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…
By Daniel A. Daniel "When you became a wolf, is too hard to be a goat," unknown source. May 31, 2010 (SSNA) — Recently, there’ve been many speculations and attempts that were made about the renegade fugitive former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff, General George Athor Deng, who continues to escalate fear and chaos among…
By Deng Riak Khoryoam
“Poor leadership leads to poor living conditions.”(Former Kenyan president Daniel Arab Moi).
May 30, 2010 (SSNA) — It’s undisputable fact that there is a lot to write about the last month’s general election which has come to past now. The good thing is that the elections are long gone and the rest is just hangovers which should be dealt with peacefully. An amicable solution should be found to put the issue to rest. In fact as some good analysts have stated that if the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) is willing to negotiate with renegade general to resolve the issues at hand in a pragmatic manner, then it would show how competence and capable the SPLM/A leaders are in handling their own problems in their entity, and prove wrong those pessimists who hold the view that south Sudan will not be a viable state if it secedes from the North. This would not just be a supposition but indeed a figment imagination!
But unfortunately, the situation we are in now doesn’t seem to prove the pessimists and critics wrong. In fact it proves them right, given the unfolding events in the aftermath of elections in Southern Sudan.
As the president of GOSS, Mr. Salva Kiir, has been sworn in and his government is about to be formed sooner after this, everything seems to be at stake. And since the masses or people of Southern Sudan have been robbed of their fundamental rights (votes) when the choices they made in choosing their representatives were ignored despite overwhelmingly voting for them, it remains painful and heartbreaking. But they have decided to maintain silence for one reason or another. One obvious reason is nothing other than the referendum which is just seven months away from now. It takes a big head and a good reasoning capacity to just forgo of all this and focus on what lies ahead of us – the referendum.
Kiir‘s last five years in office was marked by rampant corruption, tribalism, nepotism, favoritism, and most badly, lack of service delivery to the grassroots. This is adequate enough to judge him based on all these facts. If anything is to be remembered of him or perhaps as his trademark, it would be the mismanagement of Southern Sudan resources, imposing unwanted leaders, instigating insecurity and encouraging other evil activities that undermine the unity of Southerners. I guess his trademark may not be his cowboy hat alone, and am not being sarcastic but the truth!
It goes without acknowledging the adage that says: “Almost all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man‘s character, give him power” (Prescott). This helps to clearly explain the current phenomenon since it calls for a different yardstick to be employed in determining who actually is Mr Salva Kiir. And we could as well judge him by his deeds and misdeeds without any prejudice; since we have the culture of strictly evaluating and judging people on their past records like is the case for Dr. Lam Akol and Dr. Riek Machar who have been victimized and given unnecessary terms like traitors for the 1991 SPLM/A split.
So let’s review Kiir and his previous government and try to give credit where it’s not due since that is what his cronies and beneficiaries want us to do. Despite all malpractices and misappropriation of funds, this hasn’t yet hurt Kiir’s recorded collection and that of his closest friends and the beneficiaries unlike other national leaders. But what do the people of Southern Sudan expect from Kiir upcoming government?
This is a million dollar question that one could almost guess right given the experience of his five year term in office. As I mentioned that the elections are gone and what remains now is serious work to deliver to people the services they need most and that would ultimately be the fulfillment of their campaign promises if they want to be taken seriously. Failure to live to the campaign promises is tantamount to making empty promises on flattering tone and that is where lack of trust creeps in.
In retrospect, the last SPLM-led government, with comrade Kiir as its chief, did less if not nothing to improve the lives of people of Southern Sudan.
By Justin Ambago Ramba
May 29, 2010 (SSNA) — The present day Sudan, with its current borders like most of the countries in Africa only came into existence as a creation of the colonial powers. In their quest to control and exploit the continent the Europeans divided the indigenous African kingdoms and chiefdoms and replaced them with artificial borders that only served the interests of the evil minded invaders. But the local people who were mostly used by the colonizers as proxy tools to weaken one another, didn’t have enough opportunity to mix freely with the intension of forging a truly unifying and common national identity and hence they remained but to identify themselves as tribes and clans, to which they continue to attach much pride.
Following the withdrawal of the European colonialist, the continent of Africa woke up to the realities of its artificial settings and structures. It found itself faced with this huge task of forging a unified national identity, as proposed by the fore-founders of Pan-afrikanism, but as time went by, this was never achieved, pushing the various people of the continent to further identify themselves in terms of their narrow ethnical origins and tribal identities.
In the absence of homogeneity and the lack of laws to check the wildly spreading fire of micro-nationalism and regionalism, the real allegiance of Africans today is largely turned towards their various tribes. Should the status quo remain the same, our continent risks its only remaining hope to make up for its dark history of slavery, servitude and colonialism as clearly defined in the Pan Afrikan movement principles. This in turn is likely to endanger the noble dream of creating the “untied state of Africa”. Even the big slogan of ONE AFRIKA, will soon find itself consciously overtaken and replaced by a backward journey where every tribe on the continent will find itself going more inwards and toward its roots, origins and past glories without appreciating the roles of the others who share the same national borders. This trend as it continues to dominate today’s Africa; it is slowly evolving into a number one cancer and a great reason for concern.
Sudan clearly stands as an example of these artificially created countries that has failed to maintain any peacefully co-exist within its borders. In its five decades history of civil wars, where religion, ideology and ethnicity were all at conflict, this country by all standards demonstrates to the world that there is more to geographical demarcations in creating a harmonious nation.
Former Yugoslavia, the Balkans, and the old Soviet Union are all examples that the human history has finally come to openly acknowledge as a failed attempt, by those greedy adventurers, emperors, tyrants and dictators in creating artificial national boundaries based entirely on carving geographical territories and forcing the inhabitants who are at their best sworn in enemies and antagonists, into the pretext of being one people.
History has brought us this far and we are now eyes witnessing a fact that, after almost a century, the Sudan state that was artificially created by the colonialist has failed to be a success story. After it went through a five decades civil war in the south, the country is now already seven years into another separate war in Darfur (within what is known as the political northern segment of the country).
Most Sudanese and especially so, the people of the south who bore the main brunt of the sufferings that resulted from the institutionalised marginalisation and the brutality of the civil wars, have finally made it clear to those who have conscience in the international community, that south Sudan should not be left as such to pay for a crime which isn’t its making.
The comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) came into existence as a way forward to solve a humanitarian crisis which was for long ignored. It also offers an opportunity for the people of south Sudan who were practically forgotten for half a century to come and take their rightful place as fellow human beings and live side by side with others as equal members of the human community. The plights of the people of south Sudan which was once only treated as mere statistics even in the most prestigious institutions that traditionally pride themselves with the welfare of mankind and international fraternity e.g. the united nations, the African union……etc, must now be given the due attention.
The causes for the failure of unity and peaceful co-existence between mankind at large are well demonstrated in the endless debates that continue to take place in the security council of the United Nations and the other regional organisations. The African union, the Arab League or even the much controversial international Islamic conference are all aware of their own failures in the goals they have so far set for themselves.
Many nations in different parts of the world are also struggling with issues of how to maintain unity within their borders. And to this end the Sudan, Africa’s giant of 1 million square miles, is no exception as it struggles in the south, in Darfur and in the East. Although the reasons leading to the complete failure of unity in the Sudanese setting are many, however it is those ones created by the elites, who despite their hard work in up-rooting colonialism, unfortunately turned around to become even worse than the colonizers. Their eyes and hearts went straight to those evil luxuries used to be enjoyed by the foreign rulers and they ended up doing exactly what the colonialists did.
In most revolutions there are always those who find themselves in the centre of events and it is not necessarily that they are more revolutionary than the others. History has it that all the Sudanese did put some form of resistance against the colonialist and all the other foreign invaders. But when it comes to writing the history books, they were either written by the Europeans or their Arab counterparts.
Should we restrict ourselves to the Whiteman’s books; the whole praise for the Sudanese revolution will continue to go to Imam al Mahdi, although he was largely surrounded by men who came mainly from Darfur, Kordofan and the different parts of the south. This selected reference to the history of the Sudan has very much contributed in stratifying the Sudanese people and the way that the Sudan was governed thereafter unfairly gave much credit to the people of the north and al Mahdi and the al Mirghani families, eventually sowing the seeds of the modern day Sudanese political crisis.
Following the second world war, the Sudanese northern elites were quick to exploit their better education and proximity to Egypt, and they stood up as the only self proclaimed group and went on to assign themselves the sole right to the exclusion of others, and decided for the rest of the country.
Without the mandate from the rest of the inhabitants of the so-called 1 million square miles, and especially so the people of south Sudan, the riveran Arab elites chose to start the future of the Sudan on the wrong footing from the very moment they assumed the right to not only monopolize the negotiations with the colonial rulers on the future of two distinctive parts of the Sudan, but also by declaring themselves from there on to be the only rightful leaders of a united, Arab and Islamic Sudan.
Of importance is the fact that until the last days of the colonial rule in the Sudan, both the north and the south had existed as two separate entities and were run under two different administrative systems. The north by far had already evolved distinctively from the south as a part of Middle East, while the south by all standards remain up to date an integral part of East Africa both in the physical features of its people and their indigenous black African cultures.
When the Sudan earned its self-rule in 1954, the northern elites immediately declared themselves as the rightful replacers of the colonial administration. Why do we think they acted so? The answer is simple, for these supremacist northern elites found themselves in a more favoured position by both British and Egyptian authorities and as they were the ones who negotiated the Self Rule, they only felt it natural to marginalise the other Sudanese as people whose roles in achieving the Sudanese independence dream could be considered very secondary. Everything that followed from there was a direct out-come of the northern elites’ greed and today the country is more prepared to disintegrate into several states than in any other time as a consequence of their successive supremacists policies.
If the northern Sudanese riveran Arab elites missed the opportunity to forge a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical Sudan, for sure it offers an important lesson for the other African countries which are at the moment struggling with similar issues of national integration in their quest to survive as a viable post colonial state. This also applies very well, even to the people of south Sudan who are soon expected to vote for their own state in January 2011, if they are to go and establish a harmonious nation of their own.
The world community and in particular the other African countries which are scared by the possibility that the imminent secession of south Sudan may fuel similar sentiments in their own backyards must come to accept the reality on the ground as far as the Sudanese politics is concerned. The northern Arabs dominated the Sudanese central government in Khartoum and are not in any position ready to sacrifice their tight grips on the power in the centre in any bid to create a fair power sharing by accommodating the other Sudanese of black African origins be them from the south, the west or the eastern parts of the country. This being the case right now, then the dream to have a harmonious united Sudan is as illusive now as it was in the 1890s.
If similar bitter and drastic outcomes to national problems can be avoided in other African settlings, then those who are today monopolizing the decision making in their countries should learn a lesson or two from the Sudanese experience. Africans elsewhere can do better by applying inclusiveness in their governance system and to better work hard to keep at bay the widespread malignant tribal politics, nepotism, favouritism, and regionalism which is right now eating up the roots of our common destiny. Africa can only avoid what is happening today in the Sudan by adopting true democracy where the rights of the minorities are completely respected and protected by the law besides the establishment of institutions that can stand the test of time.
We in south Sudan are often ready to go mad at any one who talks negatively of our intentions to secede come the 2011 referendum. However as mentioned somewhere earlier in this article, we are also more than invited to learn from our bitter realities of history that pitted us against the north and where we are entrapped in an endless wars of survival. The challenge that awaits us is how we as south Sudanese are aspiring to govern and run our new independent nation come 2011 so that we don’t fall yet into the same mistakes that we are now blaming on our northern fellows?
The way to our salvation don’t end only by achieving independence, but we must be prepared fully to go an extra mile to sever any connections with all the evil politics and attitudes that some of us might have acquired from the northern Arab’s. Marginalization and looking down on other countrymen as a people whose roles in the revolution don’t deserve recognition must never be allowed to be a part of our new nation.
By Daniel Abushery Daniel May 26, 2010 (SSNA) — We all know that South Sudan is a homogenous society: different tribes, cultures, traditions, ethnicities, religions and political affiliations. But above all, we have one thing in common, and that’s patriotism and loyalty to a land called South Sudan!! In most my previous articles- if not…
By Justin Ambago Ramba
May 25, 2010 (SSNA) — The long awaited speech from the re-instated south Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit failed to spark any brightness on the faces of the south Sudanese masses and the popular opinion remains highly influenced by the bitterness left behind as a legacy of SPLM’s role in the hijack of the polling process and all the other unpleasant events that tainted the picture of the April 2010 elections.
The President- elect (Kiir), speaking in a background of terribly flawed elections is no doubt conscious of the fact that the south Sudanese masses are a hundred percent aware of how much hypocrisy is loaded in his policy statement as he futilely attempts to present himself as a genuinely elected figure in an election only accredited by those who believe and propagate for a separate standard for African democracy. It is also now clear that in a world where the political will of the powerful nations and the international community are entirely reserved only to secure their narrow interests, the world is being categorically forced into buying the idea that there exists a separate standard for morality, freedom, fairness and democracy for Africa, and is justifiable to be less than those in the rest of the world.
It cannot be over-emphasised any further that the historical colonizers who kept Africa in bondage for many centuries are now successfully in enforcing their devilish views of double standards where the very crucial human values that spring directly from our common humanity are to be measured using different scales in different racial settings and in this they have reached their verdicts on the Sudan, the moment they recognised not only the flawed April 2010 elections, but their willingness to embrace its outcomes wholly and heartedly.
The inauguration of Salva Kiir Mayardit and the “cooked” SPLM majority in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) in Juba is but a preparation to approve yet another five years term in office for the indicted dictator Omer al Bashir who is a fugitive of international justice and similarly a fraudulent mandate is being given to Sudan’s National Parliament in Khartoum, which stands tall as a reminder of anything that is bad in the country’s journey towards democratic transformation.
This is a democracy for you, where Africans are assumed to be too backwards to deserve anything better particularly in issues where credibility, freedom and fairness are concerned. But are we really that primitive to continuously suffer humiliations under our totalitarian regimes when these regimes in fact get their powers and legitimacy not from the people they claim to represent but rather from their friends in China, Malaysia, and Moscow or Washington?
But on the other hand, if we are being made to understand that the international community which clearly declared Sudan’s April 2010 elections as neither free nor fair and lack all credibility, but has accepted it only as a step in ticking the CPA boxes, then once the referendum is over, there stands a strong case for an immediate re-elections regardless of the plebiscite’s out-come. Should this not be the case, then I am afraid that whatever adverse directions the events recourse to, it will be the International Community to solely shoulder the responsibility.
South Sudan may soon become an independent country in 2011 yet it suffers a widespread Insecurity, corruption and fraud all of which are state sponsored crimes and as such the much talked about eradication rhetoric only works as a government Public Relationship campaign.