The Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the rebel movement at war with the Sudanese government for the past 18 years, has recently unveiled its post-war development programme in the territory it controls. The Movement, led by Dr. John Garang, has established a new developmental organ called the Natural-Resources Management Committee (NRMC) that will steadily implement development programmes after the war.
The NRMC is headed by Dr. John Ariki, 39, a geologist. He told New African that the NRMC "is a purely technical committee that will look into the natural resources of southern Sudan, one of the most under-investigated places in the world due to the war", and make recommendations on how best to use the resources to develop a "New Sudan" -- a term coined by Garang, to describe a post war, all-inclusive, democratic and secular Sudanese state.
"With my four-man team composed of geologists, we will undertake a quantitative survey and geological mapping of what we have, including oil reserves as well as arable land, oil is not the only basis of Sudan's wealth," Ariki said. "Then we will be in a position to advise the SPLA's leadership on where to set its economic goals for a sustainable development of the New Sudan."
Ariki, however, makes no illusions about the difficulty of the task confronting him. With the war still raging, he acknowledges the risks involved but is determined to go ahead with the...