SUDAN WATCH: Pronk: 1 year ago Garang died. Will his legacy survive?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pronk: 1 year ago Garang died. Will his legacy survive?

Excerpt from UN SRSG Jan Pronk's blog entry Aug 10, 2006:
"Do not bring the people to the towns, but bring the towns to the people", was his [Garang's] favorite theme. He advocated economic and social development of existing small towns, well connected by rural roads, sustaining a broad domestic market characterized by a steady increase of purchasing power, evenly spread throughout the country.

So far, reality is different. The CPA has been signed, but its implementation is going slow. Reconstruction is hardly taking place, economic development has yet to take off and poverty is blatant and widely spread. Three days ago, traveling from Torit to Juba we spoke to a group of several hundreds of villagers. They complained:
"There is a no school, no water, no food and no hospital".
It was heart breaking. On the market in Torit itself, a small town which has been occupied several times by different armies, we saw only few products and a meager assortment of foodstuffs. The town of Nassir, which I visited a month earlier, is nothing more than a large village slump. In nearly every town scars of the war are visible. Nowhere demolished buildings or infrastructure are reconstructed. Rural development and food security are impeded by a lack of water points, lots of mines, too much cattle and multiple violence.
See Aug 12 2006 - US security firm DynCorp to turn south Sudan rebels into soldiers - DynCorp has almost $40 million in US State Department contracts to build barracks, provide telecoms and training to former rebel SPLA; donors say southern Sudan's government has funnelled the biggest chunk of its 2006/07 budget - some 40 percent - into defence.


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