Numerous lessons can be learnt from this exciting development, a result of more than 20years of a bitter struggle between the forces of repression and those of freedom. The first and probably the most important lesson may be that repressive governance can sometimes cause the oppressed people to revolt and seek to free themselves from the oppressor by seceding.
It is common cause that in Sudan, the northern, mainly Moslem and Arab rulers, had always oppressed the people of South Sudan. They discriminated against them and treated them with utter scorn, if not hatred. People in the south of that great country fought for their freedom for many years.
Many lives were lost, including that of General Garang who should have been declared the South Sudan’s first President last Saturday had he still been alive. In like manner, the Zanu (PF) repression has, inter alia, caused some of the people of Matabeleland to believe that they would be better off as a separate state called Mthwakazi.
This has infuriated the former liberation movement, Zanu (PF), which, fortunately is in the sunset of its time in power. In countries where there is good governance and democracy, issues of secession do not seem to arise in spite of the fact that these countries are also equally multi-ethnic in character. The Mthwakazi problem in Zimbabwe must therefore squarely be laid at the door of Mugabe and his rotting political party.
The second lesson is that colonialism wreaked havoc among the majority of the people of this wonderful continent by balkanising it in an arbitrary manner without due regard to the various nationalities and identities that existed then. The result was that many ethnic groups were simply lumped together and called nations even when they had nothing or very little in common.
Over time, and as the colonists eventually withdrew from Africa, all kinds of problems arose, particularly relating to the notion of self-determination. Some of the African leaders that replaced the departing colonialists were not much better governors of these countries than the colonisers that they replaced.
It is generally and accurately stated that the Mugabe regime has amply demonstrated that it is a lot worse than the Ian Smith that it replaced when the nation of Zimbabwe became independent. It should therefore not surprise any of us that some of the people that reside in marginalised provinces such as Manicaland and Matabeleland are entertaining ideas of secession.
The third lesson that we can learn from the emergence of Africa’s newest country is that impunity and the gross violation of human rights will be resisted by the people until they regain their dignity. We all know that Al Bashir, the President of Sudan has since been served with a warrant of arrest for crimes against humanity.
The birth of the Republic of South Sudan is one of the prices that Al Bashir has been forced to pay for his folly. The same development can be witnessed here if those that rule over us continue to violate the people’s rights with impunity. Those who have been notorious for having degrees in violence and for torturing innocent Zimbabweans need to be afraid, very afraid of the impending regime change.
The birth of the republic of South Sudan is a classic example of what can happen to a nation when its leaders take the generality of their people for granted and treat them as mere subjects and not as citizens of their respective countries.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis