By Gabriel M. Tor July 7, 2010 (SSNA) — If Christ – who is God himself has a father and a mother; then who would claim he is from nowhere. All knows every nation starts as a family, and every family has an ancestor, if not ancestry home or origin. “Others think they inherited Sudan…
By Daniel Abushery Daniel (USA) July 7, 2010 (SSNA) — May I, seize this golden opportunity to congratulate the new elected government of south Sudan “GOSS” and ten States Governors, especially my home state governor, Ustaz Simon Kun of Upper Nile State. It’s seemed that’ the vast majority of people are satisfied, and excited by…
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
July 3, 2010 (SSNA) — Those who read the Sudan Tribune 02/07/10, could not have missed the report on the joint meeting between the Sudan’s federal government and the government of South Sudan that took place in the southern capital of Juba. In that report I must seriously confess that it all came to me as a surprise when the vice president Ali Osman Taha, who was there to represent the Northern ruling elites, when he made the following remarks and I quote:
"It is important that the Southern Sudanese citizens feel the value of peace through provision of services for them and improvement of their living conditions," he said.
However, I don’t think that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the north and the south has ever gone beyond the level of a cease fire as long as the trading of accusations and war of words continue to be exchanged between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), even though paradoxically they remain to be referred to in some quarters as Sudan’s peace partners.
Everybody knows that South Sudan at this moment in time remains more insecure than the equally war ravaged western province of Darfur. Both the representatives from the north and the south should understand that for any services to be of a meaning the people, real peace, rule of law and democratic transformation needs to be realized. Unless these basic pre-requisites are guaranteed or at least seen to go side by side with those much advertised developments projects, their importance can only be appreciated by those who have hidden agendas, far beyond the immediate concern of our majority disadvantaged grass-roots.
Talking of improving the living conditions of people in places like Western Equatoria State, just as an example, will have to be preceded by the entire eradication of the notorious Ugandan rebel groups of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and thereafter enabling the citizens to resettle peacefully in their home villages, where they can farm their fields and attend to their traditional livelihoods. Or how do we expect the marginalized of the marginalised in remote areas like Pibor or Akobo to experience the much talked-of peace dividends when hardly a day passes by without cattle raids or inter-tribal clashes?
Taha’s expressed disappointment at the international community for failing to follow through on their pledges to provide the necessary support for the development and rehabilitation programs in south Sudan is another lame excuse. Much money has already been poured in SPLM led GoSS and we know that billions of dollars went unaccounted for. I don’t think that the international community should also take the place of law enforcement in south Sudan and force the corrupted GoSS officials to surrender back the stolen funds.
The international community may have its own vision of south Sudan’s future; the citizens themselves are never demanding that any developmental projections be put in place as a price for what they will choose in the referendum to come. The basic fact is that this region is the most underdeveloped place in the world. It never had infrastructures in place even during the colonial rule. Though fifty years of war can be claimed to have taken its toll, however south Sudan in fact needs a nation building and not just a re-construction program since most of those things will need to be introduced for the first time ever.
In the same report I was again stopped, this time for a much long time when I came across this statement, and I quote:
“Topping the agenda of Taha and Southern officials is the option of confederation between the North and South in lieu of secession, a compromise which could bring relief to many regional and international actors.”
If the purpose of the Joint Meeting in Juba was to sign ‘the so-called Unity Fund Project’ for south Sudan in its modest cost of 200 US dollars, and to be executed within the remaining life span of the united Sudan, which is roughly six months, one can clearly see how the option of confederation sneaked in to top the meeting’s agenda.
As I have clearly pointed out somewhere in this article, that genuine investments are in demand in south Sudan, a region which basically lacks everything in the area of infrastructure.
By Dr. James Okuk
July 1, 2010 (SSNA) — Please before you go through the below excerpts, try to get hold of these intriguing questions about our fate and destiny:
1). Is the "confederation" that the Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha is trying to discuss and negotiate with the SPLM/A in Juba these days the implementation of the inter alia mentioned in CPA article: That the people of Southern Sudan have the right to self-determination, inter alia, through a referendum to determine their future status (Article 1.3)? Yes Perhaps, because he was an instrumental negotiator of the CPA finals in Naivasha (although the article was already inserted by international pressure in Machakos-Kenya in 2002 when Dr. Ghazi Sulahuddin was the NCP/NIF chief negotiator by then).
2). Should we put all our eggs of hopes in the one basket of CPA’s Joint and Full implementation? If Yes, why and if No, what are the other baskets of hope we should consider? For me the answer is No. Just declare the independence from South Sudan once the 9th January 2011 arrives without any sign of hope from the referendum even if it took place procedurally under unionists control and manipulations.
3). Now that the CPA partners have prepared a Green Bell (i.e., violation of the CPA), which Rat (NCP or/and SPLM) shall hung it on the neck of the dangerous Cat (the Separatists of South Sudan) in the remaining life-span of the CPA? Both of the Rats may do the hung if they find it convincing to their continuation in power by crooked means as usual. They shall justify their act by saying they were the ones who negotiated and signed the CPA and, hence, have the right to do whatever they want with that agreement.
4). Do you think the NCP/SAF is in a position to get into war directly with the SPLM/A in the Southern Sudan at this juncture where the Darfuris would not be deceived again to fight an Islamic Fanatics Holy War (Jihad) in support of Khartoum? No, they will not dare to declare war even if the CPA is dishonored by the SPLM/A in the South; they may only continue to demand the concessions they are trying to get from the South now from the post-referendum discussions and side-agreements going on between them and the SPLM with the mediation of AU Thabo Mbeki’s Panel, IGAD (its friends and partners), and UN. But SPLM (John luke, Benjamin Marial and Kosti Manibe = Dr. Riek Machar) need to be smart here not to give out foolish concessions; just because they are overwhelmed by the NCP cooperation to allow the South go without provoking direct war as proxies are already there.
5). Are the NCP leaders and supporters in a position to take the blame from other Northerners that they (NCP) were the one who facilitated and allowed the independence of Southern Sudan from the result of referendum for self-determination? No, they will rather find an scapegoat for a blame on the side of the SPLM as they are voicing out these days that the SPLM is folding its hands and not helping the NCP to implement the part of the CPA that obliges the two partners to work for making unity of the Sudan attractive to Southerners, prior to the referendum.
6). What else can the NCP do at this difficult situation? They would rather prefer the UDI inside the Juba Parliament so as to escape the blame that they were the one who allowed the division of the Sudan into two separate independent states; one called Sudan with its dual Arab-African identification and the other called South Sudan with single African identification.
7). What should we do as the patriotic Separatists of South Sudan? Just not to worry much about the NCP treacheries, maneuvers or threats because by either thick or thin, we are in a better position of declaring the independence of our long-awaited dignity of our Africanness in an African new state. We should start singing this creed: seek thee first the kingdom of independence for freedom and all the rest shall follow in line.
Secession Is Not Given Independence: SPLM/A Championship Without Trophy
QUOTE: “Nations need dreams, goals they seek in common, within which the smaller dreams of individuals can guide their personal lives.”(Ford Foundation, 1991).
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.
By Deng Riak Khoryoam, South Sudan
June 30, 2010 (SSNA) — I have been contemplating on this issue for a while, until a week ago when a colleague of mine (a foreigner) encouraged me to write something on this, and I believe its worth devoting time to write as far as its pertinence is concerned. I have been baffled as to what is happening now with our medical personnel (e.g., clinical officers, Medical assistants, nurses, medical doctors and pharmacists) in Southern Sudan, and what will happen tomorrow considering the long way this semi-autonomous region needs to go in terms of realizing some of the millennium development goals. This concern has something to do with good leadership in the Ministry of health. The Ministry needs a sober leadership to make sound policies that can guide and steer the country in a right direction. Failing to do this will result to continued suffering of the civil populace regardless of their proximity and spatiality respectively.
It’s with dismay to write this article because at the back of my mind I conceive has happened and still happening to our medical personnel in Southern Sudan is worrying with regard to delivering health services to the communities in various levels. I noticed with concern that, as much as the GOSS Ministry of health keeps saying that it is lacking qualified medical professionals to enable it provide better and quality services to the people, still the whole thing is not a question of lacking them but indeed losing the well trained medical practitioners to relief organizations. Some of the major problems facing Southern Sudan now and in the near future are that almost all the trained personnel in the medical field have taken up employments with a good number of international NGOs both in relief and development arenas. They abandoned their area of specializations in search for better payments, better positions and more importantly better medical cover for their families. Almost 90% of the trained medical personnel in Southern Sudan are working for NGOs; most of which are relief organizations in various sectors, not necessarily health related but anything a person finds to feed his/her children or relatives better. Here is where they end up not utilizing their skills in medical field, but having said this I do not want to create a negative impression that changing careers should be discouraged because it is normal for one to change careers as long as it is done within limits and desired choice.
Would it be fair and justifiable for the Ministries of health in various states to assert that they are lacking highly trained cadres in medical field? In my humble opinion, it’s definitely no. Southern Sudan is not short of health personnel but they are just losing them to NGOs where they end up not doing or practicing what they were trained to do or practice in the first place. Southern Sudan has relatively enough manpower in terms of the number of health personnel but we are not just taking keen interest to invest in them for the present generation and the generation to come. Thus, it is misleading to say or assume that we do not have qualified medics to help treat the ailments of our vulnerable populations where preventive medicine fails.
The health ministers from states ministries never miss to pinpoint the shortage of qualified health and medical personnel from Sudan Ministry of Health (SMOH) at different levels. But my critical question has always been this: why are they crying foul when in fact it’s their own making that makes it almost impossible to retain and sustain health and medical personnel? Well, excuse me you are taking these health and medical professionals for granted since you have got no strategies or methods of motivating them. This is where the problem squarely lies; it’s no fun at all.
What is happening in Southern Sudan is like compromising the health of our civil populations and depriving them of quality, affordable, accessible and equitable health care as stipulated in the interim constitution of Sudan, Southern Sudan. Article 35 of the interim constitution of Southern Sudan has this to say. “All levels of government in Southern Sudan shall promote public health, establish, rehabilitate and develop basic medical and diagnostic institutions and provide free primary health care and emergency services for all citizens”. We can never become better if we don’t abide by the law we have promulgated!!!
Key Recommendations for GoSS and States Ministries of Health:
1. Make a mutual contract with anyone prior to sponsoring him/her to go for further medical studies to work for a certain period of time before he/she can decide to work for NGOs i.e., 3-years with the ministry of health.
2. Find ways to motivate the existing health and medical personnel by paying them better allowances and benefits in addition to reasonable salaries based on qualification and experience, and to always strive to pay them on time.
3. Keep upgrading these personnel so as to enable them become more professional with motivations of promotion as a reward for their dedication and hard work besides giving them chances to pursue their higher studies.
4. Promote some of the personnel who qualify for holding bigger positions like directors or even director generals over a period of time.
“The referendum will be stolen by the SPLM; we will not accept that,” Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin. By Luk Kuth Dak June 29, 2010 (SSNA) — You better believe it. Now, virtually, Khartoum, the capital of the Sudan has turned out to be the potential destination for those greedy people who seek to cash in…
June 23, 2010 (UPI) — Sudan’s government is reported to be exploring for oil in the war-torn Darfur region, which, if successful, could halt a threatened renewal of one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars.
The secessionist south is expected to vote for independence in a 2011 referendum, part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended 21 years of war in which an estimated 2 million people have died.
But since most of Sudan’s oil fields are in the south, the Arab regime in the north cannot afford to let it do so — unless Khartoum finds its own oil.
The Paris Web site Africa Energy Intelligence reported this month that the government was concentrating on two key zones in the northern areas it controls — Darfur in the west and the Red Sea zone in the east.
Images from the Quickbird Satellite indicate that no strikes have been made, the Web site reported. But it said the eastern drive is headed by the Red Sea Operating Cop., a consortium grouping the state-owned Sudapet, the China National Petroleum Corp., Petronas of Malaysia, Express of Nigeria and two Sudanese firms.
Global Witness, the international watchdog group, reported that images from the Landsat satellite showed a grid pattern of seismic activity by oil companies stretching 315 miles across Darfur’s desert in the northwest near the Libyan border that began in September 2009.
Other images showed oil exploration camps and large storage depots, the non-governmental organization reported.
Several firms have oil concessions in Darfur, Global Witness said. These include the Great Sahara Petroleum operating Co., a consortium of Saudi Arabian, Yemeni, Sudanese and Jordanian firms.
Government officials said in January that Khartoum wants oil companies to develop a new oilfield in southern Darfur and is planning to offer the zone to investors.
"Were oil to be discovered, it could actually prod the conflicting parties to come to some kind of agreement so that there would then be a basis for exploiting it, and, we would argue, necessarily sharing it in an equitable way," said Global Witness official Mike Davis.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 that ended 21 years of war between the Muslim Arab-dominated north and south, whose population is largely Christian or animist, is generally seen as a "precedent … for sharing oil as a basis for making peace."
The 2005 pact gave the south a measure of autonomy until the future of the country is determined in the referendum set for January.
But Khartoum cannot afford to relinquish the south because that will mean being cut off from the region’s oil fields. Khartoum depends on the revenue the region produces.
The south, too, is active on the oil front — trying to find an alternative route to get its oil to market since the only pipeline there runs northward to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
One option that has gained some traction is a new pipeline southward through Uganda to Kenya’s Indian Ocean ports of Lamu or Mombasa.
The Japanese, the second biggest buyer of Sudan’s oil after China, has offered to build such a pipeline for $1.5 billion.
Under the 2005 agreement, the ruling National Congress Party in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement agreed that if a majority vote for independence in the referendum, the south will secede so long as at least two-thirds of the registered electorate participates in the poll.
President Omar Beshir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, warned earlier this month of an "explosive situation" if the south, as expected, chooses independence.
The rivalry between north and south has been heating up in recent weeks, with violent clashes reported along the border zones. There have been reports of government troops seeking to take control of some oil wells.
Sudan has oil reserves estimated at the equivalent of 5 billion barrels. It produces around 500,000 barrels per day, of which 400,000 bpd is exported.
Darfur, an arid desert region in western Sudan, has been devastated since 2003 by a civil war, separate from the north-south conflict.
This one is between the government and Darfur tribes who claim Khartoum has neglected the region and is conducting a war of attrition against then.
By Daniel Abushery Daniel
“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over, if you just sit there” Will Rogers
June 21, 2010 (SSNA) — Many speculations and rumours are being circulated around the globe about whether or not South Sudan has the essential capability to rule and care for themselves, if in fact South does become an independent state from the "Jallaba" dominated old Sudan.
That shameful propaganda about South Sudanese being unable to rule themselves because of the spread of illiteracy, corruption, and tribalism among others, is racist at best. Because if given an equal opportunity, Southerners have the best administrators in the whole of Sudan even by the admission of some honest Northern Sudanese. For instance, during the ten-year tenure of the Addis Ababa agreement, South Sudan was actually more stable than the North in terms of democracy and peaceful transfer of powers, that Al Nimeri was so jealous, that he had to dissolve the regional government, in order to undermined the unity of South Sudanese.
Indeed tribes and tribalism are alive and well in all parts of Northern Sudan, especially in the Northern state (al Shamalia), West and East Sudan. So, to suggest that somehow South is the only exception is, truly unfounded and misguided to say the least. In addition, much of the tribal conflicts in the South are fuelled by the North, to convince the rest of the world that we can’t possibly run a government, if we are unable to control some ill-equipped tribes.
This song or music is nothing more than a psychological warfare to further wound our dignity and indeed our unity, because there are some folks in South Sudan who have actually bought into this smear campaign that, in fact we cannot manage our affairs without the help from the Jallaba. This song is not new. It’s is a very old one dating back since the 50s, and it continues patting it to the present generation. We cannot allow it to continue any longer.
The real question: How could South Sudanese be expected to achieve miracles in a five- years period of time, and just coming off a two decade long civil war? To plan for projects alone takes at least a couple of years if not more. Then, to put that plan in execution will need even more time than the planning time. So, by far, the GOSS has done far beyond expectations of fair-minded people everywhere.
Further more, after Addis Ababa accord, which granted South Sudan autonomy government, ( small government), and to the best of my knowledge, I have never experienced the presence of any Arabs or Northerners carrying out training or managing any institution over the course of the ten years tenure of peace time. Yet, with little or no educated people at the time, South managed to run a relatively smooth government, even in the face of the sabotage from Numeri’s regime.
By Tabu Butagira, Daily Monitor June 20, 2010 (Kampala) — Nearly 4,000 mainly Sudanese refugees have declined to go home and are still holed up in Arua District, citing inter-tribal fights and lack of HIV/Aids anti-retroviral drugs in their country. At celebrations on Friday to mark the World Refugee Day, which officially falls today, refugees from…
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
June 20, 2010 (SSNA) — The much-awaited Sudan’s central government cabinet formation has at last come out of President Omer al Bashir’s drawer. As he (al Bashir) promised earlier to have an inclusive cabinet, I think that he has for the first time lived up to his words as his latest cabinet contains all, the good, the bad and the ugly. However what such a cabinet is bent to achieve is obviously not anything near the area of unity, thus technically it should be called the Central Government, and not a government of national unity (GoNU) as we are falsely made to assume.
According to local NIF observers’ analysis on the London based Arabic daily, Al Sharq Al Awsat (18/06/2010), this new cabinet which is made of 77 ministers, is in fact controlled by 10 people who are either military men or security agents or both, in conformity with how the country was since the eve of the 30 June 1989 coup. The first three are of course Omer Bashir himself, Lt. Gen. Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein (Minister of Defence), and Lt. Gen. Bakry Hassan Saleh (Minister for Presidential Affairs). All three are intimate friends and they remain very close to each other since 1989. The militant government militia chief and new Foreign Minister, Ali Karti belongs to the above group considering his role in the ‘Holy War,’ against the South. This is the man who commanded the jihadist military force a.k.a the Popular Defence Forces.
While the rest of the group are all linked to the security and intelligence since NIF/NCP’s organisational structure operates through a great deal of over-lap between party work, spying and national security intelligence network, as represented by Dr. Awad Ahmed Abu Jaz, who have occupied several ministerial posts, and is now the new minister for Industry. (Former minister for presidential Affairs, then the ministry of Energy which witnessed the beginning of Sudan’s Oil boom during his office term, and the last minister of finance).
This second group as well includes the Minister for Human Resources Development, Kamal Abdel Latif (formerly the state minister at the Council of Ministers), the minister for Dams and Electricity, Osama Abdalla, the minister of Youth and Sports Haj Majid Sowar (a leading cadre in the Mujahidin Youth Organisation), as well as being very close to the inner circles to the many secret organisational offices and finally the state minister in the ministry of foreign affairs, Kamal Hassan Ali (formerly the led man in NCP Office in Egypt).
The composition of this new cabinet basically underscores the sensitivity of the period ahead, as the Sudan will face one of its most difficult hurdles and that is the Self Determination Referendum in the South, the Darfur Crisis, and how the country relates to the international community/ICC arrest warrants, and the mounting internal pressure for democratic transformation.