In 2011, after more than fifty years of an atrocious and attritional civil war, out of Sudan, onetime Africa
s largest country by landmass, South Sudan, Africas youngest country was born.
The birth was a long and difficult one during which time a horrified world watched the endless slaughter and rapes going on in the country before concerted efforts finally bore some fruits in ending the senseless devastation.
It has not been all rosy with the country though as teething problems have caused ancient ethnic animosities to flare into bloody conflicts between the ethnic groups who nurse ancient rivalries. The ethnicism-tinged conflagrations have mostly been between the Dinka and the Nuer tribal groups.
In 2019, after thirty years in power which began with a military coup, Sudan`s long-time president Omar al- Bashir was given a dose of his own medicine when he was overthrown in a military coup and placed under house arrest.
He was himself a whelp of war. At the time he seized power in 1989, Sudan had been embroiled in a twenty-one-year civil war between the north and south. At the time he was deposed, a warrant of arrest by the International Criminal Court over allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country` s western region of Darfur was hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles.
While South Sudan has battled with many of the nascent problems that plague new countries, the Sudanese people have shown that they are unflagging in their conviction that Sudanese power belongs to them and they are simply not going to give it away. Since 2019, the Sudanese Revolution has looked the beast of the power-grabbing-and-power-drunk Sudanese military in the eye without batting an eyelid.
On October 25,2021, the Sudanese military again seized power in a military coup, brutally ending the fragile transitional government that was put in place in 2019 to ensure a full transition to democracy by 2024.
However, it was in the Darfur region of western Sudan that the recent slaughter of over two hundred people painfully reminded a continent of the days when Sudan was soaked in the blood, and the amount of work that remains to be done to ensure that life in the country is secure.
Darfur, the semi-arid western region of Sudan had already borne witness to a brutal civil war which erupted in 2003.Tensions flared up again in recent months as rival groups clashed over water and grazing land which are now at a premium as the world continues to battle climate change crises.
Between the 22-24 April 2022, over two hundred people were killed in and around the city of Kreinik even as fighting spread to the regional capital El Geneina. The fighting was predominantly between the Sudanese government`s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and a local militia called the Sudanese coalition forces.
It is pertinent to note that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has within its ranks many members of the notorious Janjaweed militia mainly recruited from tribes of Arab herders and predominantly used during the 2003 civil war by Omar al-Bashir as he sought to decimate the non-Arab ethnic minorities.
It can only be unfortunate that in many ways, Africa remains a hotbed of conflicts which continue to devastate communities catching women and children especially cold in the process. These bloody conflicts, the handiwork of those who sow discord and terror, continue to be experienced because there is a niggling lack of justice in many places torn apart by these conflicts where perpetrators continue to spawn more terror.
Apart from Sudan, in countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Dr. Congo and a handful of others in Africa, immiserated families now have to live the brutal prospects of terror. Africa day 2022 is well around the corner. What will Africa be celebrating on that day?