Fabricating an Emergency
This past weekend, Sudan detained a South Sudanese national and three other foreigners under a false accusation of espionage. This incident and a growing list of skirmishes along the border have culminated in Omar al-Bashir declaring a state of emergency for his country’s frontier regions. Such a decree will suspend the constitution throughout the states of Sennar, South Kordofan, and White Nile.
They are not the first to experience such a political lockdown. Darfur has been under a state of emergency for the last decade, which became the ridiculous justification for its genocide in 2003. Blue Nile state became the next in line last year in response to reignited ethnic conflict. Bashir’s decree has also cemented the trade embargo across the border and granted him the mandate to establish special courts in the area.
Since its initial capture of Heglig, South Sudan has withdrawn its forces from the site, restoring the original truce. After claiming victory, Sudan responded with a counter-attack miles deep into the South’s territory, ensnaring the two in further conflict through this unnecessary provocation. The North has continued its aerial bombardments, which not only target existing oil structures, but have made isolated villages fair game. There is absolutely no reason to suggest Sudanese territory is in jeopardy of its neighbor’s aggression, or lack thereof. Bashir has been nothing but belligerent, orchestrating violence which has led to far greater losses for his enemies than among his own forces. The state of emergency is a farce, and could be a dangerous tactic for perpetrating further war crimes.