By Dr. James Okuk June 18, 2010 (SSNA) — Wake up and liberate yourself from SPLM’s illusion. Try to address intellects of your readers, not their emotions only. My friend, take it seriously from me, there is not going to be referendum as you think. The NCP are already moving seriously underground and planning in…
By Luk Kuth Dak “We have nothing in common with Southerners; they don’t look like us; we don’t speak the same language; we don’t believe in the same God, and we share no interests.” Sudan’s First Uncle, Al Tayib Mustafa. June 17, 2010 (SSNA) — From the first glance at the question above, the obvious…
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
June 13, 2010 (SSNA) — The northern Sudanese politicians have throughout the last half a century lived in a denial of what is clearly a growing southern nationalism, and as such they have failed to learn their lessons all this time. Their only outstanding investment in the south have been nothing more than the handful agents they have so far recruited with the primary tasks of facilitating the infamous cultural and religious assimilation programs.
Whatever the whole thing is supposed to mean, but clearly it can be seen that the traditional northern Sudanese politicians are already struggling with their own fates in the north itself, leave alone their rhetoric on maintaining a united Sudan. The long history of those failed attempts by the Arab and Muslim northerners to force the people of the south to join them in what is clearly a new wave of political Islam must be a concern to the peace loving in the region, the continent and the whole world. This all makes the support for the secession of the south much compelling and every peace loving individual’s struggle.
There might have been some success stories of Arabisation, Arabicization, and Islamisation amongst some black African south Sudanese through the use of political positions and financial benefits. However there is more evidence to support that not all are roses with the assimilation program as many who were forced to walkover their cultures and religious faiths have on most occasions reversed those decisions and sought reconciliations. And the number of southerners leaving the dominant NCP/NIF party is now at its peak, more than any other time before, with almost none going the other way. THIS IS THE SIGN!
What I have here is a true story and I want all the readers to have an open mind going through the lines before rushing to conclusions.
On one occasion some Islamist politicians paid a surprising home visit to a south Sudanese, “position-seeker”, who was recently stamped and had secretly converted to ‘Islam’ in return for a permanent ministerial post in the NCP/NIF government.
However after the guests were seated, they were shocked when their friend’s wife and children announced that they were on their way to attend the Sunday mass in the cathedral and might not return till late.
“We thought that this issue of the ‘church’ was already settled, am I right”, commented, one of the guests.
“Yes of course. But what do one’s family, wives, and children got to do with the work of politics?” the position-seeker responded.
“Please fellows, don’t bring issues of work into house business”. He added.
But was this politician being in anyway sincere to himself, his family, the southern Sudan or even his northern benefactors? Obviously not. He was more of a gold digger and was capitalising on the civil disobedience in the south in order to extract a living from those equally confused and shallow minded northern government.
This was how the South – North politics was during the early Ingaz period (1989-2005) and before the 2005 CPA. So what is it that we are going to see now?
It wouldn’t be a total surprise again to see or hear about politicians who in their crazy quests for power, become too adventurous and easily buy into the NIF/NCP version of a united Islamic Sudan. These are the kinds who would willing go an extra mile with the enemies to sign treachery documents allowing their families, wives, children and their local communities to be persuaded into voting for a unity which even by the northern Arabs standards isn’t at all attractive.
However in reality there is a south Sudanese nationalism, it has come a long way and it is here to stay. Let nobody mistake our people’s determination for an independent state to be a thing that can be compromised in an exchange for a handful of rudimentary developmental projects from the government of Khartoum or some second hand technologies from Egypt which are being promised for south Sudan.
Omer al Bashir, who chooses to distract himself from the naggings of the ICC with the arrest warrant hanging over his head, has been busy these days issuing all kinds of last minute morale lifting statements. He says that, he would personally supervise all the developmental projects that he promised for the south in the run off for the elections. This is a typical Jallaba PR stuff.
It also came as a no surprise when he went on to announce that he might give the energy portfolio to the SPLM so that they know the exact deals and figures of the Oil industry which has seen an area of huge disagreements recently. Obviously this last minute talks about the Ministry of Energy will never make any impacts on the outcome of the referendum. The people of south Sudan already know that they are only six months away from controlling 100% of the Oil revenues when they finally vote to secede.
Besides there are all sorts of scepticism surrounding the possibility of the NIF/NCP emptying the Ministry of Energy from most of its powers to decide on the country’s crucial Oil industry’s issues before it is finally passed-over to an SPLM minister, just repeating the scenario of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, when it was only allowed to be headed by a southerner after its powers were moved to the Presidential Palace under a presidential advisor, non but the regime’s former Foreign Affairs Minister during the peace talks, Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, who in reality remains to be the true foreign policy boss.
However the south may justifiably be happy to have this important ministry at this particular moment as it relies on the Oil revenues for 98% of its financial budget. This may also offer it a real opportunity to review and possibly revise all the alleged corruption and lack of transparency in the Oil marketing as well as the transfer of shares of the revenue to the South. It is also an opportunity for the South to acquaint itself with the Oil industry as it prepares for its new state, where it will need to construct pipelines through the East African neighbour of Kenya as well as prepare the future man-power needed to independently run this industry once it secedes.
Sudanese President Omar Bashir has also warned of an “explosive” situation between north and south Sudan, should the south choose to break away.
“Parts of the border could be explosive…..like in the case of Ethiopia and Eretria, or even India and Pakistan,” Bashir was quoted to have said during a meeting of his ruling NCP.
It is good that Al Bashir openly acknowledges that the arising border issues will not be unique to the new Sudanese states, should the South opt to secede. However the northern Sudanese themselves are aware that it is their government’s greed for the South’s Oil fields and agricultural lands that is making the borders difficult to demarcate in the first place before possibly becoming explosive after the inevitable secession of the South.
The same way that we look towards avoiding a return to war by asking the international community to take over the organisation of the referendum, we also believe that the demarcation of the north-south borders can equally only be acceptable if it is done by the UN. The drawn borders may need to be under a UN patrol until such a time that the two sides are matured enough to respect it, then and only then can the responsibilities to transferred to them.
On the whole no any logical human being will ever fail to see that none of those projects to be started in South Sudan will in anyway influence the way the southerners intend to vote in the referendum. The gaps between the two parts have been there for the last five decades and were only made worse by the brutal civil wars. These are issues that can never be over-turned in a few months’ period. With due respect to what others think, but I hope that they can agree with me that what couldn’t be achieved in fifty years, cannot obviously be achieved in five months.
By Deng Riak Khoryoam, South Sudan
Quote: “There is no person so severely punished than those subjected to the whim of their own remorse” (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
June 13, 2010 (SSNA) — It’s becoming too much and unrelenting of SPLA to subject its civilians to torturing, unnecessary arrests intimidations, lynching and all the barbarous acts against the people from which it took up arms to free them from the oppressors – the Arabs or Jellab. First and foremost, one thing I said prior to the election when the political bureau selected Simon Kuon as its flag bearer for the gubernatorial contest in Upper Nile state was that once elected into that office, he will be more of a problem than a solution to the problems and challenges facing the state; which have something to do with tribalism.
We had foreseen and predicted the likely scenario of frauds and riggings in favor of the ruling party(ies): the SPLM in Southern Sudan and NCP in the Northern Sudan respectively. We knew very well that everything was possible for them since they can use state apparatus, especially the security parameters to satisfy their vested interests regardless of people’s choices.
It did happen that way. Civilians were threatened to death in places where SPLM faced stiff resistance due to their poor governance performance in the last five years. The masses wanted to show their dissatisfaction by not voting for them, and to also put them under public scrutiny to determine who really deserves votes and who doesn’t based on one’s deeds while in public offices. All we saw were people being intimidated, beaten and forced to vote only for SPLM candidates only – not independents or other political parties’ candidates. In some cases those who refused to succumb to threats and intimidations were killed, like what happened in those sides of Eastern Equatoria as well unity state.
What the SPLM did was all riggings and nothing else but very stupid riggings. If it were not because that shameless riggings, those of Simon Kuon, Clement Wani, Taban Deng, Kuol Manyang, Paul Malong and many others would have not made it to the offices as governors! Who were the accomplices in all this? Good question, the SPLA in collaboration of NEC officials affiliated to the SPLM were the ones used as the playground for this dirty game against the right principles of democratic transformation.
Mr. Simon Kuon is going to favor his SPLM supporters only in Upper Nile state. Even he is not liked/wanted by his own people in Nasir right from day one up to now because he has been a failure, a dictator and unqualified to be governor. Mr. Kuon failed to deliver what was expected of him during his tenure as the Chairperson of the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC); a very important and sensitive post that deals with the international NGOs. His messages were peace, security and prosperity during the elections campaigns but is there peace and security now when many people don’t sleep at their homes inside Malakal town and in the Shilluk people’s villages? Why does governor Kuon allow the Shilluk community to be treated as none human beings under his watchful eyes and ears? Will there be prosperity in Upper Nile State in the absence of peace and security in the Shilluk Kingdom; created by tribalist SPLA? Absolutely not!!
A good example, among others, was when SPLA soldiers were ordered by James Kok (an SPLM candidate and a controversial figure) to beat up his rivals – the politicians in Fangak during the polling period but no action was taken against him for having violated the election act 2007. The SPLM senior officials did not condemn what he did. Instead, they chanted in joy and applauded him for evil deeds the perfected.
It is really painful to think about all that is happening to our people because it is very disheartening and inhuman; all the injustices no one would want to talk about. One would be tempted to ask this simple and challenging question: what is the difference between the crimes/injustices committed by the Arabs and the crimes/injustices committed by the fellow Southerners? The SPLM die-hard supporters and sycophants will definitely say there is nothing wrong in the evil that is being rained on the Shilluk people by the SPLA (whether they are in the JIUs or not).
It’s very painful hearing our supposedly national army – the SPLA has turned against its people, especially in the Shilluk kingdom: beating women and children, looting villagers’ properties, raping women, and executing all other horrible crimes against humanity. The lame excuse used by the SPLM here is that disarmament among civilian population must be done by any means. But why is this only carried out in Shilluk land and not other places in Upper Nile State? Why beating and raping women and children to the hospital level if the intention is to collect illegal arms? Why do we subject our helpless people to the whim of their remorse?
The other unjustified and unacceptable excuse used by the SPLM/A is that the Shilluk community have acquired more arms from the SPLM-DC that has become a big threat to the survival of the SPLM. But is it not known that the SPLM –DC is just a political party that has nothing to do with any armed wing unlike the SPLM.
To the best of my knowledge, the SPLM/A claims are not true, baseless and meant to tarnish the SPLM-DC party’s image and reputation by showing the world a very negative fabricated picture about this party. In my humble opinion, SPLM –DC has no military wing that could engage itself in a serious confrontation with its rivals the SPLM or even supply arms to their supporters and their sympathizers. The SPLM apologists are just paranoid and contemptuous of the SPLM-DC because it has become more popular in a shorter period. The SPLM has always pointed wrong fingers at SPLM-DC accusing it of re-arming the civilians in order to create instability in Southern Sudan so that the referendum for self-determination becomes a failure. But can the SPLM-DC leadership afford to throw out with the bathwater the child it has re-conceived into the Sudanese politics? The SPLM has no any evidence to implicate the SPLM-DC with armed insurgence in the South, and I agree with what people used to say long ago that a failure will not always lack excuses when it comes to defending himself or herself.
It is even blasphemous before God as he watches over us and sees everything done under the carpet. Those who are committing those crimes may go unpunished now but one day, they will be answerable when the real liberty and justice comes to reign in South Sudan.
It’s to be remembered that Shilluk are peace loving people and very friendly, and they deserve immerse respect for the sake of peace and unity in Southern Sudan. But with all the diabolical acts committed by the SPLM/A, it is very unlikely that this would promote the culture of peace and unity as we match towards referendum on self- determination. With the current state of affairs, the SPLM/A is even becoming an obstacle to the peaceful conduct of the referendum in Southern Sudan. All the horrible crimes against humanity commuted by the SPLM/A are really resonant with what our Arabs used to do to Southerners. Even the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) used to respect human rights and didn’t beat civilians with no concrete reasons.
I am not a Shilluk by tribe but I cannot be happy to see fellow Southerners suffering in bizarre and heinous way. My concern is for the goodness of humanity and that everybody be accorded the same treatment as God would want to see him/her enjoying happiness. And by the way, the same pitfall is happening again in Fangak now, youth are being tortured and beaten to levels of broken harms by the SPLA. If there are civilians suspected to be smuggling arms from nowhere or from somewhere why can’t they be dealt with by the law enforcement agents – the police? When has SPLA become the police any way?
Please SPLM leaders, know that you took the public offices the wrong way but the people have “let go of that”. Now you are repeating the very mistakes you did in the last years. Can you repent and respect the very people you survived on before curse get hold of you?
I urge the Upper Nile State authorities and the GoSS to correct this situation before it’s out of control. Those who committed the heinous crimes must be brought to the book without favor or fear.
By Jonathan Schanzer, foreignpolicy.com
June 10, 2010 (SSNA) — The Sudanese newspaper Rai al-Shaab (Opinion of the People), owned and controlled by Sudanese opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, recently published an article that potentially provides new and important insight into Sudan’s terrorist ties to Iran. The article alleges that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, is operating a secret weapons factory in Sudan to funnel weapons to Iran-sponsored terrorist organizations in Africa and the Middle East.
Several Arab bloggers circulated the article last week. Today, these blogs are the only evidence that the article ever existed. Soon after it was published, Sudanese authorities shut down the entire newspaper. The paper’s deputy editor, Abu Zur al-Amin, was arrested on charges of "terrorism, espionage and destabilizing the constitutional system," according to Reuters.
The Sudanese newspaper report claimed that the Quds Force, a deadly arm of the IRGC that has been fingered by the U.S. government for providing military support to the Taliban and other anti-U.S. forces in Afghanistan, set up the factory "in the jurisdiction of Khartoum" as part of an undeclared element of the 2008 defense pact signed between Iran and Sudan.
Israel, for its part, might already be aware of the IRGC weapons factory. In fact, it might have already attacked the weapons produced there. In March 2009, U.S. officials claimed that Israel had conducted three airstrikes in Sudan in early 2009 that targeted Iranian weapons shipments meant for Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
By Dr. James Okuk June 10, 2010 (SSNA) — This is the suitable description for those who think and dream that the so-called Referendum for Self-determination of Southern Sudanese shall be independence of a new Republic in Africa called “South Sudan". What has been written in the CPA and enacted as law for the Referendum…
By Luk Kuth Dak
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
June 7, 2010 (SSNA) — Unity among the marginalized Sudanese citizens isn’t a laughing matter, but an issue of survival in first place against the variable domination, aggression and oppression by the so-called Arabs minority invaders of our ancestors’ own land.
Remember, our freedom will never be handed to us in a golden plate. But if we really want it as badly as we should, then, we will have to continue fighting for it to the last breath in our bodies. And now, more than ever before, the marginalized Sudanese – as a whole- have an opportunity of a live time to, either they’re going to free themselves or remain under the same perpetual deplorable circumstances that they’ve jointly been subjected to, and forced to live under for generation after generation!
“You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of the oppression,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963.
Yes, we’re very tied now of more than half a century-long and counting, of brutality. It’s time to close that bloody chapter and move on with our lives. Indeed, the stakes couldn’t be higher, especially now that the enemy (the National Congress Party) is adamant and vehemently dishonoring all of the accords that ended hostilities including the Comprehensive Peace agreement (CPA). Literally, in South Sudan, patience’s at all times low, and for good reasons. More and more innocent lives are being lost on a daily bases, at the hands of NCP backed militias headed by some sell-outs Southerners (all of whom we know).
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
June 6, 2010 (SSNA) — Many South Sudanese might have found it extremely distressful when they first read the report on the Sudan Tribune 03/06/2010, that the two signatories of the 2005 peace deal have agreed this week on the national "directive" to "persuade" the people of South Sudan to vote for unity in the upcoming referendum.
One observer was quoted rightly as saying:
“This agreement is a betrayal of the people of South Sudan, and in nutshell it was simply an understanding to rig the referendum in favour of unity."
This new agreement to persuading the people of south Sudan to vote for unity through government coercions is a frank violation of the CPA, and it surely amounts to a re-negotiation of the core article in the agreement.
The South Sudanese people only have themselves to blame should things go wrong with the referendum, because the top SPLM leadership has never hidden its unionist tendencies, but sadly enough it has been our grassroots who gave in to the continuous intoxicating SPLM propaganda, where the real nationalist whistle blowers ended up being wrongly perceived as mere position and attention seekers.
The CPA was primarily signed by people who have unionist tendencies at heart, and even those events that unfolded in the run up for the general elections, although cleverly concealed, can now be better understood.
By Daniel A. Daniel “The success of any civilized society is by its Justice.” Professor Richard Delgado June 3, 2010 (SSNA) — Rumors and fouls accusations have been escalating around about an alleged mistreatment and torture aimed at the Shiluk’s population. Some connected it with the disarmament campaign being undertaken by the government in vast parts…
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD May 31, 2010 (SSNA) — Recently there has been resurgence in attacks on the civilians in the remote Western Equatoria State (WES), of south Sudan by the notorious Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a terroristic group led by the self styled Messiah, Joseph Kony. Bordering the D.R Congo and the…