Khartoum’s Elites: Old Techniques Won’t Work This Time Around!

By Daniel Abushery Daniel – USA

October 12, 2010 (SSNA) — For a host of good reasons, there’s nothing being talked about these days more than the referendum process of January, 9Th, 2011, in which South Sudanese people, and for the first time in over a half a century, will go to the ballot box, to decide between unity and independence. Everywhere you go, whether you’re abroad or back home, the referendum clearly dominates the debate to the point one might think that the Sudanese people, of all walks of live, have run out of other topics worthy of their deliberation except the self-determination for South Sudan and Abyei, respectively.

Not only that, the world around us is anxious as well to the outcome of this historic agreement, CPA, which granted self- determination to the people of south Sudan, and Abyei region to exercise their rights in a referenda, to determine their fate, whether to vote for the unity of the country or for secession and become an independent country in five years from the day of signatory of the accord.

In a transparency dialogue between two parties, the NIF/NCP pledged that during the period of five years they would make sure that south was developed and rebuilt, after the destruction of its infrastructure, to convince the South of the benefits of an attractive unity between the two parts of the country.

The central question is, did the NCP fulfill it pledge to develop the South in order to make unity attractive to the Southern citizens? The answer is no. For instance, Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba town, which is the only hospital in Southern Sudan capital, had not been rehabilitated since 1983, when the war erupted. Now you better believe me, in my first visit to Sudan this year just before the elections, after two decades away, I visit the hospital. You can’t imagine, due to lack of beds, two patients were sharing one bed without pillows and sheets.

Thus, the rail ways between Kosti and Wau town that was established since Al Zubier Basha’s days, is still the same without   maintenance, and the people of greater Bahar El Gazal have totally forgotten about what they usually called “Awiel train." As a result, most essential commodities are seriously lacking, that the civilians could be starving to death. I didn’t even mention the proposed Khartoum-Malakal road, which remained only in the papers. It’s also worth-mentioning that, even in the milking caw of the country, the capital city of the Unity State, Bentiu, folks are dying from pollution related diseases with no hospitals to turn to.

The list goes on, but you got my point.

Some months back, some members from the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in National Parliament tried to express, in a peaceful march, the urgency of the moment to resolve some fundamental issues such as demarcation, elections, and the referendum law, as  CPA remaining protocols, they were beaten and put behind bar without charges, or any consideration to  their parliamentary immunity.

But, to make a long story short and sweet, in a blink of eye, five years have elapsed and nothing has been done in all purported promises pledged by NIF/NCP to the people of south Sudan, to make unity attractive in referendum’s day. Unfortunately, when there are only about four month to the date of the referendum, the Vice President, and the architect of fouls promises, the brilliant lawyer Ustaz. Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and company went to Juba. However, instead of showing some seriousness to remedy the past injustices and bring some tangible developmental project to the South, they tried relentlessly to bribe some low- esteemed individuals to create confusion and chaos among Southerners on tribal lines and telling other tribes, including mine, that the Dinka will only marginalized them once they vote for independence.

Ironically, the Northern elites feel that they can still use their old techniques of “starve your dog, will follow you."  They are carefully trying to take advantage of the fact that; government of South Sudan has no other sources of income outside of the oil revenue, that the GOSS’ minister of finance travel to Khartoum on a monthly basis to beg what’s supposed to be a right- our share of the oil. And when there was no market for the oil, it meant no money for South Sudan. In a plain Arabic, they say" “Mafi Suuk, Mafi Folus.”

I know there are some voices among us- Southerners- who complain and blindly making illogical remarks that if Late, Dr. John Garang De Mabior, the founder father of SPLM/A were alive, all this mess would have never happened in the first place. I tell you, with all due respect to my hero, Dr. Garang, there is no such a thing as a silver bullet, or even assurances, when one is dealing with the crooks of NIF/NCP.

Animatedly, the elites in Khartoum think that they can continue playing the same games this time, even forgetting that the current generation attended the same schools and the class rooms with them, and therefore they are flounces in speaking, writing, and reading their Arabic language. Even more so, some shared the same Islamic religion. Of course, not to mention the fact that, most if not all, of the current Goss’s leadership are all alumni of the world’s finest universities. So what seems to be their problem here?

Finally, it’s self-evident that Southerners have done everything to keep this country together for far too long, only to be met with unfaithfulness and disappointments, time after time. Now, the question that imposes itself here is, who to blame for the ugly unity?

In my humble personal opinion, it’s none other than the “Jallaba."

The author is reachable at [email protected] or [email protected]

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