The United South Sudan Party (USSP)
US Says South Sudan independence inevitable but warns of a ticking time bomb.
September 22, 2010 (London, UK) — The United South Sudan Party (USSP) would like to make this statement in appreciation of the role and support given by the international community, and in particular the Troika, the IGGAD Countries and the United Nations towards the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 9th 2005, between the Sudan Government in one hand and the SPLM/A on the other. We can confirm that despite the difficulties in the implementation of the key provisions of the CPA, the people of South Sudan have maintained high discipline and determination to exercise their rights on the Self Determination as agreed upon in the agreement. USSP is committed to this process no matter what happens.
In the light of the above, we would like to single out that the statement made by the US Secretary of State Madam Hilary Clinton on 8th September 2010, that South Sudan independence is inevitable is welcome. Furthermore, we believe that it reflects the recognition of the US administration in its capacity as the world’s major power – for the efforts and pledges of the people of South Sudan for an independence sovereign state come January 9th 2011 Self Determination Referendum and for that we remain grateful.
Indeed at the moment, the South Sudan and Abyei referenda represent the only hope for peace between the South and the North, thus the USSP is aware of the fact that without the continued support of the international community, Khartoum is more than likely to abuse the truce. Khartoum given its records may choose not to respect its commitment to conduct the referendum as agreed upon in the CPA, in which case the South may be left with no option but to react in a way that may result in unwarranted consequences which may not be welcomed wholeheartedly by some members of the international community.
Should South Sudan opt for secession in the January 2011 referendum, USSP believes that the ideal approaches to the post referendum management of resources would be for the new country to have a full control over these resources and set in place a wise plan that will not lead to irresponsible over exploitation while at the same time to preserving enough resources to speed up development and recovery from the five decades’ war wounds. The notion that the people of South Sudan have to earn their freedom from the Khartoum regime by making substantial payment or concession in the form of oil is unacceptable both in principle and practice. Beside, the south has already lost more than 2 million lives in the course of its struggle for this freedom; if this is not an enough price for freedom then, USSP wonders what price again could the South ever pay in order to be a free country?
We therefore appeal to the international community, who brokered the CPA to fully support the referendum in the Southern Sudan and the Abyei Area, without any preconditions. Southern Sudan remains one of the poorest regions if not the poorest of the poor in the sub-Saharan Africa. Most of South Sudan’s oil revenues have been siphoned to the north and it is now only logical that the remaining oil in the south should be used to enable Southern Sudan to catch up with the rest of the world in as far as development and social services are concerned. It is thus pertinent to conclude here that only a developed South Sudan will be able to offer stability as an incentive to its neighbours, Northern Sudan included and the rest of the world.
While the whole world’s attentions are now focused on the New York Meeting on the Sudan to take place on September the 24th, 2010, USSP would like to make some observations that it thinks is necessary. This meeting may be one of the rarest opportunities to bring together all the stake holders to the CPA together especially in the presence of the US President Baraka Obama, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, the representatives of the EU, and the others while they listen to the two Sudanese delegations from the SPLM & the NCP. The SPLM delegation is headed by Salva Kiir Mayardit, Sudan’s first vice president, president of south Sudan and the chairman of south’s ruling party, the SPLM , on the other hand the NCP delegation is led by Sudan’s vice president none but the dominant NCP senior official Ali Osman Taha.
The composition of those who are expected to turn up for the above meeting makes it an exceptional event. However USSP would like to stress that should this summit end up in yet another list of agreements and promises that will later on only be undermined or never implemented, then there is a real danger awaiting the Sudan, and the region at large.
USSP maintains that both the referenda (South Sudan & Abyei) and the popular consultations (Nuba Mountains & Southern Blue Nile Regions), must take place on time; must be free, fair and credible; and must be seen to be so. The two CPA signatories, NCP and SPLM must be held accountable for this, but particular attention must be paid to the NCP, which has been responsible for most of the delays so far, and it no doubt continues to harbour ill-intentions.
USSP believes that the UN (and/or other appropriate international bodies) must play a leading role in technical, operational and logistical implementation of the referenda and popular consultations, and must be given freedom and responsibility to do so. While doing so, they must also pay a particular attention to the possibility of rigging the southern referendum result via the 60% turn-out condition. The registration process, the eligibility of voters and the ability of voters to cast their votes on polling day must all be closely monitored. Thus every southern Sudanese citizen who registers must be encouraged and facilitated actually to cast her/his vote.
USSP sees it of a vital importance that the New York Meeting will do well should the third parties, especially the guarantors to the CPA, – clearly declare in the most an unequivocal terms their preparedness to recognise the new south Sudan state if the referendum results in a yes to secession. They should also see to it that the negotiations on post-referendum arrangements are revitalised and speeded up, in good faith.
Last but not least USSP would like to appeal to The International Donor Community that they should speed up their support of state building in south Sudan if the referendum results in secession. However a point of a great importance is that, should south Sudan declare independence unilaterally as a last resort following NCP intransigence, the international community must be ready and fast at recognising the new state.
In conclusion USSP in its continuous faith in the US administration and all the other peace loving members of the international community remains appreciative for the current attention that south Sudan has gathered, however the job will be half done without them equally taking a much tougher approach against Khartoum in addressing the conflict in Darfur. An immediately end to the killings of innocent lives in this region of the Sudan must be reached. All the warring sides in Darfur should be brought to the negotiating table and a peaceful political settlement realised.