WikiLeaks and Sudan

I suppose that it was only a matter of time before leaked cables from WikiLeaks threw some “light” on what has been going on in South Sudan. The latest batch of leaks show that Kenya had been arming the south in its struggle against the north.

I must admit to feeling some ambivalence towards WikiLeaks. Sure, it is always good to scrutinize the dubious behaviour of governments. But, at the same time, there are some very good reasons why diplomats need to maintain secrecy, and the fact that WikiLeaks has paid scant regard to this is worrying.

That aside, the latest release of leaks pointing a finger at Kenya highlights how hyped up these cables have actually become. Very little of what is being released is actually new.

I remember writing about arms shipments to Sudan a few years ago, when pirates off the coast of Somalia hijacked a ship bound for Kenya carrying weapons, which were labelled GOSS (which everyone presumed meant the Government of South Sudan). All terribly embarrasing for Kenya, who quickly fumbled around for a cover story: this was that the four letters actually stood for General Ordinance Supplies and Security.

Few believed that Kenya would have been daft enough to choose an acronym that was exactly the same as that of the South Sudanese government.

So their story fell to pieces.

And the same seems to be true with many WikiLeaks story. These are not things that are really new. They are simply official confirmation of things that were already known.


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