Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Strategic Importance of Hamesh Korieb
Dear Guest, do you know the occupation of Hamesh Korieb by the SPLA (Sudan Peoples Liberation Army) led to the signing of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Treaty) and eventual cessation of hostilities between North and South. You may be wondering how can the occupation of a medieval ‘Arabian Night’ kind of a village can lead to resolution of a conflict which is decades old. Fault is mine, I haven’t explained it proper.
See the entire Sudan have only one commercial port, Port Sudan. This country does not have any industry of its own. Everything is imported. The man hole covers on the road is Chinese, the mirror on the wall is from Saudi Arabia and you can spot huge containers in front of all those houses being constructed in Khartoum as they have imported everything except bricks and sand for the construction. Now take your eyes to the map. Trace you’re your way from Port Sudan via Kassala to Khartoum. That artery is the life line of the country. Any blockade of this road will choke the nation. Hamesh Korieb is just about 25 kilometers east from that road on the Eritrean border.
In one of the major strategic swoop the SPLA infiltrated their fighters and heavy guns (they even have Bofors Artillery Guns here) through Ethiopia and Eritrea and occupied this place. It is big mystery that how a Christian and animist SPLA could occupy a conservative Islamic village. I saw them interacting so normally. It is an education to other armies like US and all who are struggling to get a foot hold in Iraq. I think the secret is to respect the local customs fully and never try to influence your ideas on to them. SPLA actually succeeded in that and their mere occupation of the eastern fringe of the nation where it hurts most has pushed the country to sign the now famous comprehensive Peace Agreement.
As per the terms of CPA the SPLA was to withdraw from there on 09 Jan 06. But citing logistical issues they have not moved out from there. I heard that the first group of about 2500 is going to move out from there from tomorrow onwards. The actual test going to be what happens then onwards. Beja Congress is waiting on the wings to get inside. SAF and their supported PDF are just few hundred meters away from the village ready to move in. The power vacuum going to be created by the pull out of SPLA and how the same fill be filled are the stories to watch. Certainly I will be there to let to you informed my Guest.
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