Advice to SPLM/A: Accept Postponement of Referendum But With Conditions

By Dr James Okuk

August 16, 2010 (SSNA) — For the separatist the postponement of the referendum is an evil because it will lead to the delay of the democratic declaration of South Sudan Independence, and for the unionists too the conduct of the referendum when some crucial issues remain unattended is a greatest evil because it will lead to undesirable breakup of the unified Sudan. Thus, the two options pose some bad news, depending on the side of the angle one looks at each of them.

However, postponing the referendum is part of the CPA deal but declaring the independence of South Sudan unilaterally (UDI) is not and, thus, a violation of the CPA; meaning invitation of war if both the divorcing partners are prepared for it. Is the SPLM/A prepared for a victorious war? Is the NCP/SAF prepared for a war of invasion too? For how long will that war go on before another peace deal is reached? These are the critical questions a wise and a strategic person or a group could ask at this critical stage, and I believe it is the very questions the SPLM PB are delivering on now before coming up with a final decision on the matter of the postponement of the referendum.

Arrogance and hard-lining is not the best option most of the time. After all it is better late with slowness of assurance than never with rush of uncertainty. Also we have to acknowledge what the Christian Jesus said that if your enemy demands that you carry him for one mile, take him for two miles instead and he or she will hate it more as it become boring.

If I were the SPLM PB, I will accept the request of the Referendum Commission to postpone the issue for one year instead of the six months demanded so that next time they don’t get any chance to play the tricks of timing and procedures. Meanwhile in the year, I will demand from the NCP and Khartoum to carry on some developmental projects in the South since those of the USAID and World Bank failed to do anything great development in the South so far and so good.

Meanwhile as the postponement thrives, I will also try to rally the world support at the UN and lobby for a quick decision from the International Arbitration Court of Justice, incase the South opt for a UDI after having tolerated the postponements of the referendum and tricks of the NCP and Khartoum on the issue. Not only this, but also I would have unified all the Southerners under the cover of reconciliation from the South-South dialogue for any eventuality in the aftermath of 9th January 2012.

This is my take in brief and I hope it gets a hearing hear in the SPLM PB. In truth and sincere wisdom we should trust!!!!

Dr James Okuk is a concerned Southerner reachable at [email protected]

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