Open letter to Southern Sudan

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CONGRATULATIONS for attaining independence and I welcome you to the family of independent nations. Let me, however, warn you about a people, known by our forefathers and mothers as people with no knees and whose eyes have many colours. Be wary of these, since the days of old, they have caused mayhem in our family. These will visit you; they already have and are in your midst, they come to interfere and will shamelessly milk the breast that must sustain you. You need your milk for yourselves. Therefore protect your breast zealously, if necessary. They will want to teach you their brand of democracy, be wary, it is twisted. They will want to prescribe to you some ‘development’ policies of one type or another, please these do not accept (they backfire, your older brethren can attest to this), let your policies be home-grown. By attaining independence you have shown and proved that you are a capable people. Let me remind you that you do not owe anyone anything, those of us who helped in your struggle did so believing in your cause and right to self-determination not to curry favours from you. Today your people are united and remember, always, that the knee-less people abhor unity among our people. Soon you will discover that the business of nationhood is not a straight eightto- five job. Not only will be late hours be required as you build, but also a great amount of vigilance. “Your institutions are weak and need strengthening, allow us to help you build democracy” (whatever that means), this is how they will approach you. “You need us,” this will be their message, but remember you do not need them. You can work with them, but do not let them dictate to you because you are supposed to be in control and not them. All the best in your endeavours and be vigilant, always.

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