By Thomas C. Mountain,
The USA and its soon to be departed lap dog at the UN, General Secretary Ban Ki Moon are pushing for regime change in South Sudan. The reason the USA wants to rid itself of President Salva Kiir, the internationally recognized leader of South Sudan and replace him with rebel leader Reik Machar is because the US wants to deny China access to Africa’s energy resources, with the Sudanese oil fields the only Chinese owned and operated in Africa.
Its that simple, the USA is destabilizing South Sudan to deny China oil, period.
The CIA, as it has done in Angola, Mozambique and numerous other African country’s for decades now, is using a “rebel leader” named Reik Machar to wage an ethnic based war against a government that is doing business with one of Pax Americana’s rivals. The coup against president Kiir in early 2014 by V.P. Machar was planned since 2006, which we know about thanks to Wikileaks.
Follow the Golden Rule for African Conflicts, “Show Me The Money”, as in the source of Reik Machar’s funds to pay and supply his rebel army of more than 20,000 these past over two years now. And how is all of Mr. Machar’s weapon resupply reaching him if not via Ethiopia where up until recently Machar has been a regular resident under the regimes protection. This isn’t the first time Machar has gotten support from an Ethiopian regime going back to the 1980’s and the genocidal Soviet backed Mengistu regime.
And of course, the tottering Ethiopian government is being wracked by famine, infrastructure collapse and ethnic revolts so the US is feeling the pressure to bring about regime change in South Sudan before their policeman on the beat in Ethiopia may no longer be up to helping with the job due to its own regime change challenges.
Now the UN has intervened directly by spiriting Reik Machar out of South Sudan (Ethiopia is no longer stable and Mr. Machar apparently no longer trusts the regime there) to the D.R. Congo where he is has been handed over by the UN to be protected by the D.R. Congo government of Joseph Kabila where Mr. Machar says he is waiting for the UN “peacekeepers” to arrive and, he hopes, shoe horn him into power in South Sudan. So much for the UN’s “neutrality”. It’s regime change time and the UN once again shows itself as a lackey of the USA.
Its that simple, really. All the smokescreens being blown by journalists such as Nick Turse et al can only hide the big picture and only for so long.
How it is that journalists, whether their work is found in the New York Crimes toilet paper or on “alternative” sites like Pierre “Ukrainian Coup” Omydar’s “The Intercept” can’t make out something so apparent as US (and its minions in the UN) vs. China in South Sudan has raised questions within the evolving network of veteran African observers I have been a part of for over 30 years.
Smokescreens galore, really, filling the pages of even the alternative media with horrifying tales of black on black tribal violence in South Sudan, and nary a mention of the only beneficiary of this murder and mayhem, the USA. That’s right, the USA is the ONLY beneficiary of this mess, having been able to repeatedly damage or shut down the Chinese oil fields as a result of the rebellion which the CIA is funding and which the UN has turned a blind eye to.
What is really lacking is any understanding of an accurate history of what came to be Africa’s newest nation, South Sudan, though parts of it have been told in these pages over the years starting with “Storm Clouds Over South Sudan” back in 2009. This was followed by “US Plan to Destabilize Sudan” and then “US vs. China in South Sudan” (an article Mr. Turse casually dismissed in 2014).
So in the interests of educating all of the international journalists covering South Sudan, and NONE of them have gotten the story right, here, once again, is the only accurate on the ground based history of the “independence” of South Sudan.
In the early part of the new century the situation in Sudan, then Africa’s largest and potentially richest nation, was grim. Decades of marginalization and war by the Khartoum based clique of Generals that ruled the country had led to a desperate situation.
In the south the armed rebellion and counter insurgency had left the countryside in ruin. In the east the ethnic Rashida and Beja had risen in arms against their destitution and in the west the beginnings of what came to be known as the War in Dafur was brewing.
And the generals in Khartoum were playing hard headed, refusing to sit down and share power with all parties and talk seriously about how to solve Sudan’s many miseries.
Then in 2003 the east Sudanese rebels provided cover for Eritrean commandos by launching a strike from their bases in northern Eritrea into Sudan and cut the Port Sudan-Khartoum highway, the Sudanese regimes lifeline, literally.
The Sudanese army tried repeatedly to reopen the highway only to see their best troops routed by the battle hardened Eritrean commandos. With the government in Khartoum on the verge of collapse due to looming shortages of food and fuel, the Generals were forced to see the light and agreed to sit down and talk peace seriously. Thus began a process that includes what is today known as South Sudanese independence.
Ironically, something that the lazy lot that writes about South Sudan no longer care to mention, the leader of the South Sudanese movement, John Garang, was vociferously OPPOSED to independence.
I visited Eritrea at the end of 2004-early 2005 shortly after the first peace deal between President Omar Al Bashir and John Garang was signed in Asmara, Eritrea. That’s right, the first deal between the leader of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement and the Government of Sudan was done here in Asmara, the Eritrean capital.
The hotel where we were staying in Asmara was still full of senior SPLM leaders still exuberant over the deal their leadership had made and looking forward to peace and prosperity, or so they thought at the time. It wasn’t long after I left that the USA hijacked the peace negotiations with threats and broken promises i.e. lifting of sanctions against the Khartoum government, that a “new” peace deal was brokered in Kenya.
This time there was only one real difference, that there was to be a “referendum” on independence for the south in the not to distant future. This referendum was forced on both parties and was quickly renounced by John Garang of the SPLM, which by the way is entitled the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, not the South Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement.
Not long after signing the Kenya based deal, which called for a national presidential election including all parties before any referendum on “independence” for the south, John Garang made his first public appearance at a huge rally in Khartoum where he announced his bid to be elected Sudan’s new President and promised a country based on equal rights and justice for all Sudanese. John Garang was crystal clear that he was against independence for the south and wanted to maintain Sudan’s national unity.
And in what certainly doomed him, he described his future presidency as one based on an independent, non aligned foreign policy and an economy free of control by the west and partnering with China instead to develop Sudanese resources and infrastructure.
A few weeks later John Garang was dead, killed in a highly suspicious helicopter crash and thus ending any hope of peacefully settling Sudan’s future.
The subsequent election saw John Garangs replacement, former head of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, General Salva Kiir attempting to fill John Garang’s shoes, a task he has been entirely incapable of doing. The election was won by Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and as I was to write, there were to be “Storm Clouds Over South Sudan”.
With John Garang out of the way, the USA with help from its lickspittles at the UN could manipulate the situation with inducements and threats so that the “independence referendum” that John Garang was dead against would go ahead as planned and Africa’s newest “nation”, South Sudan, was stillborn.
With 500,000 barrels a day of oil being pumped back when oil was averaging over $70 a barrel, the future after the “independence” referendum and the formation of the Government of South Sudan looked bright. But none of the oil money was showing up as development in South Sudan because it was almost all being stolen, of course without the direct criminal connivance of western banksters it couldn’t have happened.
Sudan claims it turned over $15 billion to the Salva Kiir government and I estimated that at least $10 billion of which was stolen, lock, stock and smoking gun barrels when it came time for Dinka and Nuer warlords to divide the loot (see “$10 Billion Missing in South Sudan”).
In the midst of an almost unprecedented ransacking of a national treasury, a fratricidal dispute developed between the Bashir government and South Sudan over oil pipeline transit fees because with independence South Sudan was the new owner of most of the oil being pumped to the Red Sea for export to China.
The Generals in Khartoum tried to play hardheaded once again and western diplomats began whispering in Salva Kiir’s aides ears that South Sudan “didn’t need oil, it can live off of aid…”, $200 million a month was what was promised, if South Sudan would just shut down the Chinese oil fields over the dispute.
And incredibly enough, Salva Kiir did just that, cut off his own nose to spite his face, shutting down the oil fields and cutting off his only source of income. The USA won and China lost, with the real losers being the South Sudanese people, for without oil money all food and energy quickly ran out and Sudanese people were begging for aid once again.
The off the record promises of US aid weren’t kept and Salva Kiir, with his oil fields shut and dead broke went on national television and begged for his former comrade in arms to return some of their stolen loot to keep the country from falling apart.
President Kiir infamously begged for “only $4 billion [to] be returned” and when the western banksters holding the loot turned a deaf ear to his pleas he was forced to go hat in hand back to the Chinese who obligingly promised $8 billion in emergency aid and loans, saving the Salva Kiir’s government from collapse. Part of the deal with China required settling the transit fee dispute with the Bashir government and the reopening of the Sudanese oil fields.
Of course, this enraged Pax Americana and the writing on the wall became clear, that Salva Kiir had to go if that is what it took to keep the Chinese oil fields in Sudan closed.
The CIA clandestine operation to destabilize South Sudan and depose President Salva Kiir was launched and a “rebellion” was instigated in the form of an old time mercenary and ethnic warlord named Reik Machar, then V.P. of South Sudan.
That some sort of rebellion would happen was almost inevitable from the start, really, for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army was based on ethnic divisions, with the Dinka having their own military followed by the Nuer and so on down the line of almost half a dozen ethnically based military commands.
When all the oil money was going missing as into ethnic warlords foreign bank accounts, there was a point where even the army salaries weren’t being paid and mutinies broke out starting in the smaller ethnic commands who had been the first to get ripped off.
Salva Kiir had to literally round up herds of cattle and truckloads of cash and run around putting out fires to keep the country from falling into ethnic conflict, with intra SPLA based warfare. Ethnic warlordism is what has ruled southern Sudan for decades with only a veneer of anything different since “independence”.
The Chinese oil fields were shut down when the destabilization campaign by the CIA sent rebel fighters to attack the oil pipelines and pumping stations and left Salva Kiir in a dangerous situation. He eventually agreed to allowing over a 1,000 Chinese “peacekeepers” to surround the oil fields and get the oil flowing again.
As should be expected this even further enraged the USA who now have turned to their lap dog at the UN Ban Ki “Slippery Eel” Moon to push a plan in the UN in Security Council for military intervention and sanctions in South Sudan to finish the job of removing President Salva Kiir from power.
They call them “peacekeepers” though where ever they go it seems peace seldom follows. 4,000 foreign “peacekeepers” invading South Sudan in the first phase as well as sanctions against Salva Kiir’s government.
Why would the US be pushing sanctions on the South Sudanese government with its aid restrictions during war and famine unless Pax Americana wanted regime change in South Sudan?
Now with the UN’s direct involvement in smuggling Reik Machar out of the country and paving the way for his return once their invasionary “peacekeepers” are in place the likes of Nick Turse et al will have to do some serious “spinning” to maintain the facade of UN/US neutrality in South Sudan’s affairs.
With regime change can come a “new beginning” when it comes to developing South Sudan’s oil fields. China out and the US in, which is what has been the goal all along, no matter the smoke machines filling the international media with tales of black on black tribal bloodshed.
This, of course, is a short article summarizing the history of the South Sudan “independence” fiasco and is not intended to be very comprehensive, but it lays out the over all development of events in a complete and accurate summary.
It is hoped that the independence movements, or those claiming the right to self determination in Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, some 65 million people divided into 5 nationalities will use this account to begin to understand the dangers any newly independent state in Africa will face, no matter the oil or gas wealth they are promised.
What any new country does not want to happen is to find themselves caught in the middle of US vs. China and subject to the USA pushing for regime change in their newly “independent” land.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea where he has been living and reporting from since 2006. His work can be seen on his facebook site at thomascmountain or he can best be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com