By Nhial K. Wicleek July 13, 2010 (SSNA) — Confederation as termed in the last couple suggestions pioneered some rhetorical questions that imply fundamental test to our peripheral impulses. Given this idea of confederation, everyone’s nerve fibres have accessibly been whining relentlessly due to the fact that the idea of confederation has pros and cons…
By Daniel Abu- sherry Daniel (USA) “Do not confuse your vested interests with ethics. Do not identify the enemies of your privilege with the enemies of humanity” – Max Lerner July 12, 2010 (SSNA) — The current conflict between the Northern elites, who have monopolized the country for decades, and the Southern Sudanese people, who…
By Luk Kuth Dak –USA “The Sharia Law is uncopromisable. If the South doesn’t go along, it must go at once” President Omer al Basher. July 10, 2010 (SSNA) — Now, is there any diplomatic way to say to a president that he/ she is a liar, insane and a pinhead? Of all people, in…
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD July 10, 2010 (SSNA) — Historically the causes of the irresolvable North/South disputes in the Sudan, have attributed to the religious, linguistic, cultural and racial differences that stand in sharp contrast between the Muslim and Arab people North and the black African mostly Christians and animists of the South. However as…
By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
July 9, 2010 (SSNA) — The recent crackdown on newspapers in the Sudan came as no surprise to those who maintain good track on the records of the dominant Islamist National Congress Party (NCP) of President Al Bashir. Since the dawn of the military coup that brought these Islamists to power in the Sudan in June 1989, the state has always maintained a tight lid on the media out-lets and whatever changes that were allowed can be traced back to specific events with the intention of misleading the international community’s perception of the realities on the ground.
Why has Khartoum fallen off with the three dailies, Al-Intibaha, Al-Tayyar and Al-Ahdath, which are all deemed critical in one way or another of the South Sudan authorities? How much truth is there in the claim from the intelligence and security services in its decision to reinstate censorship by saying it "regretted the lack of commitment of several political dailies in their treatment of national issues"
Although the latest censorship is expected to focus on the issue of the country’s unity or separation and the security of South Sudan, as claimed by the authorities, however according to information the available in the media, the Al-Intibaha daily tabloid will be closed "for an undetermined period", as it was one of the few newspapers openly advocating for separation between the north and the South.
In the first instance no wonder the decision might look as if it is aimed at "reducing the negative role of newspapers wanting to strengthen separatist tendencies in the north and south, in opposition to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which extols unity, but the unbeatable reality is that this very tabloid papers have been operational for the last five years of the agreement with a complete blessing of president Al Bashir himself. So why now?"
Al – Intibah was operational even before President Omar al-Bashir announced the lifting of press censorship in September last year. This means that this particular paper remained immune to government censorship throughout a period in which newspapers were screened by censored every night and sensitive articles were dropped before publication.
President Al Bashir himself has been for several occasions on record for criticizing the SPLM and the performance of the GoSS. Many sensitive issues contained in the CPA, like the north-south borders kept dragging on and on for years and years. And the unhidden sinister motives of the north can be smelt in every move they take, yet today they are turning around to say that they do not want anything negative published in connection with the south Sudan government or the SPLM (the former southern rebels).
It is true that the CPA dictates on the two partners to work together to achieve a voluntary unity in the Sudan. However it is a fact that there was and still is a strong support for secession amongst the southern population. It was for this fact that the negotiators came up with the provision stating clearly that whatever happens in the six years interim period, the unity of the country can only be re-affirmed through free, fair and credible plebiscite, whose result will be binding to all.
Whether there exist any separatist tendencies in the north or the south is something that doesn’t necessary require a crazy tabloid like Al-Intibaha to tell us. Al Tayeb Mustafa, the First Uncle of the Republic of Sudan, is in all ways entitled to his opinion in advocating the secession of the north from the rest of the Sudan. Citizens from the other regions of the Sudan, who think that the present day map of the Sudan is not right, are sincerely entitled to their democratic rights and should be free to express their views within the domain of civility.
As for the Al-Intibaha newspaper’s crew, it is undeniable that they are dominated by supremacist tendencies. They can become dangerous in that they can easily turn into prophets of hate. And in event of south Sudan’s secession, such groups may not hesitate to campaigns for ethnic cleansing towards people of south Sudanese descends who still reside in the north. I for one would prefer to keep track of what such groups do and their newspapers may present the only window into their inner world. Otherwise pushing them underground the way the government has chosen to do, leave our people without any clues as what to expect next.
According to the Head of the Sudanese Journalists’ General Union (SJGU), Mohei Eddin Titawi, there exists a mandate that grants the National Security Organs the right to stop any newspaper and impose a pre-publication censorship before it exceeds the general guidelines of the country. I hope that such bans are only meant to affect the newspapers, as it couldn’t in any way amount to any freedom or fairness if the government intends to keep to itself the right to campaign for the so-called Unity, while denying those who otherwise hold different views from equally mounting open campaigns.
No way can anybody pull back from the fact that the unity of the Sudan has been attractive to the people of the south. This was both a confession and a recognition by the two Naivasha partners as well as those who equally committed themselves to the CPA – the US administration, IGAD, AU, the Arab League, the European Union and the UN). The way forward was to make the choice of unity an attractive option for the southerners when they finally come to vote in the referendum; however it is regrettable that the NIF/NCP intends to achieve this huge task in the last moment by using sugar coated campaigns through their heavily sponsored media.
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.