British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on the 2nd day of South Sudan’s formation that he hopes it joins the British Commonwealth. Britain seems to have expanded its role in South Sudan from an initially claimed humanitarian one to military sabotage along northern borders with Sudan amid fears that London is plotting another oil war.
The Foreign Office confirmed on Sunday that a British national has been arrested by Sudan’s security forces along its oil-rich Heglig border area with South Sudan.
Sudan’s army spokesman Colonel Sawarmi Khalid said the Briton was part of a team of four including Norwegian, South African and South Sudanese nationals who were equipped with military hardware and an armored vehicle.
Heglig was captured by South Sudan forces earlier this month but Sudanese forces later retook the strategic area.
London has repeatedly expressed support for South Sudan since its secession from Sudan in July 2011 but it has claimed the support remains within humanitarian frameworks.
At the time of Heglig’s capture by the South, Sudanese government said “foreigners” were involved in the operation.
Now it appears that they were right and Britain is delivering more than humanitarian aid to the south.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said one day after South Sudan’s independence that London will support the new republic and expressed “optimism” for its future.
Hague indirectly pointed to London’s awareness of South Sudan’s massive wealth of resources.
“Sudan has good economic prospects with its abundant mineral wealth and huge potential in agriculture and forestry. Africa as a whole has three fifths of the world’s uncultivated arable land, a fifth of the world’s copper and half of the world’s gold… So the UK will focus on helping South Sudan build its private sector, boost revenues and the economy and trade with its neighbors,” he wrote in an article for Huffington Post on July 11,2011.
But he included another hint in his article that — one tends to believe – becomes clear in the context of the recent detention of the British national in Heglig area of Sudan.
Hague said in his article that Britain will support South Sudan as it joins the community of nations including “the Commonwealth.”
The suggestion was shocking as the Commonwealth is a euphemism that replaced ‘colonies’ back in 1960’s when the British empire was on its last days and talking of South Sudan as a new colony in the 21st century is hardly fit.
In that context, the revelation that Britain is operating military elements in the border area of South Sudan can at best suggest London is looking at the disputed Heglig oil fields as a rich opportunity for its oil industry.
But considering the fact that Sudan and South Sudan are on the brink of full-scale war over the oil fields, another scenario seems more likely.
Britain is plotting for long-term military presence in the resource-rich South Sudan under the pretext of helping it in the ‘war’ with the north.
That scenario, of course, will bring the mentioned opportunities for British oil businesses while providing a ripe market for British weapons as London tightens its grip on South Sudan’s huge natural resources.