Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Will Teach Class on US Foreign Policy Toward Sudan, Oct. 4

Abayomi Azikiwe will teach a class as part of the Fall 2007 Lifelong Learning Forum at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington, Michigan

The class, "U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Sudan: A Political History," will be offered at 7:30 on Thursday, October 4th.

Location: Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington
Lifelong Learning Forum
25301 Halsted Rd
Farmington Hills, MI 48335

U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Sudan: A Political History

How are the foreign policy aims of the United States’
administration impacting developments in Sudan?

This talk will examine the increasing role of Sudan
in supplying oil to the international community, as well as the diplomatic activity of China in Sudan, and its
influence over western intervention.

Presenter: Abayomi Azikiwe is editor of the Pan-African News Wire and has traveled extensively in Africa. He is also a broadcaster on CKLN FM,88.1 in Toronto.

Sudan: Legacy of British Colonialism and U.S. Interference

Sudan was also colonized by Britain during the late 19th century. The imperialists’ methodology of divide and conquer was employed where the peoples of the south, north and west were taught that they were separate entities. Some of the earliest nationalist movements on the continent took place in Sudan, with rebellions after the conclusion of World War I extending through the early 1920s.

Some of the elements within the nationalist movement pushed for a unification plan with Egypt. Others sought a solution to the colonial problem through the breaking down of the barriers erected by British colonialism. On the eve of independence, which took place in 1956, the people in the south mutinied within the paramilitary colonial forces, hampering the potential for a national identity in the country. The conflict with the southern region of the country lasted from 1955 through 1972, when a negotiated settlement was reached.

However, a decade later, the conflict reemerged in 1983 and lasted for 20 years until a peace agreement was reached in 2003.

The Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army led the southern rebellion under John Garang. A government of national unity was established with the understanding that the people in southern Sudan would eventually vote whether the people would remain in the unity government or establish an autonomous region in the south. It was after the agreement between Khartoum and the SPLA was reached that the conflict in the Darfur region erupted. Two rebel groups surfaced. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) had links with the National Islamic Front (NIF) that became an opposition force in northern politics. The NIF initially played a pivotal role in the Omar al-Bashir government inside the country.

However, a split occurred, placing the NIF in opposition to the president and also the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) that appeared to be independent of northern influences. Since 2003, the Darfur rebel movement has further fragmented with splits inside the SLM/A largely over a peace agreement with Khartoum.

The imperialist nations and their allied press agencies have sought to portray the conflict in Darfur as an African/Arab conflagration with fundamental racial dimensions. Nonetheless, Darfur is predominately Islamic, like the population in the north. There is no pronounced racial difference between the peoples of the country. It is the legacy of British imperialism and U.S. interference that is at the root cause of the current conflict. These divisions are politicized in an effort to provide a rationale for possible military intervention. Consequently, anti-imperialists should look at the struggle in Darfur in light of American and British imperialists’ aims in the region.

China has stepped up its economic investments in Sudan. The country is rich in oil and consequently provides the American government with an incentive to seek dominance over the resources. The only true and lasting solution to the Darfur crisis lies within the Sudanese people themselves and does not require a military occupation by the West.

Above article reprinted from Workers World, Somaliland Times--Feb. 2007

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