Was South Sudan a mistake?

With the world’s newest country on the brink of collapse, the wisdom of separating north and south Sudan is in question.

The father of South Sudanese resistance, the late Dr John Garang, never quite ruled out the possibility of seceding from the north to create a new, independent state. But nor did he advocate it. For him, secession was a last resort, an option to be taken only if everything else had failed. “If we cannot rise to the challenge and move to the New Sudan, it is better that the Sudan breaks up before it breaks down,” he said in speeches delivered across the continent and the world.

But his vision, his dream, was always to meet that challenge; to make a New Sudan which could accommodate its wonderfully diverse peoples, and give them all a say in the running of the state. In January 2005, at the signing ceremony of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nairobi – the deal which ended the decades-long civil war between the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A rebels of which Garang was chief – he reiterated this to the 20,000 Sudanese and the 15 African heads of state who were assembled for the occasion: “This peace agreement signals the beginning of one Sudan regardless of race, religion or tribe.”

Six months later, his helicopter crashed in circumstances which continue to fuel conspiracy theories. Garang was dead, and with him and with him any hope of a unified Sudan.

Garang’s vision was never particularly popular amongst his people, and understandably so. Secession seemed like (and ultimately was) an achievable goal, whereas overthrowing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his henchmen was an exponentially more difficult challenge; and after enduring centuries of oppression from northern rulers, southerners were entitled to feel aggrieved enough to want to cut ties completely.

Read More on this from the sourcehttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/08/south-sudan-war-mistake?CMP=twt_gu