Let Our Voices Be Heard

"Their intensions are in fact to squeeze life out of the SPLM. When we are seen pulling away from them, we are actually struggling to catch our breaths again”. Pagan Amum

“The greatest weapon used against the Negro is disorganization.” -Marcus Garvey

Everybody is aware that the preparation for the independence of South Sudan, a centre piece of the CPA, is seriously behind schedule. For a people that fought two civil wars – over five decades the idea of going back to another war might not be a good one. However, experience has shown that the enemy is too stubborn for any sensible and peaceful settlement as such. And as the NIF/NCP will not voluntarily relinquish its grips on the south, reverting to the language of war is more of a reality than a threat.

The situation in the Sudan right now resolves around three elements: unity – secession – peace. However different viewers have different evaluations of these three. Those who don’t want to go into the root causes of the conflict keep their distance by preaching peace without actually contributing to its achievement.

But, as if totally taken over by hypocrisy, the many Northerners, despite the bitterness of the five decades civil war with the South and the countless loss of loved ones, are made to go around campaigning for a unity that they have so much distorted. All is done for the sake of keeping up appearances and hypocrisy for the northerners has become a matter of principle. Many have asked the question that if they are to allow the South to secede peacefully, then why they fought the war in the first place. A valid question, though they must understand that they were deceived and what they fought was a wrong war.

All this rhetoric by those who intend to obstruct South Sudan’s independence must be challenged as their primarily intensions are no more than to achieve mischievous goals that at best serve only the Arab Expansionism in Africa.

There is no sense if the Islamists in Khartoum are going to walk over the CPA which they signed in the presence of the Regional Political Body the IGGAD on one hand and the international community on the other. The message and the spirit of the CPA was and still is clear – whichever way the Sudan ends – united or divided – there should be no return to war.

President Omer Bashir might think that he can mislead the public opinion and distract the world’s attention on his status as an indicted person wanted by a criminal court of the highest level when he continues to point accusing fingers towards what he calls the secessionists in the south.

His First Vice president, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit pro-secession statements aren’t any new to draw this huge level of fuss from the dominant NCP. The entire CPA has witnessed countless back-tracking from the Islamists than they would want the situation to appear. The CPA provisions require of both partners to work for unity, through a timely and genuine implementation of all the protocols. The fact that al Bashir is the President doesn’t in anyway justify his continuous attempts at derailing the peace agreement. If he expected Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir to coerce the southern public into voting for unity, then he must have been totally disoriented by his arrest warrants for his roles in the genocides in Darfur.

Both the NCP and the SPLM did work to maintain the unity of the Sudan, but neither of them succeeded in making it attractive to the southerners. The truth of the matter is that each camp’s perception of an attractive unity could have only been achieved through the complete elimination of the other. But now that both are still in power, the obvious is that the South will have to go its way.

Once the SPLM Secretary General of SPLM, Pa’gan Amum Okeich, described the relationship between the two partners as a dangerous encounter where the risks involved are more likely to escape the notice of the on-lookers.

“The NCP would always want to give the impression they so much like their partner”. He said. “They are fond of showing off when they hug – but in reality what they do is never a hug. Their intensions are in fact to squeeze life out of the SPLM. When we are seen pulling away from them, we are actually struggling to catch our breaths again”. The secretary General concluded.

Let’s hope that whatever others may think of the story, the general description should at least warn us of the unity offered now by the NIF/NCP. It is a unity where southerners may never ever find a second chance to breathe again.

Al Bashir for all purposes hardly represents the interest of his country as long as he remains a wanted man and a fugitive of the international law for that matter. It is now up to the north government and opposition to decide whether they prefer a peaceful spilt of the country, thus maintaining good neighbourhood with the south and East Africa, or go for the third war with the south and risks the whole of Africa?

But before we discuss other issues, it is worth mentioning here that the North, which assumes an inherited right over the South, should better review its stand on the possible impacts of the current developments on the future relationships between the two in event of southern secession. They have to consciously realize that the advantage they had from the condominium rule, providing them with those crafty elites of the 1947 and the few years that followed, are now issues of the past and the new South Sudanese generation is ready to challenge their ill intended motives, possibly set up the bar higher for any future engagements.

Besides the situation within the northern backyards itself people from the other marginalized areas are all out to openly challenge the seat of power in the centre that used to be a monopoly of certain clans, religious sects and families, chosen and educated by the Turk- Anglo- Egyptian colonizers in order to safe guard the colonizers interests in the region. That too is to be dealt away with.

We have heard politicians, ambassadors and envoys talking about how the Sudan could possibly slip back to war, thus endangering the entire region, or making it worse to the US efforts to contain international terrorism. Is this not the obvious if the international community is to turn its back at the right of the people of South Sudan to self-determination?

Southern Sudan simply belongs to the South Sudanese; any claim outside this is a naked Arab expansionist strategy. Its only when the people of South Sudan feel unthreatened by the Arab expansionism that the region can see peace. Those informed of the history of this region are aware of how determined the South Sudanese are about their independence from the Arabs with the aim of bringing an end to the northern Arab Islamists’ hegemony. Every South Sudanese looking forwards to independence should let their voices be heard where ever they are.

The NCP officials, who are unable to show tolerance and the acceptance of the others, will continue to point the accusing fingers in the wrong direction for not allowing pro-unity processions. But what can they now say, when on their instructions 30 – 40 pro-secession southern demonstrators were beaten up and briefly arrested in Khartoum while shouting anti-unity slogans, side by side with a government sponsored crowd of pro-unity and pro- Bashir supporters in what looked like an attempt by the Islamists to impress the UNSC visiting ambassadors, before it all went bad. Khartoum’s recent behaviour, if anything, is an indication of how the NCP has perfected hypocrisy when it comes to the issues of freedom of expression.

The blunder of openly beating and intimidating the pro-independence southern demonstrators in the watch of the UNSC ambassadors speaks load, and shouldn’t in anyway be allowed to be shuffled under the carpet as usually is the case. We vow to speak out and let our voices be heard.

Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD.

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