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Can South Sudan survive without Sudan?

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By Luka Biong Deng

February 2, 2013 - As expected, the summit between presidents Salva Kiir and Omar el-Bashir on January 25 did not produce any results. The term summit, which usually refers to a high-level meeting, is losing its meaning in the context of South Sudan and Sudan. Since the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011, the two presidents held a series of summits. All of them failed to yield any positive outcome towards the normalisation of relations between their countries.

The last meeting did not only fail but gave Bashir a chance to show his utter arrogance, egotism, insensitivity, inflexibility and even disrespect for the mediators and the members of our delegation. Some international observers who attended the summit were shocked by the negative attitude shown by Bashir during the summit. This is not surprising. Bashir has been consistent in revealing either consciously or sub-consciously his racist attitude towards Africans.

One would sympathise with President Salva Kiir and appreciate his patience and stamina to continue engaging Bashir who has proven beyond doubt to be cynical, sarcastic and unwilling to improve relations with South Sudan. Some international observers saw a big contrast between the two presidents. President Salva Kiir showed statesmanship, cool-minded and respect.

The real question is: How long will the South continue attending these summits and how much hope can we attach to Bashir’s Sudan? It is clear that such summits are being used by Sudan to boost its public relations and buy time.

The current status of the disputed and claimed border areas and Abyei is in favour of Sudan. In Abyei, Sudan is scooping all the oil revenues from Abyei while South Sudan, Warrap state and the Ngok Dinka are getting nothing from their respective shares of 42 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent they are supposed to get under the Abyei Protocol. The presence of UN forces in Abyei is providing security for oilfields and the Arab nomads and possibly may be used by Sudan to implement its settlement plan of Arab nomads in the area. Also Sudan is in control of all five disputed border areas, except for the 14 miles area, and all the claimed border areas, including Panthou (Heglig).

The leadership of the National Congress Party has taken a clear decision not to implement the nine agreements as they came to see them as detrimental for their survival. Because South Sudan will receive about 75 percent of the oil proceeds and Sudan will only get 25 percent, the extremists in the NCP want to deny the South these much-needed resources and strangle it economically.

Some NCP leaders even anticipate that the Juba Government will fall within six months because of their actions of stopping the export of Southern oil and destabilising the South, as manifested in the recent incidents in Wau, Yei and Jonglei. Sudan has declared by law its southern neighbour an enemy of the people of Sudan, like Israel. There are, however, other voices in the NCP which call for reasoning. They want the nine agreements to be implemented, not only to share the oil proceeds but also to establish good relations and soft borders which may benefit Sudan more in the long term.

The international community and the African Union are reluctant to confront Bashir and force him to implement the agreements. They are instead pushing South Sudan to continue conceding to Khartoum on the pending issues to the level that the SPLM may run the risk of depleting its political support.

In such an impasse, South Sudan should go back to the drawing board and plan as if it has no border with Sudan. While President Salva may continue to try and engage Bashir in the forthcoming summits, the Government may need to embark on strategies to survive without Sudan. The reliance on Sudan as the only outlet for its oil exports to be challenged, not by rhetoric but by practical actions that will send a clear and strong message to Khartoum.

In particular, the Ministry of Petroleum needs to prepare clear and coherent policies and strategies for the oil sector in terms of alternative pipelines, exporting oil out by trucks, and building refineries. The National Petroleum and Gas Commission has been formed but it has not been meeting regularly. It is critical that the policies and strategies prepared by the ministry be adopted so as to provide a sense of direction. The current composition of the commission is rather weak as it does not include some relevant policy makers.

Also, there seems to be no proper coordination between the Ministry of Petroleum and other relevant ministries, particularly the ministries of justice and electricity. Therefore, oil policies need to be discussed by the Council of Ministers to ensure effective coordination in the implementation. One would expect that these policies would ensure by the end of this year functioning oil refineries, effective mining and export of other minerals, transport of oil by trucks if feasible and commencing of construction of alternative pipeline.

The current leadership of the Ministry of Finance needs to be supported in pursuing the current austerity measures, which may continue even if South Sudan manages to resume oil production. There are constant rumours of a reshuffle in the national Government after the recent sweeping changes in the army and the police. The expected new Government should be up to the challenge of proving that we can survive without Sudan.

This new Cabinet should not only be lean but also bring competent and new blood, people who will be able to deliver. Any delay in the much-awaited reshuffle will paralyse the Government. We need to avoid such uncertainty during this critical period. Also the new Government should prepare our new nation for a real democratic transformation in the run-up to the general elections in 2015.

Diplomatically, President Salva should continue engaging the African leaders over the pending issues of Abyei, the border and the nine agreements. Africa must be mobilised to confront or even isolate Bashir. Given the deteriorating relations between both countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may need to consider recalling its ambassador to Khartoum until relations improve. We also need to mobilise the international community to avail soft loans for infrastructure development, alternative pipelines and livelihoods recovery.

If we take such actions, I am confident we will be able to prove that we are able to survive without Bashir’s Sudan. I am confident that we can make it because we have the will and the resources.

The author is a Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. He can be reached at lukabiong@kushworld.org



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  • 3 February 2013 13:28, by master

    really i am sorry for your level of understanding
    you can’t survive without sudan and we no longer forgive youbecause you are wrecked
    who shut down oil
    you think we are employee at your office to decide whatever you want
    ok . open your pipeline alone or take your oil in bucket .trucks as american advised you

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    • 3 February 2013 15:06, by Majongdit

      master,
      what did we get from your Sudan during the 1983-2005 era? nothing. what did we get from your Sudan after we shut our oil down? nothing. but we have been moving and going. you have to class even to respond to Dr Luka. you are a nonentity hired and assigned for media propaganda to spill around lies, play mind games and appear to be answering all. sorry, you don’t what we know about you.

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      • 4 February 2013 06:57, by Paul Chadrack

        we don’t have a government here,only an empty drum.lets just prepare for a coffin to barry this dying horse.

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    • 4 February 2013 13:36, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Mr Luke,Bashir can behaviour in that manner frist of all he is a sick person,second under he is under ICC arrest,thirdly he can fight south Sudan while using plane since you and Kiir has none.Please let Kiir shown his muscle to Sudan abit.
      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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    • 5 February 2013 04:53, by Kur William

      I don’t know why we are still running after Bshir seeking good relationship with him while he been killing Africans for some decades,what do you expects when you are about to meet an enemy did you expecting good attitudes?if it’s a matter of how to transported our oil into international market there are many options how we can transported it,we can transpoted by trucks or ways.

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    • 5 February 2013 09:41, by nuer food lovers

      hahaha Deng Hanbol,people of Abyei alike Nuer who jump from Primary eight(8) to university,saying going through secondary school is along way.
      There was one of Deng Majok son who passed away early last yr.may almighty God rest his soul in external peace.called Dr.Abeg Deng Kuol.he was a teacher of JuolJok primary school.in Agok Area.he was making that propaganda to be recorgnise as PHD holder so..

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    • 5 February 2013 09:52, by nuer food lovers

      that to give his bro a chance to force kiir to appoint him in sensitive position in s.sudan.people in Awiel,George,Kuajok,Twic mayardit believed this self proclaime fake Dr.Abeg Deng Kuol,he was aprove to be the perm.rep.to AU instead of his bro Arop Deng Kuol,unfortunately,on his way from Annet to Juba,he was accomodated in Tiger hotel in Wau,were he was allowed to do what he want the hotel on...

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      • 5 February 2013 10:00, by nuer food lovers

        government accountability including having asses to prostitute,drinking bathing which is obvious while awaiting a fly to Juba.that very night he drink trinsnight,becozs,he is geting it for free of charge,there in Annet one bottle of heneken is cosing 15 which don,t afford.the following he developed severe headach,sour at the heel.the kill him,then Abyei the plan to plan B by appointing Arop Deng..

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        • 5 February 2013 10:17, by nuer food lovers

          kuol.now if a Primary sch teacher who have no secondary certification could claim that he had PHD what do u think Luka biong can do?he had master degree in Bielgum unv.he held several sensitive post both in sudan&s.sudan.whic inter.recognise he is now doing his PHD in Havard kenendy school,i did tried that univ.but i change my mind then join walden univ.in UK.where am now pursuing my PHD.

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          • 5 February 2013 15:25, by Eastern

            It is not even the Ph.D that you claim to be persuing that hurts me, but your very low level of deciphering what the learned fellow is trying to put across. It pains me VERY MUCH when fellow South Sudanese fail to react appropriately to issues raised in this forum. Go to other fora and see how others interact. VERY SHAMEFUL to be South Sudanese with your likes as fellow countrymen!!!!

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            • 5 February 2013 21:02, by nuer food lovers

              mr.eastern bro,after all ur abusive word toword me,i give u thank,becozs u fail to understand me,which show ur low level of Education,to understand my point of view toward the article mr Luka Biong put forword!aftet all am a s.sudanese as u belive !.iam of course.but i belive u re from Abyei according to my understanding.
              Becozs no any s.sudan who can condemn me apart from Abyei boys.but u will..

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              • 5 February 2013 21:14, by nuer food lovers

                believe me later that i was telling the trusth bro,u will later understand that Luka have abondoned Abyei leadership,and resort to learning programme as he usually write the author is a senoir member of the ruling party in s.sudan(SPLM)and the chair of Abyei jiont over see committee s.sudan.he resorted from that and write,the author is the fellow of Havard kenendy.now if u re really a s.sudan....

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                • 5 February 2013 21:38, by nuer food lovers

                  would not condemn me upto that extend,to of course understand luka Biong level of frastration,bro try to write him a private a secrite not through lukabiong@kushworld.org.
                  We re at the sense of truth now,if u re really a s.sudan not from a confusing elit from Abyei boys,u can understand the action the fake Arab re taking at the boder.ie heglig,kiir Adem,Jau,Kaka.kofro-nas Biemnom,Kaj kang.........

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                  • 5 February 2013 21:59, by nuer food lovers

                    malual alieu, Akuur,dhol el ngook kou,Raja and so forth.they re amassing troops at the border,of s.sudan leavingNuba mt& blue nile,of course jallaba re at the lasy kick of the dying horse.if we re not serious at that juncture,thy will kick as back to Nimule as the case of 1991 when they collaborated with Nuer(nassir faction)i believe u re not currently at the front line as some do!but looting....

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                    • 5 February 2013 22:07, by nuer food lovers

                      USD with ur uncle Deng Aloor,Edward Lino,Kuol Deng aboud,Pieng Deng Kuol.am sorry,am talking to a illiterate man as u re,a primitive man as u re,a fool man as u re,a stupid as u re,a low level of understanding man .like u.iwill no belame u u becozs,u want to force ur self to s.sudan,but mindn,t u s.s have not rejected u,but ur egoism have treason u.

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  • 3 February 2013 15:27, by Majongdit

    Dr. Luka,
    All that I wish is if all that you have suggested be implemented especially the issue of alternative pipeline (or road transportation by trucks), downsizing and merging of ministries, recalling South Sudan’s ambassador to Khartoum, moving our army to the borders with Sudan and answer every SAF’s agression with agression even if means breaking out of an all-out war.

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  • 3 February 2013 16:18, by julia

    mr.Biong Deng,u said can s.sudan live without Sudan? Oh guy ur question is so filthy.where u not there during the referndum campagin to s.sudan people?.now u said all the disputed area,status Of Abyei is in favor of northern sudan,what is ur reaction since u re going to be homeless s.sudanese citizens?

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  • 3 February 2013 16:19, by julia

    mr.Biong Deng,u said can s.sudan live without Sudan? Oh guy ur question is so filthy.where u not there during the referndum campagin to s.sudan people?.now u said all the disputed area,status Of Abyei is in favor of northern sudan,what is ur reaction since u re going to be homeless s.sudanese citizens?

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    • 3 February 2013 17:38, by julia

      mr.fake Dr.luka u have enough destroy s.sudan u with Deng Aloor,Mading Deng,Arop Deng Kuol,Pieng Deng Who have destroy our gallant SPLA.ur digress anyalsis toword the diecy of s.sudan lossing Disputed area,Abyei is so hypocracy.we s.sudan can be better without northern sudan or rather than Abyei. Soon u will leave s.sudan in peace.

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      • 3 February 2013 18:44, by julia

        mr. biong have this days running crazy.he use to write the author is a senior member of SPLM&CO-chair of Abyei joint oversee committeebu todays he said a fallow in Harvard kenendy school.
        What hell is it.u re nothing to s.sudan politic,education,economic,development &strategy but a big hogwash of s.sudan resource.

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        • 3 February 2013 20:50, by Nibs

          Julia,
          Don’t called Dr.Luka names.he is saying the right thing.south Sudan should have stop trusting Sudan long time,those are repercussions of predominately illiterate government officials.all the love is looting resources.dinka cowboy must priortied air dependence system this year or else he’ll never see peace.stop complaining to UNSC.

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        • 3 February 2013 21:51, by Majongdit

          Dear madam Julia,
          I think it’s bed time. Please go to bed and have some sweet dreams!

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  • 3 February 2013 22:55, by crazy south

    To hell yes we can make it. since the 21years of war, were south Sudanese depending on Sudan? check it out for yourself.

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  • 4 February 2013 05:04, by nyantung

    South Sudan probably could have done very well had its leaders been committed to the South Sudanese people, and not merely to their own personal enrichment. I find it amazing how the Sudan is constantly pointed to as the bogey man, but there is a persistent unwillingness to scrutinize the South’s own leadership, including the cause of lost billions of dollars.

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    • 5 February 2013 18:50, by Eastern

      Prof. Nyantung, the learned fellow is simply asking: Can’t6 South Sudan exist without the Sudan, can’t we South Sudanese move on without ever thinking about the lost glory our leaders held in Amarat Khartoum? We need answers to his questions. His are simple questions though.

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  • 4 February 2013 06:58, by chep makur

    I totally agree with Dr luka about finding different paths to export our oil. Railway is better option in our case.
    - it is cheaper to build then pipeline.
    - easy to maintain.
    - Will helps connected the ten states and the country to neighbouring countries.Khartoum are taking advantage of us big times without thinking it over, there must be always plan B for everything we do with Arabs.

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    • 4 February 2013 09:27, by Tutbol

      The question by Luka Biong is "can S Sudan survive without Sudan?" yes she can. But to be honest, i am not a fan of Luka Biong & his powerful kins in the our govt, for they are the most dubious & cowards of our S Sudanese dinka. Don’t get me wrong, i fought in trenches with brilliant with the Ngok dinkas; who were not Abyiei Ngoks but who can cut enemy lines like everyone else.

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      • 4 February 2013 09:59, by Tutbol

        ..Luka Biong has been feeding our people with his SPLM seniority all along, but now; he extricated himself to Havard. Where is Abyiei now? Does the guy wants only to be in Havard? I can clearly remember my university’s exchange counselor advice now; a kid who wanted; to go to Havard & to do his exchange courses in Havard when he double-majored in civil engineering & physics...

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        • 4 February 2013 10:29, by Tutbol

          ...the counselor said "kid i appreciate your right of selection, but why donot you just choose another university?" & the counselor retorted in an ASIDE "didn’t your parent told you, your Havard is not even an accredited university?" the boy changed his choice to Havard to MIT with the help of his parents, but many of us who want more foreign languages opted Europe...

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          • 4 February 2013 11:21, by Tutbol

            I hope Mr. Luka Biong is not running away from his Abyiei leadership which has over-shadowed our multi-positions with the North. But we will watch.

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  • 4 February 2013 12:49, by Turism

    Mr. Luka Biong,
    Your question is missing some text since you are the right people to solve the issues regarding the nine agreement which was signed recently in adis ababa and at the same time as a citizen of the abyei area. my question is as indigeneous in abyei, is your plan equal? bse there is saying "if you are not the part of solution, you are a part of problem"

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    • 4 February 2013 16:07, by Mohammed Ali 2

      Can SS survive without Sudan? Isn’t this a very silly and foolish question? Are you asking after 8 years of self rule and almost 3 years of full independence? Do you realy doubt that after all this? The simple answer is that you ought to be capable after pushing thousands of pple die to for that cause; actually you must fulfill your promise to your pple with the paradise you promised them....

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      • 4 February 2013 16:17, by Mohammed Ali 2

        con:Particularly, you were handed a very rich country ,not with potentialities which are abundant, but with very hard to earn hard currency cash money.But, you failed and failed miserably,because you don’t care about the poor,innocent & marginalized pple of SS.Is it concievable that thousand of SSudanese, whom you called to go to SS before the referundum were left abundant mid-way to SS in Kosti

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        • 4 February 2013 16:23, by Mohammed Ali 2

          con:without food, shelter or a sigle penny or any human support until they were lifted by the geneousity of the inter. national community!This happened while your childrens living in luxuries in a mansion in Australia. Not only you but all of the Abeyei gang, particulary your inumerable brothers and rest of the mafia family!

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          • 4 February 2013 16:36, by Mohammed Ali 2

            Con:Your auditor general reported in the first year $ 1.3 and the second 2.7 billions not accounted for; that is FOUR BILLIONS US DOLLARS in only 2 years ! Is it imagainable of concievable? The auditor general was stopped to reveal your garbage and your president letter wrote 75 letter to his " thieves" to beggeing them to tepatriate " just" some of the money they looted!....

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            • 4 February 2013 16:49, by Mohammed Ali 2

              con:Yet " DR" Luka is asking! Can we survive? Ironically, you are shiftting the blame towards Sudan!Yes you should be able to survive very well with that much of money without S only if you stop stealing and using the Arabs as a cover for theft.Blaming the Arabs would never releave you from your responsibilty or rather culpabilities.Salva’s 75 letters, means that you are all culprits and thieves

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              • 4 February 2013 17:04, by Mohammed Ali 2

                con:Al Basheer is arrogant, according to "Dr" Luka!" DR" Luka is so courageous to talk about " arrogancy"! Oh, dear!Come-on Dr. Luka, Arrogancy, you are talking about?!Among all S Sudanes you are quite famous with your repugnant and offensive arrogancy quite contrary to Basheer who is quite famous even among his opponents with with simplicity and humility.

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                • 4 February 2013 17:32, by Mohammed Ali 2

                  Con: Dicrimination,you are talking about,Arabs dicrimination!You are the last person to talk about it!You have been given all the chances by the "Arabs" which very very few Arabs get!All of your education from elementry to university and pos-graduate abroad was fully funded by the jalabba’s tax-payers money & was 100% free; in a country where,at that time,less than 1 % go to university!

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                  • 4 February 2013 17:58, by Mohammed Ali 2

                    Con:Your question is a fiasco! Any country should be able to survive alone. But every country will try to survive with other particulary neighbours even at personal level!Why not doing that?! Because, the Abyei gang want to hold all SS as a ransom for their own cause!To maintain their grip on power they have Abeyei within SS.Now, feeling threaten, pushed for the dramitic changes within the army...

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                    • 4 February 2013 18:09, by Mohammed Ali 2

                      con:while postioning their brother on top of the police to maintain the "police state" of SS!Anyone who utters a word will face the fate of Isias Ibraham.BN & in particular SK are used by the Abeyei gang to defend Abeyei.They will never allow SS & South relationship to normalise, to maintain their hegemoney on the SPLA & SS, while Luka is enjoying life with his White Australian wife in Tasmania!

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                      • 4 February 2013 18:31, by Mohammed Ali 2

                        con:"There are constant rumours of a reshuffle in the national Government after the recent sweeping changes in the army and the police" There are rumours,after making the "sweeping" changes in the army, the gang is pushing for a reshuffle!They have in mind the minister of finance & minister of oil!After , they will transport the oil with trucks! What a farce!

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                        • 4 February 2013 18:41, by Mohammed Ali 2

                          con:What is worset! They are preparing for another " suicidal" attack against Sudan. The prelude for that is the accusation of SAF to upper nile, which did not happen and was a lie!

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  • 5 February 2013 00:47, by Zionist

    Dr. Biong
    You have without a doubt became Bashiirs’ nightmare through your relentless and straight to the point articles. Sudan’s Bashhiir need to be exposed to the world, then let the world judge for itself. And, As long as, South Sudan in general and Abyei in special have sharp pens like yours, I believe they can achieve.

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    • 5 February 2013 07:41, by Deng Hanbol

      nib, do you know that Luka Biong is a fake PHD holder? don’t you?

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