In January of 2011, the people of South Sudan overwhelmingly voted for Independence from Sudan when it elected a devout Christian named Salva Kiir to lead them. The official inauguration took place last summer and South Sudan was finally free.
That doesn’t mean they won’t have to soon fight to keep that freedom. The youth of South Sudan appear to be mobilizing for a possible war with the Muslim dominated north, which is led by the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Omar al-Bashir.
Via the Sudan Tribune:
The youth league chairman of South Sudan’s ruling party – the SPLM – on Saturday condemned Sudan’s military aggression on the country, and urged youth all over South Sudan to be ready to defend the nation, when called upon.
Speaking at a media briefing in country’s capital, Paul Akol told the youth, who account for nearly 70 percent of the country’s population to reconcile all their differences and unite for purposes of defending the South Sudan’s territory and its peoples’ freedom.
“I call upon all youth in all bomas, payams, and counties all over the states of South Sudan to unite as one. It’s time to defend the country and you should be ready to do so when called upon,” said Akol, as members applauded.
Clashes last week between the armies of South Sudan and Sudan have raised fears of a return to war. In March Sudan announced an national mobilisation campaign to recruit soldier to the Popular Defence Forces a paramilitary group used widely on the north-south border in the previous conflict (1983-2005).
Adding to the existent tensions involved in a Muslim country watching a Christian-dominated portion of that land secede is the fact that South Sudan is where the vast majority of the region’s oil resides.
Since South Sudan’s independence in July last year the two sides have failed to demarcate the controversial oil-rich border and resolve a host of other issues.
Akol’s remarks came a day after South Sudan’s president instructed governors of the country’s five states bordering Sudan to mobilise the public to be ready to defend South Sudan from northern attacks. These states include Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap, Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal.
The SPLM youth league chairman also warned of an imminent “Arab spring” in neighbouring Sudan, citing the economic crisis facing the country following South Sudan’s decision to shut down its oil production.
South Sudan has essentially shut off the northbound oil spigot because it insists the north is stealing large quantities of it, en route to the Port of Sudan.
Would that make the north home to Muslim pirates?
Who’d have thought that was possible?
As we wrote about here, the situation in Sudan is garnering quite a bit of international attention for various reasons.