Sudanese Standards and Sensitivities
It’s election season on Sudan, and the leaders of the Sudanese political parties are understandably sensitive about criticisms of their performance. It’s soon to become self-determination season in southern Sudan, and sensitivities around this are already high.
One opposition politician berated me yesterday for being, he said, tougher on the opposition parties than on the government. I responded that, being a democrat was no excuse for having lower standards of conduct. To the contrary, those struggling for democracy, or fighting for liberation, should hold themselves to higher standards than those who took power by military coup.
Many southern Sudanese are also sensitive about criticisms of the performance of the Government of South Sudan, implying that these criticisms imply that secession would lead to a disaster or a failed state. To the contrary, the last 55 years have made it completely clear that the southern Sudanese can never be ruled without their consent. It is obvious but bears repeating: the only people who can govern southern Sudan are the southern Sudanese.
Whether the southern Sudanese want to govern southern Sudan as an independent state, or as part of a united Sudan, is up to them. My argument for frank examination of governance in southern Sudan is that a liberation government governing its own people should hold itself to higher standards than a repressive or occupation regime.