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Sudan: It Was All About the Water

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(NNPA) We have been concentrating on a current horror story or a struggle of the 21st century. In fact, this struggle for power in Sudan has been going on for thousands of years. We were taught in school that Egypt was the cradle of civilization. What we didn’t know was that they were referring to the southern region of this area, which wasn’t Egypt at all. It is what we call Sudan. There are more pyramids standing in Sudan than Egypt to testify of its factual greatness. The Macedonians (Alexander the Great) and Persians fought many battles to have the governance of this land. It was the “Bread Basket of the world” and who had possession of it had the corner on the world’s economy. The land, which is today called Southern Sudan, was rich and fertile as it is today and produces vast quantities of food for humans and livestock. Back in the day, Sudan was as Black as Africa since it was indeed in deep Africa. Arabs and others ventured many centuries later and partially change the racial dynamic in the northern regions.

How does Sudan hold such greatness? Lake Victoria is the source for precious water in this vast region of Eastern Africa. The lake, greater in size than twice that of Lake Michigan, provides precious water to what is now called Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and, of course, Sudan. Egypt is also a beneficiary as the great Nile River runs from Lake Victoria north through Egypt and into the Mediterrean Sea. The Bible refers to it as the river that Moses was put into a basket and floated to safe harbor. After British colonialism, boundaries were set and tribes were forced to live together and this caused later conflict. Sudan was no exception. From the beginning, the struggle over who would control the precious path of the Nile caused ongoing conflict.

Egypt came out a winner as it harnessed the annual flooding by the Nile by building the great Anwar Dam and settled all farming issues that it had. Sudan, which was carved up by a British point of view, had major controversy. As the British left it, the southern region of Sudan was basically indigenous African, i.e. Black and Christian while the northern region was Arab and Muslim - a perfect pattern for conflict. Soon the two regions became antagonists as to who should benefit from the flow of the Nile. The natural flow of the Nile fed the southern region known as Suud, which is some of the most fertile land in the world. Predominantly Muslim, Egypt chose sides with the Northern faction which was far away from Suud and supported manipulation of the flow of the river to the benefit of the northerners. The result was revolution beginning in the late 1950’s. Many years went by and there was a long stalemate.

This lasted for a few years but then Khartoum, the northern capital, convinced Egypt to support a strong effort to seize the flow of the Nile. The Arabs built and implemented a gigantic excavating machine to build a canal that would divert the Nile to northern Sudan and permanently reestablish the flow of precious water. Thus, a new revolution started and lasted many years. The revolution stopped the excavator when it was 80 percent complete with its mission. It lies rusting in the desert today and the revolution which incorporated the Darfur Holocaust is now coming to a close. So many precious lives have been lost over who controls the water, i.e. economy.

They wanted us to think that is was a racial and religious conflict when it was basically a regional and economic dilemma. Thank God it is finally coming to an end and the natural resources will stay in tack. The nations of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and the new Southern Sudan are in unity on the sharing of the precious Nile River. In fact, they are collaborating as an economic interchange such as the European Union and will share technology, enterprise and resources so that all nations will prosper. This is so over due in the continent. Things will change for the better and for mankind as a whole.

On July 9, 2011, the new nation of Southern Sudan will be born. We are so happy to have representatives of this new nation, namely the Southern Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, to make a presentation at our 19th Annual Convention in Miami, FL on July 23, 2011. We are committed to providing our resources and expertise such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities agriculture schools in helping this new nation get off to a great start. After so many tears and disasters, they are finally on their way. Thank God!

Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.

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