Agar’s snub on South Sudan’s independence must cease

By Justin Ambago Ramba

May 5, 2010 (SSNA) — Before we put the elections chaos behind us, the people of south Sudan have again woke up  to a very irritating comment that came from non but a former comrade in arms, Cdr. Malik Agar Eyre, the re-elected governor of southern Blue Nile State when he openly snubbed the widely held secessionist views in south Sudan.

Malik Agar’ for reasons better known to himself, seems to believe that the call for an independent south Sudan exists only amongst a few who have some secessionist sentiments and are working on separating the South from the North, and he chose to call it "a serious threat to the security and stability of the Sudan and would lead to splitting the country".

This is not the first time that this senior Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) figure has come out openly in opposing the expected secession of south Sudan from rest of the country. Just some few months back he has been on record calling for a confederation system to replace the self determination referendum scheduled for January 2011.

However whether Agar thinks that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) can be a subject to re-negotiation definitely reflects both his current state of panic as well as his disappointment with what he sees as too much an achievement by the people of the South should they chose to secede, a privilege not offered to his southern Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains.

The Nuba of southern Kordofan and the people of the Ingasana Hills of southern Blue Nile are both indigenous black African people with distinct features from the Arabs of the centre and the upper north. But socially these two groups have went through a huge Arabisation and Islamisation, that they can perfect the sense of unison with the other people in the geographical north as opposed to how the southerners look at themselves.

The Sudan   has always existed as south and north, and has never at any time seen itself as a united country unless for those in power where the slogans of unity have been constantly used tactfully to promote narrow partisan as well as personal interests.

Whichever slogans were raised by the SPLM/A during the two decades liberation war should  to be rightfully understood as the struggle of the people of south Sudan against marginalisation and injustice of the centre. When Cdr. Agar and his fellows the sons and daughters of the Ingasana Hills joined the struggle, it was already clear to them that the southerners would only remain to be a part of a united Sudan if the northern Arab elites are willing to change their segregation attitudes as manifested in their religious bigotry.

Even by the SPLM standards, the united Sudan was to be a New Sudan, and that unity would be on new basis in a secular state. Can Cdr. Agar convince us that the secular state is already coming, when the National congress Party (NCP) which was rightly named the National Islamic Front (NIF), and its Chairman president Omer al Bashir remain adamant on central issues like the Islamic Sharia laws and the realisation of Islamic state in their life times?

Anyway, Malik Agar is not the first nor will he be the last to talk against the aspirations of the people of south Sudan to vote for their separate state come 2011.This right of the people of south Sudan to self determination which is enshrined in the CPA is never a hand-out from anyone. It is a political victory paid for by 2 million lives and bitter negotiations. We are now here to implement the remaining provisions of the agreement, and it is just unfortunate as Malik has joined the other northerners to suggest what would no doubt amount to a re-negotiation campaign.

With very much respect for the freedom of expression which the Sudanese are currently denied   under both the NCP and SPLM systems, I hold that Cdr. Agar is entitled to his opinions. However if he is at all concerned with the security of the Sudan and its people, then he should better  join  the other good Samaritans  in pushing for a full implementation of the CPA to its last iota.

At this point I would like to stress here that, it won’t serve a purpose if we are not going to stick to an agreement otherwise considered by the brokers as Comprehensive. Whatever went wrong with the implementation of the CPA cannot be punished  on the people of south Sudan whose choices is expected to  reflect how genuinely the policy makers and their  international players had done in terms of providing the peace dividends.

The secret to peace in the Sudan lies in the full implementation of the CPA, and respecting the choice of the people of south Sudan as they vote in a referendum that we hope to be free, fair and credible ( as opposed to the sham elections recently concluded in the country).

The emergence of a new state in south Sudan is an imminent reality, but how peaceful can that come to pass is what we should join hands to achieve if at all we believe in peaceful co-existence between neighbours.

Quote, “When the time comes to vote at the referendum, it is your chance to determine your fate. Would you choose to vote to be a second class citizen in your own country? It is absolutely your choice.” Late Dr. Garang de Mobior.

Dr.  Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. The Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan. Can be reached at either [email protected] or [email protected] NB: those who read this article also visited and blog http//

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