Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Sudan vote for Independence: What does it mean?

One of the biggest threats to peace around the world is the suppression of national identities and communities whether it be Amazonian Indians, Tibetan monks or the hill tribes of India.

Whilst some peoples cower under that suppression others fight back which inevitably leads to prolonged bloodshed.

The only viable and sustainable answer to such conflicts is the application of self-determination i.e. where peoples choose how and by whom they should be governed. In many cases this might lead to a ‘Two-state’ solution e.g. a functioning Palestinian state next to Israel and a Tamil ‘Eelam’ alongside a Sinhalese Sri Lanka.

The world’s Governments by and large oppose such solutions for fear of opening up a ‘Pandora’s Box’ which will lead to numerous demands for autonomy or Independence. For example, the OAU (Organisation for African Unity) Charter strictly forbids the re-drawing of boundaries. Our view is ‘so what?’. If an indigenous people face discrimination and are denied the right to preserve their differences e.g. language, worship or culture then the creation of a ‘nation-state’ within ancient territories is a logical answer.

After decades of civil war on Sunday (9/1) Southern Sudan (largely African Christian) will be given an opportunity to cast a vote for Independence (or not) from the North (largely Arab Muslim) courtesy of the UN. We hope they vote YES but wish them luck regardless. We have had similar votes in East Timor and Kosovo in recent times but that only scratches the surface. We think it is time such referendums blossomed everywhere.

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