Bashir: Reinventing the Remix

THE BUZZ points out this piece of news from Darfur, which sets my head shaking:

In a speech to thousands of Sudanese security forces on Monday, al-Bashir said he had ordered Sudanese aid groups to take over the distribution of all relief inside the country.

"We need to clear our country of any spies," he told the crowd at a rally in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

"We directed the ministry of humanitarian affairs to Sudanise voluntary work. Within a year, we don't want to see any foreign aid group dealing with a Sudanese citizen," he said.

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REWIND: By calling for “Sudanization,” the murderous Bashir, who was recently the first sitting head of state to be deemed a wanted man by the International Criminal Court, is now borrowing wholesale from the playbook of another brutish African leader: Mobutu Sese Seko. In 1971, Mobutu, who just about invented the remix, up and changed the name of his country, Congo (Kinshasa), to Zaire—and then proceeded to name every last thing in the country Zaire: the money, the river, and the people (who were required to take on “authentic” Zairian names starting in 1973).

Today, it’s back to being called the (Democratic Republic of the) Congo, but what’s with the lack of originality among the warlord class? Idi Amin already expelled all the Asians from east Africa—30 years ago. If Bashir is going to displace 2.5 million, and kill hundreds of thousands more, it shouldn’t be too hard come up with his own "African president slash general slash de facto king" steez. Right?

—DAYO OLOPADE

Covers the White House and Washington for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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