Sunday, January 12, 2014

How the South Sudan was manufactured

From Gerhard:  ""Actually in the Sudan the British created a political and economic structure dominated by Arabized northern elites, that frequently exploited the south. The British didn't really care as long as they extracted whatever profits they could under their aegis. The Dinka would have reason to be less than impressed about British "salvation" in a particular decade, since in subsequent decades, the same white colonial regime favored the oppressive Arabized north."
This is simply nonsense. Quite on the contrary, the British greatly feared that the spread of 'Arab' culture in the South would provide a common base for different tribes to align themselves against their rule. In 1930, a comprehensive campaign to eliminate any Northern influence in the South was started. In particular, this meant preventing any contact by closing the border and sharply restricting travel between the two areas. This included ethnically cleansing the population from large swathes along the provincial borders to create empty buffer zones.
Furthermore, all existing signs of Northern influence were rigorously stamped out. This included even such seemingly innocouos things as men's clothing. Here an order from a British district commissioner in 1935:
I notice that in spite of frequent requests to the contrary, large quantities of ‘Arab’ clothing are still being made and sold. Please note that, in future, it is FORBIDDEN to make or sell such clothes. Shirts should be made short with a collar and opening down the front in the European fashion and NOT an open neck as worn by the Baggara of Darfur. Also tagias [i.e., head cover] as worn by Arabs to wind emmas [i.e., turbans] round are not to be sold in future. No more Arab clothing is to be made as from today; you are given till the end of February to dispose of your present stock. This order applies to all outside agents and owners of sewing machines.

In the end, the British were successful in estranging  the South and the North and creating a Southern political elite that defined itself by being 'anti-north' and subservience to the British. Which after the decline of the British empire was by default transferred to the USA, powerfully symbolised, as has already been mentioned, by Southern president Salva Kiir proudly wearing a cowboy hat at every opportunity (after given one by George W. Bush in 2006)."