“The implementation of the remaining CPA provisions is only possible through the political wills of the two peace partners or/and an external intervention by the International community”.
BY Justin Ambago Ramba
May 9, 2010 (SSNA) — Nobody can argue against the truth that it was the Comprehensive Peace agreement (CPA) which brought and continue to sustain the present relative peace enjoyed in south Sudan as well as the other parts of country (except of course Darfur). It is for this very basic reason that the full implementation of the agreement remain relevant but also vital if peace is to be extended and maintained all over the region.
The Sudanese have a historical responsibility at this time to see to it that the greedy politicians do not drag the region back to war. We have fought wars now for over five decades and as if the only out-standing common achievement of the so-called independence of Sudan, declared on January, 1st 1956, is nothing more than the continuous wars and distrust that pursued since then until today between the northerners and the southerners.
If we are to ask the successive regimes that ruled Sudan from the republican palace in Khartoum as to why they sustained the civil war in the south, no doubt that all of them without exception will say that they did it for the sake of maintaining the unity of the country. But now with the loss of the 2 million lives in the south, is the unity any nearer?
There are those who look at Sudan’s national crisis from what they think is the logical point of view as it addresses the material gains of all the different parts of the Sudan and especially so of the political north and south divide. In this school are those who continue to dream that one day some miracle will descend from the heaven and all Sudanese black or brown, African or Arabs, Muslims, Christians or Animists , southerners and northerners will wake up to find themselves true Sudanese without the aforementioned adjectives and purely become dedicated to nothing else but a prosperous Sudan for all. Yet we very well know that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
When the CPA was signed in 2005, it was intended to not only stop the blood-shed between the warring sides, but it was also expected to transform the Sudan into the dream country that I just described above. The difference here, however lies in the fact that the transformation stipulated in the agreement was not expected to fall from the heavens above. It was expected that the Sudanese political leaders would be the ones to actively engage in transforming the Sudanese people so that they satisfy the pre-requisite of remaining one people in one Sudan. But see what they have done.
The politics that emerge following the signing of the CPA and the formation of the initial government of national unity (GoNU), have sadly enough concentrated powers in the hands of the two peace partners leaving the other political parties either marginalised or totally denied of any say on neither the present day Sudan nor its future. This abnormal situation has now given birth to a north that 68% identifies itself with President Omer al Bashir and his NCP, while the south is now 93%, SPLM territory, under H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit.
In the concluded Sudanese elections, despite its multi-party superficial appearance, the whole exercise was effectively reduced by the two peace partners into a two party division of territories. This has now been successfully achieved, and the other opposition groups in both the north-south political divide have either now accepted defeat and went under-ground or some may choose to continue to suffer humiliation by accepting hand-out cabinets for the sake of personal survivals or individual egos.
Does it really make any political sense when NCP and SPLM who ruthlessly used maximum fraud in order to monopolize the election are now turning around to appoint as ministers people whom they not only deprived from a free and fair electoral process but also humiliated? If the ruling parties, the SPLM & NCP didn’t like the opposition to have victories in the elections through democracy, why then do they want to have them in the cabinets? What can a humiliated politician who has lost his pride achieve in a cabinet dominated by his victimisers?
A minister who has no representation in the parliament is either saying that he/she has officially joined the majority party or is out right for a huge unprecedented political gamble, in other wards a mission to dismantle the monster from within. These two are never new political games in the third world and especially so in countries like the Sudan. Otherwise how could you have explained the presence of a southern Sudanese Christian Anglican bishop in the position of a minister of state for foreign affairs in the National Islamic Front (NIF) led military junta?
The people of Sudan may continue to say that the country comes before partisan politics, however no one can really effectively participate in shaping the political features of the nation when they have been official barred out from doing so, especially so following the NCP and the SPLM’s extensive use of all the declared and undeclared illegal and corrupt methods to dominated the Sudanese political life and maintain a tight grip on power. It is now the duty of the two parties to see that the remaining CPA provisions are implemented fully and in time. Any failure to do just that will precisely be blamed on the two partners and no one else.
Meanwhile the call by the deputy SPLM Secretary General for northern Sudan, Yassir Arman on the "New Sudan and Democratic forces" in northern Sudan to form a broad alliance with his party to establish the New Sudan, doesn’t represent anything new, it doesn’t also spell in any clear terms the way forward.
At this particular moment in time, the SPLM is expected to keep its promise to the South Sudanese masses who according to declared elections results have casted 93% of their votes for the incumbent SPLM chairman, and president of south Sudan, Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit in the believe that he would be the one to lead them to the Promised Land, which clearly translates into an Independent South Sudan nation.
On the other hand Cdr. Yasser Arman a northern Arab Muslim and a long time member of the southern based SPLM remains dedicated to the original vision of attaining a united secular Sudan for all. This view however has lost much of its previous appeals to the people of the South. And as if to cope up with the imminent secession of the South, Cdr. Arman has recently added some new dimensions to his political speech.
Arman’s withdrawal from the presidential race in April remains a cause of deep rifts and concerns within the SPLM party, although the leadership wouldn’t accept that openly. But in a bid to remain within reach of the highlights of the mainstream Sudanese politics, Yassir for the time being has no alternative but to cling to his SPLM party. Whatever that means to the northern sector of the SPLM party which still remains under his leadership cannot be properly assessed at the moment.
But on the other side, Arman is being very realist with himself when he suggested that the SPLM should form a committee to study the future of the party and the challenges it may face after the referendum. His other message that the New Sudan vision remains valid across geographic and ethnic variations in the country and the stress that voluntary unity of Sudan cannot be maintained without it, remain at large an issue of ideology and self consolation.
Up till here everything suggested by the SPLM northern sector can be viewed in the context of the party’s internal re-arrangements, however the southern grassroots who overwhelmingly voted to retain Sava Kiir in office are now becoming uneasy about some of the statements that recently found their ways to the press and are attributed to senior party members.
The current call for a possible alliance with the other northern opposition political parties as declared by Yassir Arman remains a hugely contested view within the wider south Sudanese circles. It has never been any secret that most northerners (including the people of the Nuba Mountains, Abyei and Southern Blue Nile), remain against the secession of the South. Even Yassir Arman who is now coming out to seek ways for implementation of the remaining provisions of the CPA equally shares the strong unionist views of his colleagues in the geographical north as recently aired by Cdr. Malik Agar Eyre of Southern Blue Nile State.
But in clear indication that politics in Juba doesn’t necessarily agree with those in Damazin, Khartoum or Kadugli, Dr. Riek Machar during his recent meeting with the visiting British Special Representative for Sudan, Michael O’Neil, told the Envoy that unless the dominant National Congress Party (NCP) in the North refrained from taking official position on unity, the SPLM might be compelled to respond with a message of a recommended choice to the people of south Sudan.
Dr. Teny however didn’t reveal exactly which choice between unity and secession the SPLM would want to recommend to the people of the South. Yet common sense says it all.