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Friday, June 21, 2024

Sudan Crisis: The Lessons African countries should learn

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By Comrade Abubakar El-Biddeen 

The power struggle in Sudan has its roots in the years before a 2019 uprising that ousted Former President Omar al-Bashir, who built up formidable security forces that he deliberately set against one another.

The Sudanese armed forces are broadly loyal to Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the country’s de facto ruler, while the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a collection of militia, follow the former warlord Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti.

This write ups wont be complete without looking at the China’s foreign policy in Sudan and under former President Omar Al-Bashir.

China as one of the fast growing economies in the world, China’s economy is growing at a faster rate and there’s must be the needs to keep up with the phase of its growth. However, with more than a billion people to feed, and millions of industries to service, China finds it almost impossible to internally provide everything for it fast growing economy. This has left China with limited economic options but to look to other countries to supply resources it needs to meet its vast economy’s demands. Faced with a challenge of fast growing industries, global competition and higher oil price worldwide, China has shown interest to invest in Sudan’s oil and this solution has come in a form of partnership with Khartoum’s regime in which Sudan’s oil is the main bond joining the two countries.

Since the oil exploration started in Sudan, China’s oil companies and oil investors moved to Sudan that was in the 1980 and they have drilled more oil wells, built oil pipelines to Port Sudan and several Chinese oil tankers have been anchored at bay in Port Sudan and have transported billions of crude oil back to mainland China.

The question here is that, did the government in Khartoum benefit from such a partnership with China.? 

Khartoum’s government on the other hand has benefitted from the sale of Sudan’s oil to China to an extent which Sudan has never benefitted in the past from a single trader. These benefits have come in different forms. Sudan has been paid billions of dollars by the Chinese’ oil companies which sounds like a basic economic 101 and one would think that selling oil to China is a good thing for Sudan’s economy. Unfortunately, it has not been the case. The new found wealth has helped Bashir’s regime to wage relentless civil wars in Southern Sudan, Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, Abyei and Darfur. Since Khartoum began signing oil deals with Chinese’ oil companies, Sudan has acquired more weapons which exponentially has increased the intensity of civil wars across the country. In places like Darfur, Blue Niles and Southern Kordofan, Khartoum government has carried out many atrocities some of which have been labeled as a genocide or crimes against humanity. 

I know many of my readers on this blue App and everywhere may ask, such a question that, what does China has to do with Sudan internal conflict.?

Of course, the answer lies on Sudan’s oil. Currently, China happened to be one of the few superpowers that have invested so much in Sudan’s oil. Therefore, I want us all to examine the followings:

1. China’s foreign policy on Sudan.

2. China’s roles at the UN and the relationship between oil’s money and civil war in Darfur.

Well, the Economic relationship between China and Sudan is not something. It’s dated as far back as 1962 when these two countries signed a formal agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (ETC) which governed their relationships and this was followed by the signing of another important agreement on Cultural, Scientific and Technical Protocol (CSTP) in 1970.

 However, in the last decade, Sudan has experienced huge increase in China’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Sudan particularly in the oil sector which is in billions of dollars as of today. Since 1999, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) has invested more than $ 15 billion in Sudan. Currently, it’s estimated that CNPC owns half of Sudan’s refineries. The money has been invested in building pipelines in blocks one, two and three located in Southern Sudan which is now The Republic of South Sudan. As of this year, China imported 8% of its oil supply from Sudan. This amounted to 500,000 barrels of oil per day.

So, After Sudan discovered oil in Western region of Darfur in 2005, it is estimated as of today that China’s CNPC owns six blocks in the Darfur area capable to produce about another 500,000 barrels/day.

Furthermore, this alliance between China and Sudan has bruised Beijing-UN relationship when it comes to United Nations sanctions’ policies on Sudan. 

So China’s current foreign policy on Sudan is based on defending Beijing’s economic interests particularly in Sudan’s oil sector. People, who hold this view, believe that higher oil prices worldwide have made Sudan a strategic source of energy to Beijing. 

So with what’s happening in Sudan, whether China accepts or denies her roles in the current war in sudan, history will be the best judge.

Lesson to be learn by other developing countries in Africa.

Whether we like or not, China and any other Eastern/Western/European countries have one and thesame objective/conspiracies as superpower Nations.

Not only Sudan but also its neighbours like Ethiopia and Chad have been affected by political upheavals and conflict and the major geopolitical dimensions are also at play, with United State Of America as well as other powers still battling for influence in African countries and as well invest and cart away with their resources.

Let’s be one and United continent, be non-aligned nations, have our own policies as continent or else we will definitely be conquarred.

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