It was pointed out recently that, a tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled on the 22 July 2009 that Heglig was under Khartoum’s jurisdiction. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the town has now been retaken from the South Sudanese. The war, it would appear, is escalating.
That conclusion, it seems, is substantiated by the news today that Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, has given a fiery speech in Heglig in which whe pledged not to negotiate with South Sudan and while the retaking of Heglig might have offered an opportunity for cooler heads to prevail, Sudanese war jets bombing the key South Sudanese state capital of Bentiu indicates that they won’t. It could, indeed, be that this is the start of a longer war.
The real question we should be asking is, who stands to gain the most and the least from such a war? Well, a modicum of intelligence might inform us that neither of the Sudans can benefit from the hostilities and China, the biggest player in the oil industry, on both sides of the borderfinds its investments endangered.
That is why, we should be sceptical of Washington’s role despite its call for an “immediate unconditional cessation of hostilities” . After all, the United States armed the Sudan People’s Liberation Army through surrogate allies in Chad and neighboring states for years, and is now arming it directly. Moreover, there is now a new development with direct intervention from Washington which has also sent military advisors to Juba? Oh, and surprise, surprise, they are there to help capture Joseph Kony, who, incidentally, is in the Central African Republic. Yes, Joseph Kony, the same guy who is being used as the pretext for the 7th Calvary riding in and making Africa a better place.