Colonel Muammar Qaddhafi (will the transcriptions of his name ever become uniform?) recently caused controversy by suggesting that South Sudan’s imminent independence could destabilize the rest of Africa.
On Sunday, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir criticised Southern Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir for saying he would vote for independence and warned of the possibility of renewed conflict.
He was speaking at an Arab-African summit League in the Libyan town of Sirte.
Libya’s leader told the same meeting that a vote for independence “could become a contagious disease that affects the whole of Africa”, with various ethnic and linguistic groups also demanding independence.
“We must recognise that this event is dangerous,” Col Gaddafi said.
Southern Sudan Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told the BBC that Africa had not broken up when Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
This exchange got me wondering again what South Sudan’s post-independence relations might look like. A friendly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda, a hostile North Sudan? What else? I guess much depends on how the vote goes down and how relations between North and South take shape in the months immediately after the referendum.