A Statement Condemning the double standard of the UN and AU
Date: 21 April, 2012
We South Sudanese Citizens worldwide condemned the statement of the UN secretary General Ban Ki- moon that South Sudan must withdraw its forces immediately from PANTHAU (the so called Heglig) without conditions, as he called “An infringement on the sovereignty of Sudan and a clearly illegal act.”
April 24, 2012 (SSNA) — Over many years, confusion, disingenuousness, and silence on the part of the International Community have endangered and/or diminished the chances for a sustainable peace which was ushered in by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005. Although both Khartoum and Juba claimed to have not received all they wished from the agreement, we believed it was the only way forward for peace and peaceful coexistence for our peoples. We have watched with deepening dismay for more than seven years as the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime’s consistent attempts to renege on agreements, refuse to respect the terms of the Protocols comprising the CPA. Instead and contrary to the letter and spirit of such agreements, they have chosen to act with increasing military aggression in, for instance, Abyei, contested border areas, and/or in what is clearly the sovereign territory of the Republic of South Sudan.
During the civil war in which more than 2 million of our people died, one of the primary instruments of destruction was indiscriminate aerial bombardment by Antonov "bombers" which are nothing but instruments of civilian terror. The world remained silent which emboldened Khartoum to continue their barbarous war crimes. And the bombings never stopped. On the contrary, they have been ongoing with increased viciousness and barbarity. For example, prior to recent, massive onslaught of aerial attacks on South Sudan, 40 attacks had already been launched on sovereign Southern territory since November 2010- This was also true during and after the self-determination referendum of January 9, 2011. Moreover, sixty (60) more attacks on Bentiuand UN compound were struck which inflicted major damage on untold number of civilian lives and property.
Sadly enough, none of these barbarous and indiscriminate, deliberate and savage attacks and bombings on civilian targets had been condemned by the International Community in the strongest possible terms. This unforgettable and unforgivable international silence in spite of atrocities being committed against our brothers and sisters in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and Blue Nile is mind boggling. The treacherous NCP denied them all that the CPA gave them by way of ‘popular consultations’. What they got in return was their incessant aerial attacks clearly designed to destroy agricultural livelihoods and starve civilians. These attacks and silence by the International Community has condemned to death by starvation many hundreds of thousands. Disappointingly enough, in spite of such blatant denial of Nuba, Darfur and Engessana people to humanitarian access, the international community remains feverishly passive.
Unsurprisingly enough, this international silent whispers rather than strong face to face condemnation of brutality and brutal politicians in Khartoum have emboldened NCP regime to continue to bomb to death and destruction the people and their belongings inside Unity State. Some of these bombings happened on November 10, 2011 on the refugee camp at Yida. Although these indiscriminate bombings and carnage were half-heartedly condemned, they made no difference.
Prior to the current aggressive violence by Khartoum’s forces and militia proxies in the PANTHAU (so-called Heglig) area, in Kuek (Upper Nile), and Western Bahr el-Ghazal, there have been many precedents. In May 2008 Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), along with its Misseriya militia allies, attacked and destroyed Abyei town, killing many people and driving tens of thousands of DinkaNgok to South Sudan. The virtual silence of the international community on this occasion certainly figured deeply in Khartoum’s decision to seize Abyei region militarily on May 20-21, 2011, forcing virtually the entire population of DinkaNgok—some 110,000 civilians—to feel to Warrap and other Southern states.
Khartoum became emboldened simply by the failure of the international community to secure for Abyei’sself-determination referendum guaranteed by the CPA. Khartoum even went against the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (July 2009) which led to significant reduction of Abyei in area. South Sudan Accepted this ruling and decision in spite of the pain it inflicted on the NgokDinka people. Khartoum simply dismissed the June 20, 2011 Agreement in which Khartoum was to withdraw its troops from Abyei followed by deployment of the Ethiopian brigade under UN peacekeeping auspices. Khartoum disregarded the said Agreement which they understand to mean no more than lack of commitment on the part of the International Community to see that the regime held to its commitments.
Khartoum had enough evidence on many other occasions to defy the International Community on commitment. Earlier, Khartoum had deliberately precipitated violence in the South through its sponsor of militia and militia attacks on civilians and SPLA in Malakal (Upper Nile) in 2006 and 2008. This should have been disputed by any serious investigators sponsored by the International Community but was not.
Undoubtedly, Khartoum did not stop there. Defying the international standards and norms that ban arming of civilians against civilians, Khartoum continued to supply, provide logistics, and offer sanctuary to "rebel" groups to unleash instruments of civilian confusion, terror, death and destruction. Much evidence exists from various findings such as Small Arms Survey (Geneva) and the capturing of a Khartoum-bound helicopter bearing personnel closely associated with former rebel militia leader Georg Athor (the helicopter was displayed in Juba). Besides, Khartoum continued to arm and sent self-styled "South Sudan Liberation Army" to Unity and also Warrap states to reap havoc on civilian populations. All these tactics of destabilization and civilian fragmentation had never been strongly condemned by the international community. Only half-hearted and formalistic demands that fall short of true condemnation were made. This failure and silence have all emboldened Khartoum. We have heard nothing of significance about these deeply destabilizing tactics on the part of Khartoum, or only formulaic demands that "both sides" refrain from assisting proxies. But there is no equivalence of the sort suggested in the phrasing, and again the regime has been emboldened by what amounts to silence. Too often if there are words, they are uttered without conviction, without threat of consequences, without seriousness. They are thus worse than useless.
The South has no wish for war; we have suffered too much, seen too many people die or have their lives violently uprooted. We have made many good faith negotiating gestures and offers, including President Salva Kiir’s recent announcement that the SPLA is prepared to withdraw from PANTOUH(so called Heglig) if an intervening UN or international force guarantees the site will not be used again for offensive military purposes. Whether in Juba, Addis Ababa, or indeed Khartoum, our president and our negotiators have made clear that our overwhelming desire is for peace—but that we will not allow the South to be comprised militarily or through arrogance that refuses to recognizes our rights under the CPA.
The only way forward is for true international commitment to see the CPA fully implemented, and this begins with border delineation and demarcation. The current ambiguous borders benefit only Khartoum, while it is obviously in our interest to have the borders decisively delimited and then permanently demarcated along the entire border.
Unless the international community hears us, unless the international community speaks with the required integrity and commitment, war looms ever closer. This is not our choice; it is a grim reality thrust upon us by those who find the claims and grievances of South Sudan inconvenient. But war, we can assure you from long experience, is much, much more than an "inconvenience.
It is only the international community that can recognize the political, diplomatic, and military equities of the present situation; it is only the international community that can speak in ways that will compel Khartoum to listen.
But all we hear are convenient words—and silence.
Sign by South SudaneseCitizens: