Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The writing on the wall

Khartoum is busy entertaining General Gration. Actually the US presidential envoy is to visit Juba, Malakal and al-Fasher, to hold talks with the two Vice Presidents, Kiir and Taha, and to "inspect" the IDP camps in Darfur. At home - in America - he is under fierce attack from the Save Darfur Campaign and Prendergast's Enough Project for being too soft on Khartoum. In a public letter these "home" forces accused the General of "failing to recognise human rights violations" and of failing to hold Khartoum accountable for "its lack of commitment to peace and justice". Quite an interesting constellation if you think it through: Gration the patron in Sudan the protectorate, and Prendergastians as the minor guardians of the juvenile Sudanese. In a speech in Wad Medani a two years back or so Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, Secretary of the Communist Party, commenting on the Abuja talks where Robert Zoellick, the American mediator, practically bullied the two Darfur movements to achieve a "fix" and came out with the DPA and an exhausted Minni Minawi, proclaimed that Darfur has slipped out of our hands. Well, I guess Sudan has slipped out of our hands. Its fate, at least for now, is the calculus of American domestics: Obama's electoral promises, the vanities of self-staged saviours, and the "realpolitik" of the war on terror.

In the absence of Sudanese politics proper the stage is set for the more ominous. While Grationites and Prendergastians battle is out in the heart of the Empire, and Sudanese political forces dramatise as much as they can to attract attention and ally from this camp or the other the cracked wall of our tired country demonstrates big letters written in the crimson of blood. The impotence of our "domestic" politics is fuelling a rapturous wave of political assassinations, a name nobody has given these ominous events yet. During the past month or so local NCP officials have been paying the price of their affiliation in the currency of life. One was killed in al-Bawga in Northern Sudan, the site of construction of a new dam that a wide sector of the area's population vehemently opposes, another was killed in an IDP camp in Darfur, and a lady official, the local Chairperson of the National Congress Party's Women Desk in Yambio (Western Equatoria) was gunned down.

Till now the official response to these developments has been the statist choice of criminal investigation, i.e. incapacitated administration, plus the usual political ruminations of the two ruling parties. What these incidents are bringing to the surface however is the exhaustion of politics as such, even politics of organised armed resistance or rebellion. They are surely not criminal offences pure and simple but political acts in the naked. The narrower the room for effective political action the wider the space for the anarchist drives of popular grievance. Its just the second law of thermodynamics - the universal principle of increasing entropy, or lets say entropy in the absence of evolution.

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This work by Magdi El Gizouli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.