Sunday, January 16, 2005

One Giant Leap for Mankind

One clause in the grievously under-reported Sudanese peace-treaty stands out. In six years, there will be referendum on whether the South of Sudan remains part of the country or secedes. If this all happens, and they elect not to stay, this will be the first time the artificial borders drawn by the Imperialist powers are changed to reflect the facts on the ground! I am sure it will not be the last, and not before time. Nothing has probably screwed Africa up more than being cut into totally artificial countries, bundling ancient enemies together and dividing ancient cultures among several new nations. Eritrea and East Timor don't count, because they were just reverting to a different set of Imperialist lines on the map. It might not be Sudan first: I suppose it is possible that Puntland and the other fragments of the failed state Somalia might be recognised as independent countries before 2011, or Iraq might be split up, or an internationally-recongised border drawn between Israel and a state of Palestine: but one way or another, it looks like the lines made-up by people with funny mustaches back in the 19th century are finally being shifted to more sensible places...

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