Neo-colonialism is no solution for South Sudan
Ambassador Herman “Hank” Cohen, writing in response to a blog entitled “The Dependent South Sudan,” says that “it is time to think outside the box” and “place [South Sudan] under intensive UN tutelage until it is capable of true self-government.” We find no quarrel with his statements about the romanticism of the West for the leaders of South Sudan or their voracious greed for the billions of dollars given in foreign aid and sheer lack of respect for human life. However, this is not new information for the those who have long supported the leaders of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM). An article published in The Atlantic in 2011 quoted an unnamed U.S. official saying, “Behind all this [South Sudan’s independence] was [and] still is, a small group of people who have been working behind the scenes for almost 20 years.” These people include the late Congressman Donald Payne, former NSC Advisor John Prendergast and former advisor to Congressman Payne, Ted Dagne. The news about the greed and corruption of South Sudan’s leaders is hardly news to them.
Ambassador Cohen says that “South Sudan was born as a failed state.” He is dead right. Given the role the United States played in, what many called “the midwifing” of Africa’s newest state, we bear some responsibility for presiding over the birth of a failed state. Yet, is an “intensive UN tutelage” thinking outside the box” or dredging up an old box from the dustbin of history? A neo-colonial solution of a UN trusteeship hardly seems to be the innovation that Ambassador Cohen implies in his statement. Perhaps cutting aid that is not reaching the long-suffering people of Sudan might be a first step. Let the people of South Sudan figure out what to do about the thieves in their midst. That is democracy.
To read Ambassador Cohen’s blog entry, please visit http://blogs.cfr.org/campbell/2014/06/17/the-dependent-south-sudan/#more-11867
Then let us know what you think.