No cavalry for South Sudan

00-haroldalfordOnce again, another part of the world has been thrown into turmoil. This is happening more and more since former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thought her job was to party and tour the world with a seemingly endless budget. Go everywhere, talk and smile and wave to the minions but don’t even think about diplomacy, world peace and stability. Her boss, President Obama, was fine with this style. He calls it “Leading from Behind.”  There is no such thing. To do this is actually called “following” and the world needs no more followers as it cries for leaders.

The United States is the richest nation on earth with resources matched by no other country. Yet, we are becoming timid and the enemies, especially the daring ones, are like hyenas waiting to pounce on each opportunity. Iran sees us as a “sucker.” China and Russia note our reticence and take advantage of this cowardice. They know the United States is becoming timid and is without a strategy to bring security and peace to the world as we used to do.

Should have seen it coming
So when South Sudan broke out in ethnic battles last week, we all looked surprised.

American citizens were trapped in our embassy and subsidiary buildings. Slowly and in a timid style a few of our troops are coming in to help them get out. Yes, we are running away from the fighting as we no longer do that too well. The UN, Norway and a few others are trying to lead and stop the violence. South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation and it appears that its two years of life are in jeopardy. There is a chance that this outburst may turn into Rwanda-style genocide. We should have all seen this coming.

The South Sudanese are no strangers to violence. They are the survivors of the ruthless Darfur genocide that killed millions, mostly women and children. They have a new country with a new government but that is no simple and sustaining act. It is extremely tribal. The two main tribes are the Dinka and the Nuer. From there we have dozens of other tribes and the nation has 60 dialects to deal with. As one tribe attacks another and brings ruthless murder and mayhem, the other brings revenge. The first week accounted for more than 1,000 dead. More than 120,000 persons are displaced by the violence. That is a scary start.

The deal is that South Sudan, despite its current poverty levels, is one of the richest lands in the world.  It has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.  There is also plenty of timber, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, diamonds, hardwoods, limestone and hydropower. If they could all come together under a united and accountable government, every one of the 8 million citizens could be happy and prosperous.

Wouldn’t that be great?  I pray that day will come soon.  My African brothers and sisters rely on yourselves because the cavalry is not necessarily going to come.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.



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