Keep Susan 'Rice-ism' Out of Sudan and All of Africa!
by Lawrence K. Freeman
Feb. 10—On the eve of the acceptance by the government of Sudan in Khartoum of the Southern Sudan referendum for separation, forces committed to the British imperialist policy of fragmentation of the nation of Sudan have once again chosen Darfur as the battleground to foment a new confrontation between Khartoum and the West. This new anti-Sudan effort is being led by Susan Rice, President Obama's ambassador to the United Nations. Having just returned from Sudan, where I spent two days in Darfur visiting the headquarters of the United Nations-African Union Mission (UNAMID), surveying three Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps, and meeting with local officials, I can say it is abundantly clear, and acknowledged by many, that Susan Rice is the biggest obstacle to peace in the region.
At a UN Security Council meeting on Jan. 26, Rice attacked UNAMID, going on the offensive against Ibrahim Gambari, formerly Nigeria's UN Ambassador, who, as Joint AU-UN Special Representative, is responsible for the deployment of 25,000 AU troops and 6,000 civilians from UNAMID's headquarters in El-Fasher, the capital of Northern Darfur. Rice demanded that Gambari adopt a more aggressive deployment against Sudan's Armed Forces (SAF), beyond the current military mandate. Sources close to UNAMID have said that while Gambari effectively defended his actions to the UN Security Council, Rice nevertheless ran to the press immediately after the Council meeting to complain that Gambari and UNAMID are too timid.
To understand the nature and purpose of Rice's attacks on Gambari and UNAMID, consider that they occurred while Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti was meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss normalization of relations between the United States and Sudan.
Gambari, a well-respected diplomat, does not want to deploy UNAMID forces recklessly, and cause needless deaths among the African troops. Instead, he uses his good working relationship with Khartoum to further the peace process in Darfur. Whatever its shortcomings, UNAMID is respected and seen as invaluable to the stability of Darfur.
While Rice and company allege that the government of Sudan is not cooperating with international agencies in Darfur, Gen. Scott Gration (ret.), the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, who was instrumental in brokering the peaceful voting process in the South, praised the "great steps" taken by the government to facilitate movement of international aid agencies, NGOs, and UNAMID peacekeeping forces.
No 'Slow Genocide' in Darfur, but Genocide for Africa
Contrary to the propaganda of various money-making advocacy groups complicit in Rice's agenda, there is no Darfur-specific "slow genocide"; yet Rice, a thoroughly indoctrinated follower of British imperial hatred towards Africa, has done nothing to stop the continent-wide policy of genocide that has already exterminated scores of millions of Africans.
In El-Fasher, the author spent many hours walking in IDP camps of Abu Shouk, El-Salam, and Zamzam. Abu Shouk and El-Salam serve about 50,000 people each, and Zamzam over 100,000, in a vast area of almost 25 square miles.
The conditions of life were deplorable in these camps, with people living in mud and stick huts; standing in line for hours to fill plastic jugs of water, from hand pumps at various bore wells; poor sanitation; and not enough food. But there were no signs of epidemic disease, no starvation, and no famine. The camps have hospitals and schools, one of which was dilapidated in its construction, supplies, and furniture. Security at these camps has improved since Sudan and Chad signed a peace agreement last year, preventing rebel militias from crossing over from Chad into Darfur. This has allowed more freedom of movement by the displaced persons in and out of the camps, allowing some to leave during the day for work. UNAMID, which is active in the camps, and weary of advocacy groups that distort the conditions in Darfur to serve their own agenda, reported similar findings.
The conditions of life are indeed horrible. Human beings were not created to live this way. But it was also alarming to realize that one could barely distinguish, if at all, any appreciable difference in the conditions of life for many living outside the camps.
One element of life in these camps, not usually discussed, but one that cannot be overlooked for the future of Darfur, is the large number of young people there. Many have lived in these camps for up to seven years, and their young adult lives has been shaped by war and life as an IDP, while others were born in the camps. Some of these children and young adults who have been unable to experience anything resembling a normal social upbringing, will grow up with a deformed view of society.
The other danger is that living in such a controlled, artificial environment, dependent on all forms of aid just to survive, creates a mental and physical state of dependency, a belief that "this is the way it is and will be." When one considers the large percentage of people living in IDP camps: approximately 1.8 million out of a total estimated population of 7.5 million in North, West, and South Darfur, the mass psychological effect on society will be pronounced.
With the acknowledged improvements in security, UNAMID and various government agencies have begun to move people out of the camps back to their rural villages of origin, but the numbers are small; only a few thousand have moved out in the recent period. But what are they moving back to? Here we see the evil of the imperial policy of genocide for Africa.
The truth is, that all of Darfur is vastly underdeveloped, and has been kept that way since it was under British rule, because there has been no intention to create habitable conditions of life for Africans. The same is true for neighboring Chad, the Central African Republic, and all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. All the fighting in Darfur, and the wars in Africa, like the flashpoint of Abyei along the new border between Sudan and South Sudan, are fought for possession of two precious resources: land and water. With all the tens of millions of dollars that have been spent in propagandizing the conditions in Darfur, not a penny has gone into development of the region. This ensures that the fighting, pillaging, and dying will continue. It is not debatable that without economic development, most especially infrastructure for water, energy, and rail transportation, there will be no substantive improvement for the lives of the Dafurian people, who will continue to suffer and die in these wretched conditions. With some outside financial funding from Arab nations, efforts are being made to make the areas that the displaced persons will be retuning to more "livable," so they can resume their "normal" lives scratching out an existence as farmers. But it is far too little, and will take years, if not decades, to tranfer the nearly 2 million IDPs out of the camps, without a nationwide and regionwide economic development program.
Beyond the Referendum
Despite worldwide popular support for the separation of Sudan, the separation has solved none of the underlying problems for the Sudanese people. In fact, the agreement for the creation of the new state of South Sudan, on July 9, 2011, creates the potential for more killings, further deterioration of life in South Sudan, and likely attempts to create more separatist movements, to create more divisions in the country. It has been an age-old intention of the British monetarist empire, which Rice and company actively support, to turn Sudan into a collection of separate entities in a war of "all against all." The overthrow of the Khartoum government of President Omar al-Bashir is part of this scenario.
The separation of the nation will be the most difficult period for Sudan since achieving its independence from British colonial rule in 1956. The two countries, which will share a 2,100-km border, where there are still unresolved disputes, will have to work out an agreement for sharing oil revenues, define new criteria for citizenship, and deal with $36 billion in foreign debts. They will have to collaborate politically and economically for the benefit of all of the Sudanese people, creating goodwill by relying on the shared history of one people, and an aversion to a return to war. While the whole of Sudan was harmed economically by the malicious, counterproductive sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe, and the two countries will need each other, they will be starting from different vantage points.
Reliable non-Sudanese sources report that the economic and political conditions in the South are very underdeveloped. There is absolutely no infrastructure, no industry—no economy, except oil, which accounts for almost 100% of revenues, and whose reserves are estimated to be limited to 5-10 years. Despite fertile land and water, the South has to import its food, and there is no expectation that it will have a viable agriculture sector in the near future. It suffers from food shortages, unable at times to feed almost half of its 8 million people.
South Sudan will be a large, landlocked country whose oil will be shipped out through pipelines in the North for export from Port Sudan on the Red Sea. Kenya's port of Mombasa is only accessible by land over several hundred kilometers. Given the crushing collapse of the global economy, whatever promises the West has made to financially assist South Sudan (if they were ever sincere) will evaporate, as the trans-Atlantic economies continue to spiral downward. The ruling party of the South, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), has no experience in administering a country, and will have difficultly controlling the simmering-to-boiling-over tribal conflicts.
All of this makes South Sudan highly vulnerable to manipulation by outside forces, which will want to use it as battering ram against the North, with no real regard for the welfare of the people of the South. Without doubt, the new State of South Sudan faces a difficult road ahead, with no vision by the West to develop this large, economically barren landmass.
Like other countries in Africa and the world, Sudan is presently suffering from the effects of the global hyperinflationary increase in food prices, caused, not by Sudan, but by the creation of trillions of dollars of worthless "play money" by the U.S. Federal Reserve, in a desperate attempt to bail out the bankrupt global financial system. Sugar prices have gone up almost 50% in the last three months. Vice President Ali Osman Taha reported that the price of cotton has gone up 300% in the last three years, and is the highest in 50 years. Austerity measures have been imposed, including removing subsidies on bread and fuel, which has created the conditions for opposition movements in the North to initiate protest demonstrations.
The Khartoum government has relied on oil revenues for approximately 60% of its budget, but unlike the South, the North has a functioning economy, with at least minimal amounts of infrastructure, including the newly constructed Merowe Dam, which produces 1,250 megawatts of electrical power. Sudan has plans to generate another 3,000 MW during the period ahead, from numerous hydroelectric projects. Unfortunately, the North has not progressed in reaching its potential in food production, having to import $2 billion of food in 2010, which is expected to drop only slightly to $1.75 billion in 2011. One government official suggested that Sudan will have to adopt an "eat what we grow" attitude. Vice President Taha reported that Sudan intends to become self-sufficient in food over the next three years.
The North is expected to restructure itself, with a new government and a new Constitution, while its future economic policy is being debated: whether to follow the tenets of a market economy, or to pursue a more dirigistic approach, centered around advancing the economy and increasing the number of non-government jobs, through the building of necessary infrastructure projects.
Water Is More Valauble than Oil
Oil revenues make up a large portion of revenues for both Northern and Southern Sudan. One of the major flaws in the thinking of African nations that have this resource, is the foolish view that oil is their most valuable commodity. The reason for this view, is the false belief that wealth is measured by money, within a monetarist system. Lyndon LaRouche, no stranger to Sudan, has maintained that wealth can only be measured in a credit system, based on the generation of credit to secure the future production of physical wealth through advancing "platforms of infrastructure." The monetarist view, which comes from the corruption of accepting the British free-trade system, has led nations to place far too much importance on World Bank statistics, instead of focusing on investments in physical wealth that increases the productive powers of the society for present and future generations.
Agriculture is a case in point. The intention of the West, in line with Henry Kissinger's 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM-200), has been to keep Africa underdeveloped as a matter of policy, especially rejecting the right of nations to feed themselves, through such institutions as the World Trade Organization. But the lack of a full commitment by Sudan's leaders to increase food production is also evident, thus far.
Mutaz Musa Abdallah Salim, an official of the Ministry of Dams and Electricity, informed this author that numerous states in Sudan are named after waterways. In fact, there are over two dozen rivers in Sudan. Salim also reported that Sudan receives 1 billion cubic meters of rainfall per year that can be harvested in groundwater. He said the problem is not a lack of water, but getting it to the right place. Absolutely correct! Organizing flows of water by man's intervention can transform Sudan's food output, with the completion of the Jonglai Canal as a priority. The great Transaqua Project, which would transfer water from the Congo River Basin, across the Central African Republic, to refurbish the water-deficient Lake Chad Basin, will have even a greater impact on the region.
Water development projects encompassing all of Sudan's territory are essential for the future of both North and the South Sudan, to dramatically increase food production; this should be a top priority of post-referendum agreements.
We can and we must end genocide in Africa with investments in these and related infrastructure projects, including the construction of the already planned East-West railroad, which will travel from Port Sudan, thousands of kilometers west, to Dakar, Senegal.
All of this and more is possible, but only if we implement Lyndon LaRouche's reorganization of the current bankrupt monetarist system, and keep "Rice-ism" out of Africa, by sending Susan Rice back to London.