By Eric Reeves September 24, 2010 October 3, 2010 (SSNA) — With reprehensible belatedness, the Obama administration has finally awakened to the “ticking time bomb” in Sudan. Unfortunately, detonation may still occur before or after the scheduled January 9, 2011 self-determination referenda for southern Sudan and Abyei. Secretary of State Clinton, President Obama, and…
By Savo Heleta September 21, 2010 (SSNA) — The notion of South Sudanese airplanes bombing Khartoum could make the regime of Omar al Bashir think twice before sending forces and planes to destroy the south and its population in the aftermath of the 2011 referendum on self-determination. For decades, the people in South Sudan have…
By Dr. Lam Akol September 4, 2010 (SSNA) — Sudan is passing through the most critical stage of its modern history and is set to undergo the hardest trial ever. In less than twenty weeks, its will would be tested: either to remain united or its southern part secedes in accordance with the procedures of…
By Dr James Okuk I – BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM September 1, 2010 (SSNA) — Right from its independence from the European colonialists who were assisted by some Africans themselves, the Sudan have been in search of defining itself. (By “the Sudan” here I mean the land and its resources, the people and their cultures,…
By Gordon Buay August 13, 2010 (SSNA) — The news that came out of Juba that SPLA military officers were permitted by the SPLA C-in-C to “lead and facilitate” the formation of the committee for South Sudan National Anthem disturbed the conscience of South Sudan intelligentsia. So many intellectuals began to question the wisdom of…
By Christian Pelfrey, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
July 07, 2010 (SSNA) — From a practical standpoint, it may be difficult to see any strategic value in Sudan.
Sudan is deeply divided along almost every line imaginable. Clashes between North and South, East and West, Christian and Muslim, center and periphery and local tribal rivalries have created a fractured state at best and a broken state at worst. In 2008, the International Criminal Court indicted Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on war crimes charges. The international community largely agrees that the April 2010 elections were not only inconsistent but rigged. Most observers predict that the upcoming 2011 referendum for Southern secession will lead to renewed violence and social upheaval regardless of outcome if conditions continue as they are now.
All of these factors clearly indicate the need for humanitarian aid that many organizations like the Save Darfur Coalition and the United Nations already strive to provide, with varying levels of success. What is most surprising, however, is the fact that the United States government has taken an interest in Sudanese relief efforts and in engaging with the Sudanese government.
From an international security standpoint it would seem that the United States is wasting its time in Sudan. Why does the United States government care about a messy and fractured country 6,500 miles away? Why does it care that Sudan is peaceful when Sudanese violence does not directly affect American national security?
Here are three reasons Sudan is important to the world of international security:
Sudan has enormous oil reserves–over 6 billion barrels discovered so far. Most of the oil fields are in South Sudan but the government in the North controls most of the refinement facilities. The only port cities are in the North, since the southern border is landlocked. Because the North relies on Southern crude oil and the South relies on Northern transportation and refinement, peace is essential for Sudan’s oil production. This symbiotic relationship is tenuous even during peacetime and violence would upset this fragile balance, leading to economic hardship for both North and South Sudan.
The dependence on Middle Eastern oil has led to a number of costly problems for the international community and diversifying the international oil supply keeps one country or region from controlling global energy. Sudan has an enormous potential to provide the world with energy and adding another African oil partner to its list of providers is not only wise but preferable. Maintaining the peace in Sudan before and after the referendum vote will protect the fragile oil relationship between the North and the South and keep Sudan supplying the world with oil.
Sudan also has a unique and important position on the African continent, since it is the largest country in Africa and comparable in size to Western Europe. It borders nine countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Chad and Libya. It contains much of the Nile River (both the Blue Nile and White Nile) and it borders the Red Sea to the east.
Access to these countries and to these water ways gives Sudan great strategic worth. Much of the world’s oil imports travel through the Red Sea by way of either the Suez Canal to the north or the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait to the south. The Red Sea has recently seen increased pirate attacks and Eritrea has seen rising terrorist activity, both of which threaten global shipping in the area. A strong partnership with Sudan would allow the world to protect its imports in the Red Sea and increase its ability to fight extremism and terrorism in Eritrea.
Using Sudan as a base of operations, however, is only realistic if the country is relatively peaceful and more internal conflict would prevent this. The international community cannot station troops or organizations in Sudan if the organizations were forced to defend themselves against Sudanese threats as well.
By Joseph Adyieng June 21, 2010 (SSNA) — The Cabinet announced today is composed of thirty-two (32) ministers, two (2) unnamed are reserved for the National Congress Party (NCP). The thirty (30) named are the subject of the following dissection. 1. The Dinkas are eleven (11) in number and continue to dominate the key ministries…
By Daniel A. Daniel, USA
"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." ~ Abraham Lincoln
June 14, 2010 (SSNA) — Not surprising, now a days, every forum in South Sudan’s rightfully engaged with the Referendum and the subsequent secession, both within just a few months, specifically, on Sunday, January 9th 2011. No indications that the debate will die out anytime soon, between the so-called unionists and separatists, as one of the web-writers’ suggested. In my judgment, the debate should be about substance, not rhetoric. All honest Southerners have a critical role to play in educating our people about their rights for self-determination and the importance of our unity, at this difficult juncture in the history of our nation.
It’s been said all along that: “If you don’t have anything good to say about something or somebody, don’t say anything." A few years back while Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, then Minister of Roads and Transportation was on an official visit to India, he was asked (by then Law’s PhD student and brother of Ustaz Ali Osman Mohamed Taha) Abdulmunam Mohammad Taha, as to why when he (Lam) his voice was heard loudly and clearly, when he was with the SPLM/A then being a cabinet minister with Ingaz?
Dr. Lam gesticulated, and answers him: “The voice of opposition is always louder than that of the government." " Good news is not a news, but bad news is the news that people always want to hear," " I am now talking about peace and tranquility, but before, I was talking about war and the horror of war," he went on to say. Certainly, I hope Dr. Akol remembers those words and learn that in this Internet era, no one gets away, even with a slip of a tongue. The time for Cats-and- mouses games with South’s unity is over.
As I wrote in my previous articles, unity- any unity- is a matter of mutual respect and understanding among those who thrive to live in unity. But the current state of the affairs of unity in Sudan, where the Northerners ridiculously and unrealistically believe that (you) must be a Muslim and an Arab to be granted full citizenship rights will never be accepted by any free minded South Sudan.
Therefore, the debate must now shift to the referendum and the secession thereafter. The remaining seven months are not sufficient to fish around talking about a unity that was not there in the first place.
Coming to my previous article, I came under some unfounded attack by my friend Kwathi Akol Ajawien (step brother of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawien). Quite honestly, I tried not to say anything about his alleged accusations, simply because many commentators said it all. But as I mentioned before, we cannot afford to be silent, because silence in itself, is a sign of acceptance, therefore, I would like to mention just few points in rebuttal to the “Born again Christian, Kwathi Ajawin.
In an angry e-mail I received from him, in the aftermath of my article, Kwathi allegedly wrote that I said in my article that, and I quote: “The Shiluk’re a greedy minority and grabbing their land is justified."
As you can see, I was enraged, and for a good reason. First and foremost, am not the type of a person who would utter such demeaning words against one of the most respected kingdom in our land. Moreover, as a teacher’s son, I’d lived in Shiluk’s areas and went to school with their children, and I didn’t see anything not to be liked about the Shiluk’s nation. Besides, anyone who would suggest that Shiluk are a minority in South Sudan, that person doesn’t live in the real world in which we live.
Yet, in my opinion, brother Kwathi Ajawien is an innocent man until proven guilty. I think that he really is a victim of a crime he didn’t commit. Do you know why? Because he is not the one that sent that e-mail message. His e-mail address was nowhere to be seen, which is unusual and suspicious. But never mind, I’ve figured out the author and the actual architect. His cowardice act is called it in Criminal Justice system as a forgery of identity, and is punishable by the laws of the land.
Furthermore, we all need to remember that the SPLA is our national army, whose members are our brave sons and daughters. I get angry when some folks within our communities celebrate whenever the SPLA loses some of its men in their battles against the enemies of our unity just as one of them wrote this following statement: “The SPLA was badly defeated by some gun men who killed 9 from them." That’s as treacherous as it gets.
As one people, we need to move and pass this dark chapter, and in a hurry!
And yes, I’ve mentioned in my previous article, giving Ustaz/ Ali Osman the green light by Government of South Sudan (GOSS), to crusade and preach the unattractive unity, is not healthy at all, and the SPLM must recant its position as quickly as possible. The last thing we need is another extremist to tear us apart on tribal line. It’s time to tell the North: enough’s enough.
My advice to every Southerner out there is: If the Arabs make the mistake in trying to bribe you, please don’t feel guilty and don’t hesitate to take their money, but you need to keep on walking to ballet box and cast your precious vote for secession. After all that money was stolen property from us over the course of more than half a century long and counting.
By Dr. James Okuk
Quote: “Nations need dreams, goals they seek in common, within which the smaller dreams of individuals can guide their personal lives.”(Ford Foundation, 1991).
June 1, 2010 (SSNA) — What is “Secession”? It is a formal withdrawal from an organization, state, or alliance. For example, the withdrawal from the Union of 11 Southern States in 1860 – 1861 that led to the formation of the Confederacy and the beginning of the Civil War in the USA until resolved by a federalist constitution that gave supreme power to the union of American people rather than to the state (See Encarta Dictionary).
And what is “Independence”? It is freedom from dependence on or control by another person, organization, or state. For example, after 30 years of Eritrean War of Independence (1 September 1961 – 24 May 1991) the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated the Ethiopian forces and then declared their independence by referendum that took place thereafter in April 1993 (See Wikipedia).
I. How do these apply to the case of Southern Sudan in the context of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005? It applies trickily because of Machiavellianism played by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) commanders with their rival politicians of the Umma Party (UP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the National Congress Party (NCP) who changed guards at the Gordon Republican Palace in Khartoum during the eruption of civil war in the South and the resultant peace-talks.
Where is then the trick hereafter? It is in the confusion of the use of the terms “Secession” and “Independence” when mingled in both common and legal jargons. Legally “Independence” is a ‘closed-case’ accompanied by national sovereignty and international diplomatic recognition, while “Secession” is an ‘open-case’ susceptible to different manipulations of what can be interpreted and made out of it.
After declaration of any “Secession”, the following practical question comes up: Now that you have decided to secede, what kind of rule do you want for your seceded territorial jurisdiction? This implies that “Secession” usually ends up in “Federation” or “Confederation” or new “War-of-Independence” that uses fresh tactics of military victory, accompanied with politico-diplomatic negotiations for a new strategic deal of full autonomy and sovereignty. World History is rich of such kind of options (e.g., the USA experience, etc.).
The option of “War-of-Independence” out of “Secession” is what Southern Sudan might end up with, comes 2011. Despite the deceptive and malicious or ignorant songs of ‘peace-and-freedom’ chanted by both the SPLM/A and NCP/NIF leaders daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, the full revelation of truth will come up at the CPA ‘end-road’. That is, the “Secession” of Southern Sudan through a referendum might not end up with peaceful “Independence”. Please remember this projectional hypothesis even if I might not live to see the light of the dignified South Sudan in near or far future!
Why am I tempted to predict this option and create an alertive tone for it? Because the law does not have mercy on fools or ignorant people who act outside or in defiance to what has been codified and stipulated in constitutions, acts, statutes and precedents for obligatory execution. Reading and reflecting critically on The Interim National Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan (2005) – including CPA text), The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (2005) and The Southern Sudan Referendum Act (2009), I can sense the shock that shall be encountered at 11:59 hour when conformation comes up that the referendum for self-determination of the people of Southern Sudan has nothing to do with “Independence”. It shall be confirmed that the (YES) or (NO) questionnaire circles in the referendum ballot papers should only have “Unity” and “Secession” terminologies as the offered options.
Thus the circumstance shall be different from the Eritrean case (I will detail this below). Even President Isaias Afewerki has called on Southerners to remain united with the North! (See his message when he attended the inauguration ceremony of President Al-Basir, 27/05/2010). But why did he do this? May be because of spree of corruption and injustice in the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and in the SPLM/A, or perhaps he knows that the “Secession” mentioned in the CPA and other legal documents does not necessarily qualifies for “Independence” of South Sudan as a result of the 2011 referendum. You can also deduce some suspicion in the way Southern Sudan political parties were refused registration in the Sudan Political Parties Affairs Council (PPAC) and certification from the Sudan National Elections Commission (NEC), pending amendments of phrase “Independence of South Sudan” mentioned in their mission statements.
II. What am I trying to make out of this alert? I want to emphasize on the point that if the victory of the 2011 referendum ended up with confirmation of “Unity” of the Sudan, then there shall never be much tedious legal post-referendum battles. The unionists, at the top of which sits the Government of National Unity, shall say with utmost joy: Bravo and congratulations to Southerners for accepting “unity of government” with the Northerners!!!
Nevertheless, if the result became “Secession”, there the separatists shall stand straight and worried, while rolling up their sleeves for demonstrating tough fists of anger from the last minutes shock from red-cards lifted up by the gentlemen who knew the hidden unity’s tricks of the CPA in Machakos/Naivasha’s negotiation halls. The ‘Square-One’ that the CPA partners have been avoiding to jump in, might become the easiest short-cut to resort to. But under whose leadership shall the “War-of-Independence” takes place? Will it be Mr Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar, Mr Wani Igga, Mr Pagan Amum or Mrs Rebecca Nyandeng? A nightmarish to Southerners; indeed!
Already the chief law-maker of the Sudan, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, on his re-election speech as the Speaker, vowed that his National Legislative Assembly (with about 75% of the NCP legislators) shall never be neutral on “Independence” of South Sudan because the country must remain united whether by thick or thin. Also President Omer Ahmed Hassan Al-Bashir pledged in his swearing-in ceremony that he shall ensure that the referendum for Southern Sudan takes place within the scheduled time (Inshallah- by God’s Will?) but with unity of the Sudan as the only desirable outcome. Not only this, but also one of the think-tanks of the NCP/NIF and a national legislator, Dr. Ghutbi El-Mahdi, hinted in the Sudan-TV discussion forum that the referendum shall only be about “Secession” and “Unity” options but not “Independence” of Southern Sudan. What a revelation!
A critical question poses itself here: What is the utility of “Secession” if it is only for “Unity” of the Sudan in different colours (be it “Confederation” as proposed by SPLM Deputy Chairman and Mr. Governor, Malik Agar with his 100% stand with unity, or “Federation” as proposed by Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi in 1998 before he parted ways with President Al-Bashir and his NCP)? Are Southerners fit to secede so that they remain united with the North by proxy? This is very funny but it portrays how comical the CPA show is. No wonder! That is why you see the SPLM/A and NCP/NIF quarreling and re-negotiating the CPA from time to time, and creating sideline deals to pass time.
III. Let’s state what the laws says exactly about the referendum for self-determination, but indicating the loopholes dug by the SPLM/A and NCP/NIF Machiavellians to let the separatists fell off the tipping cliff of CPA’s pending troubles, especially when the force of time expose the duplicity.
1. Articles 219, 222 & 220 of the Interim National Constitution: The people of Southern Sudan have the right to self-determination through a referendum to determine their future status (Article 219). A Southern Sudan Referendum Act shall be promulgated by the National Legislature at the beginning of the third year of the Interim Period [Article (220)(1)]. The Presidency of the Republic of the Sudan shall, as soon as the Southern Sudan Referendum Act is issued, establish the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission [Article (220)(2)]. Six months before the end of the six-year interim period, there shall be an internationally monitored referendum, for the people of Southern Sudan organized by Southern Sudan Referendum Commission in cooperation with National Government and Government of Southern Sudan [Article (222)(1)]. The people of Southern Sudan shall either:- (a) confirm unity of the Sudan by voting to sustain the system of government established under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and this Constitution, or (b) vote for secession [Article (222)(2)]. This is excellent but…!
Evaluation #1: The sub-articles No (2) and (b) above are vague and fit the general criterion that requires the constitutions to be written in a vague language so that the constitutional judges and lawyers can have a work to do; the interpretation and verdicts. But what work will the Sudanese constitutional judges do here? Shall it be a dirty work or a clean one in regard to interpretation and verdict on “Secession” of Southern Sudan, for example? Evaluate what those judges did regarding the objections raised during April 2010 elections process and you can tell which work they will do? Anyway, don’t worry about this! I will later tell you why you shouldn’t.
The sub-articles No (a) says it in a legal slyness that the referendum vote shall only be about sustaining the system of government established by virtue of the CPA and the constitutional dictates, the consequence of which shall be unity of the Sudan. The sub-articles No (b) remains silent on what follows if the majority choice becomes “Secession”. It is not even indicated that the “Secession” will be from what? We may just assume it as “Secession” from Northern Sudan but the law we have consulted does not say so decisively. Remember the cliché: Be Legal; Be Safe!
2.Article 9, 10 & 11 of the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan: [Article (9)(1)] reads exactly like article (219) of the Interim National Constitution. Any Southern Sudanese who has attained the age of eighteen shall have the right to vote in the referendum [Article (9)(2)]. For purposes of the referendum in sub-Article (1) above, a Southern Sudanese is: (a) any person whose either parent or grandparent is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing in Southern Sudan before or on January 1, 1956; or whose ancestry can be traced through agnatic or male line to any one of the ethnic communities of Southern Sudan as in Schedule G herein; or (b) any person who has been permanently residing or whose mother and/or father or any grandparent have been permanently residing in Southern Sudan as of January 1, 1956 [Article (9)(3)]. Articles 10(1), (10)(2) & (11)(1) read exactly like articles (220)(1) & (220)(2) of the Interim National Constitution except for the term “issued” changed with the term “promulgated”. The people of Southern Sudan, voting on a single ballot and by majority vote, shall either:- (a) confirm unity of the Sudan by voting to adopt the system of government established under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement; or (b) vote for secession[Article (11)(2)].
By Luk Kuth Dak May 24, 2010 (SSNA) — Now that there remained only about a few months before the general referendum in South Sudan, one would hope that much of the debate must now be boiled down to the aftermath of the referendum, instead of the invariable barking of some in making a dead…