Tuesday, 28 September 2010

An unworthy client

According to last Sunday’s edition of al-Quds al-Arabi the Lebanese Hezbollah has promised to commit a battalion of its fighters to the ‘struggle against colonialism in Darfur’. Two lecturers in German universities apparently carried a message of that content to the Governor of North Darfur, Mohamed Yusif Kibir. Al-Quds quoted the Khartoum paper al-Ahram adding that Kibir expressed his gratitude for Hasan Nasralla’s message and confirmed his desire to support the Palestinian and Lebanese causes. Notably Kibir complained to his ‘Western’ guests of the regression in NGO assistance to the IDPs in Darfur, promising a government takeover of the ignored duties, and demanding that the NGOs double their efforts to restore the situation to its previous stand!
The German faculty presented a lecture at the University of al-Fasher organised by its Peace Studies Centre in cooperation with the Sudanese Media Centre, a media outlet associated with Sudan’s intelligence service, where they explained the role of the Zionist lobby in agitating the Darfur conflict and the Israeli plot to divide Sudan, and thus, I presume, the background to the claimed Hezbollah readiness to fight the enemy perking on Sudanese soil.
Kibir, my goodness, wants to eat on all tables, Hasan Nasralla’s anti-Israeli jihad and the plotting intriguing Zionist associated NGOs, just whoever happens to pay here and now. That however is no surprise or should not be, it is symptomatic of the Sudanese elite’s utter extraversion. Even when extending support in matters of principle, the complex anti-colonial struggle in Palestine and Southern Lebanon, the bargain is on ‘reward’. Probably Kibir would have something equally thrilling to say had he been visited by India’a Maoist insurgents or the Basque ETA or the Columbian FARC for all he cares. The point is what does he get out of it, a contract, a share, a cut? Now, Kibir may well wish the Darfur fiasco away under the title of an Israeli plot, but that does not save him or his government from facing up to the responsibility of the Darfur they shattered with ethnic labels and cheap government.
Israeli involvement in Sudanese affairs is no secret. Anya Nya officers prior to the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972 received military training in Israel, including the late John Garang, and ties between Joseph Lago and Israeli intelligence and military were beyond cordial. Numayri was a friend of the Israelis and readily facilitated the transport of Ethiopian Jews to Israel via Sudan. In that sense Israeli undertakings are not in the realm of the mythical or the transcendent conspiratorial, but can be concretely established, practically always involving Sudanese counterparts, even the most unexpected like sectarian figureheads, and Islamist collaborators. The question thus is not the Israeli or the Iranian ties but the drive to extraversion and clientelism that bewitches the country's ‘national’ politics. That’s colonialism for you Mr Kibir, start with yourself.

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