How South Sudanese Football Fans Turned Afcon Qualifying March Into Protest Against Egypt
Weakleaks netizen snoops have revealed the literal meaning of the phrase “steal the show,” with the show being the African Cup of Nations Qualifier matches contested throughout the continent in the first week of June 2022 for 2023.
What is being described here is not about football, but about regional politics wrapped in sport.
According to the information provided below, the African tournament was, for the case of the Horn of — and East — Africa, the football battles took up the topic of Egypt vs the Nile’s riparian nations. This is the proof.
Thon Makech, a South Sudanese Bright Stars team supporter, told a Weakleaks blogger that he was at St. Mary’s Stadium in Kampala to spread a message to the globe, due to the African Cup of Nations 2023 qualifying series.
Albinoo Pie, a quiet protester-cum-fan, took the sign from Agou’s grasp and lifted it over the ecstatic Juba supporters. The handwritten sign in manila reads:
“Dear South Sudanese, # Say no to River Naam dredging, # Say no to Jonglei Canal dredging, # Save our Sudd Swamp, #Save our Sudd and its ecology, # South Sudan belongs to the future generation.”
They refer to the ‘Sudd Swamp’ as the world’s biggest wetland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is only located in South Sudan.
The Sudd, which covers 57,000 square kilometers (22,000 square miles), is set to be drained mechanically downstream to Egypt.
The South Sudanese are persuaded that this would transform their flood plains into semi-desert years after Egypt has drained and depleted the Sudd, or floating islands, for commercial usage.
“The fish, cattle, and vegetation will be gone years after the dredging and draining,” Prof. John Akech told Ajak Deng Chiengkou of the Australian-based SBC Radio, which broadcasts in Dinka.
As hundreds of supporters celebrated their first-half score against the powerful Mali national team, another manila paper poster appeared, saying,
“Save our environment!” “Help us save our Sudd Swamp!”
During the continuing march, Albinoo, one of the participants, yelled to the camera, “We can’t come here to enjoy football while our nation is being taken behind us!”
However, the government of South Sudan, headed by Egyptian ally President Salva Kiir Mayardit, has denied any knowledge of Egyptian action on or near the Nile.
Mr. Ateny Wek Ateny, Presidential Press Secretary and Spokesman, informed Radio Nile that the South Sudanese government was not aware of anything of the such.
“The government has not yet granted permission to remove Nile water or any vegetation inside the Nile.” We have not been fully informed about the equipment.”
On the contrary, South Sudan’s Environment and Forestry Minister distanced herself from the Egyptian arrangement and slammed the initiative as illegitimate.
“We at the Ministry were unaware of this development, and we also noticed the equipment on social media, but we had no idea what the equipment was for until we discovered that it was for Nile dredging,” Napwon said.
Mr. Manawa Peter Gatkuoth of the Ministry of Water, Dams, and Irrigation, on the other hand, said he was behind the Nile deal’s signing.
“During the first session of the Joint High-Level Commission between Egypt and South Sudan, chaired by H.E Dr. James Wani Igga, Vice President for Economic Cluster, visiting Egypt in July 2021,” he said.
“And also on the dredging of the Bahr el Ghazal river system and the building of four haffirs, as well as the immediate restart of the dredging of a 30 km section of the Bahr el Ghazal from Unity State capital Bentiu to Lake-no, which is now obstructed by aquatic weeds.” According to Eye Radio in Juba, Hon. Gatkuoth.
This truth was also confirmed by the Egyptian ambassador to South Sudan, Mr. Mohammed Kaddah, in a tweet about his Water Minister’s assignment during the four-day accord between Egypt and South Sudan. That was also approved by President Salva Kiir in June 2021, as seen in the screenshot below from Ambassador Mohammed @Egyptian-Kaddah.
The South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately tweeted, “Egypt is one of our important strategic allies in the area.”
Our two nations will continue to deepen cooperation in areas like as military and security, commerce and investment, consular services, educational initiatives, and other important development efforts.” RT @amb wani:
In summation, Thon-makech, the protester, fiercely enumerated, after Mali’s 3-1 victory against South Sudan on Uganda’s Heroes Day, June 9, in Kampala.
“Our fears as the following generation were that we would lose biodiversity, which would imply that all aquatic life would have gone down the Nile with the water to Egypt.” We must fight back in the same way that liberation hero John Garang de Mabior and his colleagues did.”
Egypt’s effort at the Sudd’s draining project, which the Egyptians have projected to the naive locals of Jonglei State as the last answer to their horrific yearly floods, was first rejected by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement dating back to colonial times (SPLM).
This refusal resulted in the demolition and suspension of the Jonglei Canal Project in the early 1980s, during the early days of South Sudan’s freedom fight.
In 2011, the liberation struggle and subsequent peace talks gave birth to the now sovereign Republic of South Sudan.
Despite the fact that the South is Africa’s 54th independent country, its residents are nonetheless reliant on the Arabs of the north and Egypt, its former colonial overlords.
In another occurrence, on the same evening of June 9, the Egyptian national team was defeated by the Ethiopians 2 to nil in Malawi.
To Egypt’s displeasure, this resulted in the mocking of Egypt by Ethiopians and their friends in reference to the continuing conflict over the GERD project for damming the Blue Nile. The sports loss inflicted on Egypt by their Nile adversary did not go over well in Cairo.
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