Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pyrates and Darfur

Reading up on the Darfur protests scheduled for tomorrow, I came upon the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) website, here. They are organising a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy here in Abuja tomorrow. Wear a blue hat tomorrow wherever you are to register your protest (the specific protest is against the Sudanese government's refusal to allow a huge UN peacekeeping force into Darfur, following a UN resolution last week - hence the blue hat reference).

The Pyrates website is quite informative - giving a good account of the history of the fraternity - one of the founders being Soyinka (one of the 'Original Seven'). Quite a few people blame Soyinka for being the original cause of the cults that plague campuses up and down the land. This is a difficult and complex issue which I leave commentors to offer their opinions on. One major issue is surely the way in which university cults are prone to external interference - as with Area Boys.

Meanwhile, in an effort to understand in more detail what is behind the Darfur genocide, I went to good old Wikipedia. There's an excellent write-up here. Its a complex story, inevitably with a British colonialist element (via Lord Kitchener and an Anglo-Egyptian power-sharing agreement) as well as a local ethnic dimension revolving around nomadic cow-herders (Baggara - a Fulani offshoot), camel herders (various Bedouin Arab tribes from the North) and the agriculturalist Fur people. Desertification and sub-regional conflicts between Libya, Chad and Sudan add to the mix, as does prospect of huge untapped oil reserves in the region. The Arab vs African characterisation is a simplification of what is essentially a resource war.


Shango,  6:03 pm  

It should be no secret that I do not like the United Nations, especially their "peacekeepers" who are so inept, they make the Keystone Kops look like geniuses. A reading of the recent history of UN "peacekeeping" efforts the world over should serve to warn off anyone from employing these scoundrels.

That said, they may be the only viable option in Sudan, however unpleasant.

I was once roommates for about two years with a northern, Islamic Sudanese gentleman from Khartoum named Hassan. Hassan was a most amiable fellow who'd worked fixing aircraft at Khartoum airport and was in the US studying for a masters degree in Computer Engineering.

Hassan also thought the black, animist and christian southern Sudanese were "lower creatures" to the northern Arab Sudanese. His exact words.

The Sudan situation is not really a resource war so much as tribal warfare.

Nkem 11:36 am  

Soyinka did a film on the Pyrates for C4 last year. He also wrote an accompanying article in G2.

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP