Published: 19 April, 2012
Meanwhile, their “border war” threatens to provoke a conflict among the permanent members of UN Security Council. South Sudan is an ally of the US, while Khartoum has close ties with Russia and China.
“If the conflict escalates, we are likely to see a stalemate at the UNSC with China and Russia opposing any proposals that may be politically costly to Sudan,” political author and columnist Reason Wafawarova told RT. “The US, with its allies France and the UK, is likely to push for proposals politically favorable to South Sudan, while opposing any proposals they may see as benefiting Sudan.”
Wafawarova says Sudan is seen as militarily superior to South Sudan. The US is unlikely to allow Juba’s capitulation, increasing its military support.
Some reports allege that the West is already providing arms to South Sudan through its Middle Eastern partners. For instance, Sudan’s Al-Intibaha newspaper writes that Israel might be supplying weapons to Juba.South talking tough too
Another indicator that Juba has some serious allies in the West is the tough stance of South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir.
When the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called him and asked to stop the attack on Heglig, he received a surprisingly defiant answer: “I am not a slave to fulfill your orders!”
Experts say the behavior of President Kiir may be explained by the fact that he was confident of the unshakable support of the United States. Previously the US helped the southerners in their fight against the “dictatorial regime in Khartoum.”
The reason, Wafawarova says, is that it is no secret the United States militarily supported South Sudan in its campaign for secession from the North.
The US reportedly provided $100 million-a-year in military assistance to the SPLA. The information about the nature of this assistance has been scarce, but in December 2009 WikiLeaks released a diplomatic cable that refers to a US “training program for the SPLA, including combat arms soldier training.”
On the other side are Russia and China, who have traditionally supported close ties with Khartoum, selling weapons to Sudan right up to the 2005 UN arms embargo on the Sudanese government because of the war in Darfur.
However, in 2008 a BBC news report claimed to have found evidence of China-Sudan trade in violation of the embargo.
Currently, China is Sudan’s largest trading partner, importing oil and exporting low-cost goods.
Wafawarova believes that the permanent USNC council members’ standoff in the region may lead to an arms race between the two Sudans. US will be “expanding the military strength of South Sudan, while China and Russia will keep arming Khartoum,” he said.
There are also persistent rumors that the US plans to set up a military base in South Sudan – the largest in Africa.
“The US has failed to set up its AFRICOM base in Ghana, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya and other proposed countries in the past,” says Wafawarova. “It would not be surprising if the US is trying to capitalize on the vulnerability of South Sudan in its efforts to establish the AFRICOM base somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.”
However, Wafawarova stressed that any efforts to set up AFRICOM in South Sudan are likely to face stiff opposition from Russia and China, as well as from the African Union and most African countries at individual levels. http://rt.com/news/sudan-south-sudan-war-338/