The Christian-versus-Muslim Sudanese Civil War threatens to reignite in a dispute over the sharing of that nations mineral wealth and the disarming of
Under the deal that ended the 21-year civil war, the South gained control of the Vice Presidency, was promised a share of the country's wealth,
autonomy, and the disarming of government-supported militias in the South.
The Vice Presidency originally went to the rebel leader John Garang, who died in a "helicopter accident" very early in his term, and now is held by
Salva Kiir, Co-founder with Garang of the rebel SPLM, and the head of its militant wing, the SPLA, who is believed to be more fiercely pro-Southern
Independence, whereas Garang may have been more open to remaining under the present autonomy plan.
Kiir is now complaining that the predominantly Muslim government is not holding up its end of the bargain, continuing to support militias, and failing
to spread the country's wealth. President Bashir claims the militias are now 75% disarmed and that the slow movement on the oil money is a result of
delays on the South's part in organizing its autonomous government.
Much of Sudan's wealth lies within 3 border provinces between North and South which the South could launch a military effort to gain control of if
not satisfied. If they were to capture these resources, their independence referendum in 2012 would be more likely to pass, and with domestic demand
for those resources reduced by more than half due to the South's smaller population, Southern Sudan would potentially be able to earn enough money on
exports to become a major player in the Horn area eventually.
It seems likely that this is the reason why Somalia has been an issue recently.Southern Sudan, unlike the North, is landlocked and would need either
to move their oil through Kenya or through Ethiopia and Somalia to export. Kenya's relatively underdeveloped coast makes it a less favorable option,
assuming that Somalia can be stabilized. This would serve the additional purpose of creating an indirect economic link between Christians and Muslims
which might moderate the Muslim Street in the Horn.
Oh, and for the second time in as many weeks, I told you so.
. In this thread and
others I have been going on non stop for quite some time about how John Garang's death, the slow growth of interest in Somalia, etc were all pointing
towards a play for Sudanese oil and a port to move it from.
My exact words in the above-linked thread were
Got a map of Sudan that I colored in with my crayolas a while back.
The blue line represents the present border of Autonomous Southern Sudan. The bright red line represents what I think the powers that be want the
border to be. Then Darfur is outlined in dark Red.