- Home & Garden
- 01 Aug 2023
Sudan’s Warring Sides Agree Seven-day Ceasefire
All of us must have heard the name of Sudan in our English Grammar Classes. Our teachers used to say that The Sudan, Punjab, Netherlands, Hague, and a few other places should all have a 'the' before them. Although the pronoun "the" has been removed from Punjab, Pakistani purists continue to refer to their province, where Imran Khan is currently forcing provincial elections, as "the Punjab." They also boast about the Lahore campus of their former university, the University of the Punjab, and claim that Chandigarh and Patiala are home to the Panjab University and the Punjabi University, respectively.
Sudan, whose full name is the Republic of the Sudan, also keeps the article. Another issue is that not only has the rest of the world forgotten their "the," but also them. We found Sudan interesting in geography classes because it was one of those African states whose borders were drawn using a ruler. As described by the British prime minister Lord Salisbury in 1890, colonial powers simply drew their borders on maps,
"only hindered by the small impediments that we never knew where the mountains and rivers and lakes were."
The entrances of our National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, Sudan, puzzled us. 'Sudan' is displayed on the building's primary block of signboard. Sudan donated the money to construct the block as a sign of appreciation to the Indian Army for liberating them from Italian control during World War II. We learned about Lord Kitchener in history classes. He was a general with a mustache, who put down the Mahdi uprising in Sudan in 1898, won a brutal barony over Khartoum, traveled to India as commander-in-chief, and engaged the imperial viceroy, Lord Curzon. Their altercation created the conditions for the civil-military struggle for control of Indian governance. Curzon died, but his ideals eventually had an impact on our country's leaders, who helped create India as a liberal democracy where the military obeys civic authority.
Since the British left in 1956, the nation has experienced six revolts and the most recent of among them was carried out in 2021 by military general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and militia general Hamdan Dagalo. The two quickly argued about how Dagalo's paramilitary would be integrated into Burhan's military, having previously shed blood by slaughtering al-Bashir's opponents. The problem is that while the military is greater, the militia is better armed and prepared. Since the past two weeks, we have been witnessing an odd spectacle of a state's official army fighting its official paramilitary due to Dagalo's refusal to accept a subordinate position. Between the two, there is scarcely any ideological conflict along the left-right spectrum, and there is no animosity based on religion, race, or tribe, either. There is only the obscene pursuit of power.
Power is not everything; wealth is also important. Gold, silver, petroleum, natural gas, chromite, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, cobalt, nickel, tin and aluminum are all found in plenty in the desert country but are not currently being mined. So long as we wait out the civil conflict, we shall witness neighbors and major nations swarming into mine in the shifting Nubian sands and fish in the turbulent Nile rivers.