Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 7 January 2010

Expand telecommunication networks to local areas in Sudan

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By Mading J. Manyok

January 6, 2010 — The comprehensive Peace Agreement brought Sudan out from dark house since the signing of Sudan’s peace Agreement four years ago. Sudan has five permanent telecommunication networks which existing in the countrywide and all networks are private owners. But still communication systems remain poor in some areas. Moreover those companies owning telecommunications are making much profit in the country.

They are earning thousands of Sudanese pounds either weekly, monthly or yearly, and they procrastinate to satisfied and deliver services to citizens in the region where the operate. They are very many in term of operating in the country, but they are few in giving services to Sudanese people. Since we already have five telecommunication companies providing communication system in the country; for instance Gemtel, Zain which is the ‘wonderful world; Sudatel, MTN ‘‘everywhere you go’’ which means the mobile telecommunication network and Vivacell network.

All in all, the operating networking companies in the country are always basing in the urban centres or within the cities. This is because that was their foundation. But now since the country is free from instability then all the providing networking companies should/must expand their telecommunication networks to the rural areas within the country, so that everyone in the country should/must have access of communication system.

There are thousands of criminal cases reported every year in the country; for instance kidnappings of children, looting of properties, taking of someone cattle’s due to lacking of telecommunication networks in those regions where all these issues happening; but if the telecommunication networks were present/available in those regions, then all the criminals cases should/must be solved soon and then all the people enjoy the fruitful peace in the country rather than thinking of another violent again.

The network operating companies have sets the procedures to economise their antennas within the central cities rather than expanding networks to cover the countrywide. I don’t understand what cause all these regulations of maintaining of telecommunication network antennas within the towns/cities alone. Are they rural areas not part of the country? They ministry of telecommunication and postal services in government of National Unity and government of Southern Sudan are moving up and down trying to eradicate poor facilities of communication system in the country at large.

Since Sudan is among the richest countries within our continent; MTN and Zain are the richest telecommunication networks providers in the continent, but they fail to give efficient and effective services to Sudanese people. Once all these companies fail to satisfied Sudanese citizens, the government should/must take legal procedures to chase them out from the country. They should not stay in the country meanwhile they are giving services to the citizens by accumulated our Sudanese pounds for nothing, while our people are lacking access of networks in some regions.

Most towns and cities in Sudan for instance, Khartoum, Juba, Umdurman El Fasher ,coasty plus rest of towns in Sudan are well equips with the networks antennas around leaving others rest of towns/cities are unconnected with networks. What is the reason behind these developments? The most factors that face many people seemingly neglected because all Sudanese people are the same, but the telecommunication networks owners have come up with division of Sudanese people. How come for these telecommunication companies to do such division in the same country? Are we not all Sudanese? Or does Sudanese have Regionalism government?

There are some areas even don’t know how phone look like in our country Sudan. And I am not saying telecommunication companies should provide them with phones but to connect them with the rest of world. Nokia Phone Company have attractive logo, Nokia ‘connecting people’, this is what I mean for our telecommunication companies operating in our country Sudan to expand their network antennas into local areas so that they should have access of networks in their areas, otherwise celebrating of peace and prosperity in Sudan is meaningless in local areas of Sudan.

However, these many tribes conflicts going on in Country can be solved when Telecommunication Networks are extended in their areas, because one people heard of fighting then automatically, our soldiers should be send to rescue the civilians over there. And I think this could be the right channels of overcoming this critical juncture we are in.

Since Telecommunication Networks company have rights and is their choice to carry out their business in our own country, then it is our pleasure to extend their antennas to our local areas so that we citizens have peace memory in one mind and in one heart and enjoyed by all. Our partners have thousands planning over us Southerners days and night to quit the country. With the ground and air assaults which would involve a close to one hundred warplanes , most of them made in China and Russia, the NIF hope that this massive fire power from the air would pulverized SPLA bases, destroy roads and bridges and disrupt communication links before the militias move in.

Once this first phase of the war is completed, the army would then start a scorched earth campaign. Militias would round up civilians and put them in what Islamists called peace camps like the one in Darfurs. These camps would be sealed off and hidden away from the curious eyes of the International community and aid agencies. When this is done, the remnants of SPLA that may be dug into resist the invasion would have no choice but to surrender or leave with the rest of the civil population to settle in neighbouring countries as refugees.

Another side to this stratagem is a culture of tribalism and revenge among South Sudan tribes? Arab Islamists know that South Sudanese tribes are more loyal to their tribal roots than to their cause as Southerners. Southerners are also known to be good at revenging their tribal members killed by other tribal members. Therefore, if for example a Dinka assassinate an important Nuer, or Shilluk, an Azandi or a fellow Dinka and vice versa, it is possible the chain and the cycle of revenge will continue and Islamists assume that the few who may manage to stay away from this cycle of killing may be distracted to fight the real war and if they do, they will be no march against its war machines. Simply put they themselves will either leave the South to seek shelters in neighbouring countries as refugees or caught up in the middle of the tribal fiasco and mayhem.

Even though Sudan government have design media disinformation as another well planned front is the massive political campaign and media disinformation the Islamic government in Khartoum is designing. The obvious reason is that, authorities in Khartoum always portrays themselves as defenders of Islam and Arab culture in it’s entirely and they hope that any threat to Islam would bring Arabs and Muslim on their side. Moreover, NIF predict that in case the war breakout between the north and the South after the two sides failed to implement the comprehensive peace agreement accord [CPA], or in case the South Sudan declares its independence, it would be defined by millions of Muslims in Egypt and the Arab world in particular as a move designed by Zionists and the Americans. This move would be interpreted as a political manoeuvre aimed to undermine Islam and the interest in Africa. Evidently, Islamists in Khartoum know that an independence of South Sudan would not go well with Arabs especially Egyptians who see independence of South Sudan as a threat to their survival as Muslims.

Therefore, Islamic fundamentalists in Khartoum are counting on American relationship with the Middle East as an important weapon to use. With the Americans bogged down in Iraq, Islamists think that it would be a fatal political miscalculation on the part of United States to intervene militarily; therefore, America and the West in general will have their hands tied. In this scenario, the two would possibly use the diplomacy for fear of tipping off their delicate relationship with their allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia during this crisis. After all, Islamists hope that a quick and decisive victory would leave America and the world stunned and eventually, there will be no room for diplomacy to save the infidels from the South, and the marginalised areas of the Sudan from Islamists of Khartoum’s Jihad.

Let watch out for this war, our partners are planning against us southerners, and let expand our telecommunication networks to our local areas so that we got all the information countrywide. This is because our partners have used these local areas as their foot step leaving Southern government unrest.

Please make all the regions in Southern Sudan to have Telecommunication Networks for Security purposes.

The writer is a Sudanese Journalist- base in Kampala-Uganda. He can be reached at madingmanyor@myway.com



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  • 7 January 2010 05:16, by Time1

    Mading

    What is needed is teh GOSSministry of communication, it is there job to formulate strategies and make plans for development of communication systems, if the GOSS ministry of comm does not give guidlines and conditions on how telecom companies should work and spread their infrastructure throughout the south then you cannot blame the telecom companies, the GOSS need to provide the platform and the suitable conditions like good security and good investment atmosphere, this is how the companies will move in, the companies want money they do not care to spread allover Sudan, but they need proper environment to invest, the GOSS and the state governments have to set the foundation in place then the companies can come in, direct your this to the government not companies.

    repondre message

    • 7 January 2010 18:15, by John Costa

      You have written brilliant article. With this, you have illuminated the state of Khartoum Islamic government. What Southern Sudanese need is to rally themselves upon one cause in order to fight the next war. What should the church do in order to unify southern? There is much to unite us than to separate us. We shared interest that must known by every Southern. What should the local community need to understand to avoid violence that leads to tribal war? I believe we need to structure strong local government with strong security establishment. We have spent enough money in structuring the federal government while we have left the local community suffer from lack of security. I believe our strategy should focus around the protecting the local community all over South Sudan. What is our common interest? Is it separation from the Khartoum government, and establish our new state we are free and democratic government. Moreover, it is to protect our local tribal inheritance, and culture. I think we all answer these question we will be able to defeat the Islamic government in Khartoum.

      repondre message

      • 7 January 2010 21:37, by Time1

        Actually the next strategy of GOSS is to make sure security is focussed on local state levels, by end of the year people want to swee full security control and well established security situation at all local level otherwise it will not be a good end. GOSS has to start now, serious and hard work is needed no one has time for messing around.

        repondre message

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