Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to Heal: Suggestions for the People of Sudan

Sudan has shown great instability since before the genocide in 2003. Here is a list of events detailing the instability of the Sudanese government since 1985:
1985: new constitution;
1989: coup; government overthrown; Al-Bashir suspends constitution; removal of freedom of the press; banning of political parties and trade unions;
1993: Revolutionary Command Council dissolved; Bashir appointed president; major political parties boycott election; allegations of electoral fraud;
1998: new constitution; National Congress (backed by Bashir) held major positions within government, media, schools, judiciary system, and security forces;
1999: constitution suspended; Parliament dissolved before it could pass legislation to limit Bashir's power;
2003: genocide begins.
Roughly 400,000 people were murdered in the Darfur genocide. The attacks spread from Darfur, to the rest of Sudan, and into regions of neighboring Chad. The Sudanese government funded and aided the militants who conducted the mass slaughter. The International Criminal Court has now issued an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan for war crimes. What should be done in a situation like this?
New, new NEW!! The answer is new: new government, new institutions, new symbols, new education. When a government is involved in killing its own citizens, that government should be replaced with one voted on by the people. Institutions should be placed by that government to transition into an era of growth and healing. To heal old wounds, memorials commemorating the lives lost should be erected. Old symbols of hatred should be replaced with new symbols, such as a new constitution and flag. Black Africans and Muslim Africans should work together in developing their new society based on equality and freedom. The horrific history of Sudan should not be left to rust, but used to educate the new generations of Sudanese so that it never happens again. The US can give monetary aid to Sudan, but the people of Sudan must do this themselves. Their new society must be built by the people, not by someone else. When foreign governments replace leaders or propose their own changes, the transition is seldom a positive one and often leads to resentment. Sudan can prosper economically through trade with China and the US. Sudan's resources, once they are in the hands of the people, can provide for their citizens and be used for trade in order to develop Sudan in the global marketplace. Instead of depending solely on the oil and minerals sold internationally, Sudan should develop new industries and cradle those industries until they grow large enough to export. This would create more high-paying jobs, raise Sudan's terms of trade, increase production, and increase GDP by increasing consumption and exports. There is hope for Sudan and the rest of Africa, as long as the people have control over their lives.
"Anything the mind can conceive, and believe, it can achieve." -Napoleon Hill


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