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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Kiir and Bashir: brothers in oil

By Magdi El Gazouli

Sudan and South Sudan signed on Thursday a battery of eight agreements covering oil and other economic concerns, border security, monitoring and demarcation, the status of nationals in the other state, and trade next to other outstanding post-secession issues, and crowned the set with a global cooperation agreement worthy of the signatures of the two presidents, Kiir and Bashir. The governor of Khartoum Abd al-Rahman al-Khidir made sure that a jolly crowd welcomed President Bashir at the airport upon his return on Friday. The crowd, reported the press, insisted that the President deliver a speech after the spell of stick waving, and so he did. …

The brilliant South Sudanese essayist Stella Gaitano correctly identified the function of the ‘brother’ mannerism in Sudanese political discourse as a gesture of exclusion, the mark of the alien in the national corpus. She made the comment shortly before the independence of South Sudan in a warning to the people of Darfur when she noticed that the mainstream press had stripped the South Sudanese of the qualification and shifted its use to Darfurians. …

The author is a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute.

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