“Only the post independence southern Sudan can decide the type of governance for the new country”.
By Dr. J. Ambago Ramba, MD
July 15, 2010 (SSNA) — With just a few months left for 9th January 2011- the date for the much anticipated referendum, it remains bewildering to see that some prominent politicians of the dominant SPLM and NCP parties remain stuck in their awkward position of preaching the un-becoming unity of the Sudan. Nevertheless the greatest of all hypocrisies is strikingly captured in SPLM’s ambiguous position where the same leaders who till late pride themselves as unionists are also unashamedly finding it completely normal to lead a separate nation should the southern masses opt to secede.
As things stand it wouldn’t be too far before we come face to face with the bitter fact that the anti-separation philosophy on which the SPLM leadership built their illusive ‘New Sudan Vision’ will come to be defeated in a popular referendum clearly telling the whole world that southern Sudanese grassroots weren’t in any way true supporters of the SPLM elites’ illusion of fighting to maintain the unity of the Sudan as the name misleading implies. This very illusion that tries to underrate the everyday antagonisms and contradictions of the so-called unity must thus give way to the true convictions of the grassroots.
Sudan’s first vice president and SPLM Chairman, Salva Kiir Mayardit who on a self-confessed recorded statements have admitted on more than one occasion to have fought against the secession of south Sudan and continues without the least remorse to talk of having shot his first bullets against the southern separatists remain much the person to preside over the independent south Sudan nation. But as a matter of principle must he now owe the separatists a serious apology in the event of the imminent secession? As a matter of urgency he should revisit all those evil events that he personally perpetuated and participated in. He must be ready and courageous enough to come forward to apologise and must publically be prepared to do just that, lest he be haunted by the blood of those whom he killed for no any other crime but their strong faith in an independent south Sudan.
It will remain to be the biggest hypocrisy in the sense that, it only exists in the bible that a former prosecutor of the faith converts to a preacher. Saul converted to Paul when he converted to Christianity. However to date the realities on the ground remains different as prominent SPLM leaders, continue to fancy some form of unity with the north, even in the event of the south’s secession. So is there a chance that they could convert to separatists any time or will they continue to stand on the fence ready to jump wherever the power tilts?
James Wani Igga, the Speaker of the southern parliament and SPLM deputy Chairman, said in an interview to the Al- Ra’ya al-Amm (14/07/2010) newspaper that the bigger inclination inside the SPLM was toward unity. He revealed that three parties advocating secession failed in the previous elections in the south.
Hon. Igga went on to stress that a possible surprise could materialise in the end and that the Southerners could opt for the unity of the country. Given the state sponsored surprises that materialised during the previous elections where the separatists were targeted and victimised, I think that the Youth for Separation must be ready for a tougher role if they are at all to see an independent South Sudan nation.
Pagan Amum the SPLM secretary general is also on record for entertaining the idea of a possible form of Confederation or what he calls a common market with the north, should the south chose to secede. Funny enough, isn’t it? The rest continue to sing the monotonous song that the north has failed to make unity attractive to southerners. However it was Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the SPLM deputy chairman, and GoSS’s Vice president who came out to openly confess that referendum to the people of the south simply means separation. Very simple, and to the point. However his suggestion to have a nation without agreed borders defeats the very meaning of an independent state.
As for our fellows in the other parts of the African continent and on top of them the African Chief, Thabo Mbeki ex-president of South Africa, it is up to us the South Sudanese to educate them on our version of the realities in the Sudan. The call by the people of south Sudan to establish their own country should not be misunderstood by the so-called African Union officials. They must be made to understand that even the Republic of Ethiopia would withdraw for this union should the ‘African Union’ be run by somebody like Ali Karti, Sudan’s Foreign Minister or Ghazi Salah Eddin the presidential advisor and the government’s official responsible for the Darfur portfolio or yet an outright orchestrator of genocide like President Omer al Bashir himself.
The African Union (AU) should first of all call for the adoption of Islamic Sharia by its member countries, and let us see whether Mbeki’s South Africa or Afewerki’s Eretria, or Jean Ping’s Angola will continue to remain as members. The AU through its representative in the person of Thabo Mbeki has no any right to impose its delusion of a united African continent on the innocent people of south Sudan who have so far only seen death, enslavement and destruction since the dawn of the so-called human civilization. South Sudan will only be governed by a system of governance agreed on in South Sudan and by the south Sudanese themselves. We are not as naïve as others think us to be, to the extended that some ‘Good Samaritans’ would freely want to dictate us by proxy.
It is not in any way an underrating to the importance of the type governance we need to have in the independent south Sudan nation. However it remains strictly a south- south issue and to be discussed only by the south Sudanese themselves. And it is very important here to give credit to what Dr. Machar said in the media about starting work on the new constitution, new elections ….etc . Just a mention of it, suggests that he harbours some good intensions for the country.
Another important issue to consider here is the immediate post Independence general elections in the south. We cannot carry on with a government that was primarily elected to operate under the interim period with an interim constitution. Our politicians who are now in the national parliament as well as those in the government of national unity need to be intergraded into the new political system, a process better achieved through free, fair and credible post independence elections. It is here that the importance of the elected post independence south Sudan assembly is to be stressed because it will be the only legal organ to decide the type of governance for the new state. This underscores the importance of an early post-independence general election.
By all standards, a joint forum that combines the north and the south at this particular time is not the right place to discuss how the independent nation of south Sudan intends to run its affairs. Should secession be the choice of the people of the south, what sense would it make to have the north participate in deciding the sort of governance to be adopted in a separate South Sudan?
The Youth for Separation …should clearly be seen in the context of the existing conflicting leadership statements in south Sudan. The so-called Task Force committees are personalities who are themselves victims of the generalized exhaustion that has lately taken its toll on the GoSS system of governance following the over-recycling of the same failed SPLM faces in government positions together with the extensive state sponsored ‘Elections Fraud’ that took place in last April’s general elections.
We all know that the main political agenda for most political organisations in the Sudan is geared now towards the holding of the 2011 Self determination referendum for the south, with a view of a new future. Yet it is shocking that the SPLM led cabinet is full of faces that have been tried several times earlier and they have beyond any doubt proved that they could deliver. Can this be the best way of to approach our much valued independence?
What we are seeing now is that while the south looks forwards for a proper leadership to lead it to the Promised Land, we remain stranded with a bunch of old styled politicians who continue to hold south Sudan hostage while they unconsciously subscribe to this last minute sideline arrangements with their cunning partner the NCP, on the future of south Sudan. The hanging possibility of ‘confederation’ remains to be a move outside the main CPA, which when properly evaluated can amount to re-negotiation of the entire Naivasha arrangements.
The Believers of “New United Sudan Vision” can now join the march to Secession although it took them 21 years in the bush and another 6 years in air-conditioned offices to come to the right conclusion that the modern Sudanese nation was indeed an artificial creation of the colonial rulers only fit for facilitating their exploitation expeditions but never ever to survive the test of time. It was quite unrealistic when some of us chose to disillusion themselves in the fruitless efforts to preserve this outright anomalous unity by continuously blaming the predominantly Muslim north to abandon the rule of Sharia as a price for unity. Dear unionists, I think you are going too far. Better join us and leave the north alone, because even if the whole north is to convert to Christianity at the blink of an eye, unity with them will continue to be questionable.
This is an issue that although some would love to sideline, but given the present instability and absence a real democratic transformation, we can only taste true meaning of peace when we allow for a genuine multi-party democracy to take root in our new nation. We should be warned of what happened in post independence Eritrea, where the constitution was arrested and a one party police state declared. Unfortunately even former comrades in arms who dared speak for democracy simply ended up behind the iron bars. This can easily be repeated in the SPLM led South Sudan if nothing is seriously done to avert it.
The author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD. Is a concerned south Sudanese citizen and can reached at: either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com