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 Daniel A. Daniel, USA
"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." ~ Abraham Lincoln
June 14, 2010 (SSNA) — Not surprising, now a days, every forum in South Sudan’s rightfully engaged with the Referendum and the subsequent secession, both within just a few months, specifically, on Sunday, January 9th 2011. No indications that the debate will die out anytime soon, between the so-called unionists and separatists, as one of the web-writers’ suggested. In my judgment, the debate should be about substance, not rhetoric. All honest Southerners have a critical role to play in educating our people about their rights for self-determination and the importance of our unity, at this difficult juncture in the history of our nation.
It’s been said all along that: “If you don’t have anything good to say about something or somebody, don’t say anything." A few years back while Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, then Minister of Roads and Transportation was on an official visit to India, he was asked (by then Law’s PhD student and brother of Ustaz Ali Osman Mohamed Taha) Abdulmunam Mohammad Taha, as to why when he (Lam) his voice was heard loudly and clearly, when he was with the SPLM/A then being a cabinet minister with Ingaz?
Dr. Lam gesticulated, and answers him: “The voice of opposition is always louder than that of the government." " Good news is not a news, but bad news is the news that people always want to hear," " I am now talking about peace and tranquility, but before, I was talking about war and the horror of war," he went on to say. Certainly, I hope Dr. Akol remembers those words and learn that in this Internet era, no one gets away, even with a slip of a tongue. The time for Cats-and- mouses games with South’s unity is over.
As I wrote in my previous articles, unity- any unity- is a matter of mutual respect and understanding among those who thrive to live in unity. But the current state of the affairs of unity in Sudan, where the Northerners ridiculously and unrealistically believe that (you) must be a Muslim and an Arab to be granted full citizenship rights will never be accepted by any free minded South Sudan.
Therefore, the debate must now shift to the referendum and the secession thereafter. The remaining seven months are not sufficient to fish around talking about a unity that was not there in the first place.
Coming to my previous article, I came under some unfounded attack by my friend Kwathi Akol Ajawien (step brother of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawien). Quite honestly, I tried not to say anything about his alleged accusations, simply because many commentators said it all. But as I mentioned before, we cannot afford to be silent, because silence in itself, is a sign of acceptance, therefore, I would like to mention just few points in rebuttal to the “Born again Christian, Kwathi Ajawin.
In an angry e-mail I received from him, in the aftermath of my article, Kwathi allegedly wrote that I said in my article that, and I quote: “The Shiluk’re a greedy minority and grabbing their land is justified."
As you can see, I was enraged, and for a good reason. First and foremost, am not the type of a person who would utter such demeaning words against one of the most respected kingdom in our land. Moreover, as a teacher’s son, I’d lived in Shiluk’s areas and went to school with their children, and I didn’t see anything not to be liked about the Shiluk’s nation. Besides, anyone who would suggest that Shiluk are a minority in South Sudan, that person doesn’t live in the real world in which we live.
Yet, in my opinion, brother Kwathi Ajawien is an innocent man until proven guilty. I think that he really is a victim of a crime he didn’t commit. Do you know why? Because he is not the one that sent that e-mail message. His e-mail address was nowhere to be seen, which is unusual and suspicious. But never mind, I’ve figured out the author and the actual architect. His cowardice act is called it in Criminal Justice system as a forgery of identity, and is punishable by the laws of the land.
Furthermore, we all need to remember that the SPLA is our national army, whose members are our brave sons and daughters. I get angry when some folks within our communities celebrate whenever the SPLA loses some of its men in their battles against the enemies of our unity just as one of them wrote this following statement: “The SPLA was badly defeated by some gun men who killed 9 from them." That’s as treacherous as it gets.
As one people, we need to move and pass this dark chapter, and in a hurry!
And yes, I’ve mentioned in my previous article, giving Ustaz/ Ali Osman the green light by Government of South Sudan (GOSS), to crusade and preach the unattractive unity, is not healthy at all, and the SPLM must recant its position as quickly as possible. The last thing we need is another extremist to tear us apart on tribal line. It’s time to tell the North: enough’s enough.
My advice to every Southerner out there is: If the Arabs make the mistake in trying to bribe you, please don’t feel guilty and don’t hesitate to take their money, but you need to keep on walking to ballet box and cast your precious vote for secession. After all that money was stolen property from us over the course of more than half a century long and counting.
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 Dr. James Okuk
Quote: “Nations need dreams, goals they seek in common, within which the smaller dreams of individuals can guide their personal lives.”(Ford Foundation, 1991).
June 1, 2010 (SSNA) — What is “Secession”? It is a formal withdrawal from an organization, state, or alliance. For example, the withdrawal from the Union of 11 Southern States in 1860 – 1861 that led to the formation of the Confederacy and the beginning of the Civil War in the USA until resolved by a federalist constitution that gave supreme power to the union of American people rather than to the state (See Encarta Dictionary).
And what is “Independence”? It is freedom from dependence on or control by another person, organization, or state. For example, after 30 years of Eritrean War of Independence (1 September 1961 – 24 May 1991) the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated the Ethiopian forces and then declared their independence by referendum that took place thereafter in April 1993 (See Wikipedia).
I. How do these apply to the case of Southern Sudan in the context of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005? It applies trickily because of Machiavellianism played by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) commanders with their rival politicians of the Umma Party (UP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the National Congress Party (NCP) who changed guards at the Gordon Republican Palace in Khartoum during the eruption of civil war in the South and the resultant peace-talks.
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. Despite the deceptive and malicious or ignorant songs of ‘peace-and-freedom’ chanted by both the SPLM/A and NCP/NIF leaders daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, the full revelation of truth will come up at the CPA ‘end-road’. That is, the “Secession” of Southern Sudan through a referendum might not end up with peaceful “Independence”. Please remember this projectional hypothesis even if I might not live to see the light of the dignified South Sudan in near or far future!
Why am I tempted to predict this option and create an alertive tone for it? Because the law does not have mercy on fools or ignorant people who act outside or in defiance to what has been codified and stipulated in constitutions, acts, statutes and precedents for obligatory execution. Reading and reflecting critically on The Interim National Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan (2005) – including CPA text), The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (2005) and The Southern Sudan Referendum Act (2009), I can sense the shock that shall be encountered at 11:59 hour when conformation comes up that the referendum for self-determination of the people of Southern Sudan has nothing to do with “Independence”. It shall be confirmed that the (YES) or (NO) questionnaire circles in the referendum ballot papers should only have “Unity” and “Secession” terminologies as the offered options.
Thus the circumstance shall be different from the Eritrean case (I will detail this below). Even President Isaias Afewerki has called on Southerners to remain united with the North! (See his message when he attended the inauguration ceremony of President Al-Basir, 27/05/2010). But why did he do this? May be because of spree of corruption and injustice in the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and in the SPLM/A, or perhaps he knows that the “Secession” mentioned in the CPA and other legal documents does not necessarily qualifies for “Independence” of South Sudan as a result of the 2011 referendum. You can also deduce some suspicion in the way Southern Sudan political parties were refused registration in the Sudan Political Parties Affairs Council (PPAC) and certification from the Sudan National Elections Commission (NEC), pending amendments of phrase “Independence of South Sudan” mentioned in their mission statements.
II. What am I trying to make out of this alert? I want to emphasize on the point that if the victory of the 2011 referendum ended up with confirmation of “Unity” of the Sudan, then there shall never be much tedious legal post-referendum battles. The unionists, at the top of which sits the Government of National Unity, shall say with utmost joy: Bravo and congratulations to Southerners for accepting “unity of government” with the Northerners!!!
Nevertheless, if the result became “Secession”, there the separatists shall stand straight and worried, while rolling up their sleeves for demonstrating tough fists of anger from the last minutes shock from red-cards lifted up by the gentlemen who knew the hidden unity’s tricks of the CPA in Machakos/Naivasha’s negotiation halls. The ‘Square-One’ that the CPA partners have been avoiding to jump in, might become the easiest short-cut to resort to. But under whose leadership shall the “War-of-Independence” takes place? Will it be Mr Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar, Mr Wani Igga, Mr Pagan Amum or Mrs Rebecca Nyandeng? A nightmarish to Southerners; indeed!
Already the chief law-maker of the Sudan, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, on his re-election speech as the Speaker, vowed that his National Legislative Assembly (with about 75% of the NCP legislators) shall never be neutral on “Independence” of South Sudan because the country must remain united whether by thick or thin. Also President Omer Ahmed Hassan Al-Bashir pledged in his swearing-in ceremony that he shall ensure that the referendum for Southern Sudan takes place within the scheduled time (Inshallah- by God’s Will?) but with unity of the Sudan as the only desirable outcome. Not only this, but also one of the think-tanks of the NCP/NIF and a national legislator, Dr. Ghutbi El-Mahdi, hinted in the Sudan-TV discussion forum that the referendum shall only be about “Secession” and “Unity” options but not “Independence” of Southern Sudan. What a revelation!
A critical question poses itself here: What is the utility of “Secession” if it is only for “Unity” of the Sudan in different colours (be it “Confederation” as proposed by SPLM Deputy Chairman and Mr. Governor, Malik Agar with his 100% stand with unity, or “Federation” as proposed by Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi in 1998 before he parted ways with President Al-Bashir and his NCP)? Are Southerners fit to secede so that they remain united with the North by proxy? This is very funny but it portrays how comical the CPA show is. No wonder! That is why you see the SPLM/A and NCP/NIF quarreling and re-negotiating the CPA from time to time, and creating sideline deals to pass time.
III. Let’s state what the laws says exactly about the referendum for self-determination, but indicating the loopholes dug by the SPLM/A and NCP/NIF Machiavellians to let the separatists fell off the tipping cliff of CPA’s pending troubles, especially when the force of time expose the duplicity.
1. Articles 219, 222 & 220 of the Interim National Constitution: The people of Southern Sudan have the right to self-determination through a referendum to determine their future status (Article 219). A Southern Sudan Referendum Act shall be promulgated by the National Legislature at the beginning of the third year of the Interim Period [Article (220)(1)]. The Presidency of the Republic of the Sudan shall, as soon as the Southern Sudan Referendum Act is issued, establish the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission [Article (220)(2)]. Six months before the end of the six-year interim period, there shall be an internationally monitored referendum, for the people of Southern Sudan organized by Southern Sudan Referendum Commission in cooperation with National Government and Government of Southern Sudan [Article (222)(1)]. The people of Southern Sudan shall either:- (a) confirm unity of the Sudan by voting to sustain the system of government established under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and this Constitution, or (b) vote for secession [Article (222)(2)]. This is excellent but…!
Evaluation #1: The sub-articles No (2) and (b) above are vague and fit the general criterion that requires the constitutions to be written in a vague language so that the constitutional judges and lawyers can have a work to do; the interpretation and verdicts. But what work will the Sudanese constitutional judges do here? Shall it be a dirty work or a clean one in regard to interpretation and verdict on “Secession” of Southern Sudan, for example? Evaluate what those judges did regarding the objections raised during April 2010 elections process and you can tell which work they will do? Anyway, don’t worry about this! I will later tell you why you shouldn’t.
The sub-articles No (a) says it in a legal slyness that the referendum vote shall only be about sustaining the system of government established by virtue of the CPA and the constitutional dictates, the consequence of which shall be unity of the Sudan. The sub-articles No (b) remains silent on what follows if the majority choice becomes “Secession”. It is not even indicated that the “Secession” will be from what? We may just assume it as “Secession” from Northern Sudan but the law we have consulted does not say so decisively. Remember the cliché: Be Legal; Be Safe!
2.Article 9, 10 & 11 of the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan: [Article (9)(1)] reads exactly like article (219) of the Interim National Constitution. Any Southern Sudanese who has attained the age of eighteen shall have the right to vote in the referendum [Article (9)(2)]. For purposes of the referendum in sub-Article (1) above, a Southern Sudanese is: (a) any person whose either parent or grandparent is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing in Southern Sudan before or on January 1, 1956; or whose ancestry can be traced through agnatic or male line to any one of the ethnic communities of Southern Sudan as in Schedule G herein; or (b) any person who has been permanently residing or whose mother and/or father or any grandparent have been permanently residing in Southern Sudan as of January 1, 1956 [Article (9)(3)]. Articles 10(1), (10)(2) & (11)(1) read exactly like articles (220)(1) & (220)(2) of the Interim National Constitution except for the term “issued” changed with the term “promulgated”. The people of Southern Sudan, voting on a single ballot and by majority vote, shall either:- (a) confirm unity of the Sudan by voting to adopt the system of government established under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement; or (b) vote for secession[Article (11)(2)].
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.