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Friday, 8 July 2011
So, it's happened. At midnight last night Sudan that was one became two separate countries. The background is complicated, as it usually is in post-colonial Africa. Territories once ruled as part of an Empire seldom lend themselves to unified self-government once the colonial masters have tired of them. Take a look at the map: those boundaries aren't tribal; they're hardly even (naturally) territorial. They're imperial; they're military; they're handy ways of demarcating territory if you've got competition from another greedy, empire building country. In the reality of day-to-day self-government, they're quite often a disaster. So I wish the people of South Sudan well. They could've chosen a slightly better time to have a party. Because one of the biggest disasters ever to hit the horn of Africa is looming like Banquo's ghost at the Sudanese feast. These people need our help. It's the least we can do given the legacy we've often left them.