By Luk Kuth Dak
October 14, 2010 (SSNA) — President Omer Hassan Ahmed Al Basher injected hatred and bigotry and intolerance into the minds of the people from Northern Sudan against those from the Southern Sudan while attempting to explain away the annoying referendum.
In his speech before the Parliament, the President said: “We will not accept anything as an alternative for unity of the Sudan, in the coming referendum in South Sudan.” “This country, he went on to say, must remain united as we inherited it from our forefathers."
Clearly, the word “Referendum” has a bad taste in the presidential mouth. Also, it appears as though the President had just discovered that the referendum, which has his signature, will actually happen, and there is very little he can do to stop it. Plus, he seems to be aware of the fact that he will be personally held accountable for dividing the country, if in fact, South does become the newest state in the twenty-first century. Therefore he is more determined than ever before to see to it that it doesn’t happen in his watch.
But there is an important truth here. Of all the previous Sudanese Presidents, Al Basher has had the opportunity to keep the country together. If he were genuine about rebuilding what the war had destroyed in South Sudan and offers the much-needed apology, for the most horrendous crimes of his tenure, chances are that, unity might have been spared, or made attractive, if you will. But no! Instead, the President and his radicalized followers wasted every minute of the last five years in whining and crafting impediments towards the implementation of the historical Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA, thinking that, if the former President Jaafar Muhammad Numerie could have done away with the Addis Ababa Agreement, so can he with the CPA. After all, it’s not the Bible or al Quaraa’n that it can’t be altered or amends if necessary.
Evidently, the President has some serious ignorance issues of his own about the constitution of the country he sits at its helm, which contradicts what Vet Doctor, Nafia Ali Nafia once said: “Al Basher is the most qualified man to rule the Sudan."
Truly, I wonder just how with all these mess he has put the country through, still a man with just only a diploma from a military academy is literally being bestowed the most esteemed title of being the best of the best of the forty plus million Sudanese out there.
I know there are those who are flabbergasted or taken aback by the President’s immature, insensitive, racist and unwarranted remarks in his speech, but I’m not one of them. In my humble opinion, I really believe that the president has done the South a great service, for his animated remarks and those of Dr. Kamal Obied, Hajj Majiid Siwaar and Dr. Mandour Al Mahdi, all had only angered Southerners in the NCP and ultimately led to the resignation of some heavy-weight Southern senior members, of the caliber if Gen. Alison Manani Magaya and 60 others, and their subsequent decision to join the SPLM, clearly, in protest of their homeland being attacked by the very party that they have been so loyal to for decades. You can’t ask for a better friend, especially at this critical juncture where the South needs just about all the help it can possibly get, in order to unit its people and gather them around to practice their right for self-determination in January 9, 2011. So thank you Mr. President.
By now most everybody who kindly reads my articles knows how fascinated I really am with the teaching and wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his historical speech on war in Vietnam he said: “War’s not pretty; and those who seek war haven’t fought one."
To President al Basher’s credit, the Vice President of GOSS, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, would confirm that, in fact, he fought the war in the South. But, I challenge anybody to tell us that he or she saw the war mongers, Dentist Mustafa Osman, Speaker al Tahir, Dr. Muhammad Mandour al Mahdi, Dr. Kamal Obied, Rashid Abdurahim, Kamal Hassan Bakhiet, or Haj Majiid Siwaar, anywhere near a war zone!
Truthfully, I can understand the reasons behind the anger and the hatred that the President’s uncle, Al Tayib Mustafa, has for South Sudan, for he has lost one of his precious sons in the war. I can only imagine, really, how he feels inside whenever he attends those extravagant wedding parties for sons and daughters of the likes of Mustafa Osman Ishmael, Selah Abdullah (Gush) and Abdulrahim Muhammad Hussein, to name very few, who sent their kids to the best schools in Europe and the United States, instead to the war zone in South Sudan, where his only boy’s life had been shorten prematurely.
Underneath it all, the Sudanese Armed Forces are dangerously at their weakest versus an SPLA that is much more stronger, more conventional and better equipped than the one that defeated them and literally forced the regime into a negotiation table, which led to the birth of the CPA.
Now, as we continue to face uncertain and changing events, we must remain confident in the SPLM under the leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit. Because if we give him and his team our support, there is nothing in the world that could undermine what South Sudanese stand for. As long we continue to remain faithful to the ideas put forth by our great leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, we will overcome all struggles that encounter our path.
Finally, as we seek our freedom, we must conduct ourselves with dignity and respect. We shouldn’t hate all of the Northern Sudanese people, for some of them have scarified so much for our just cause, and they continue to do so to this very moment. We love them all.
The author is a Sudanese journalist writer, and a former anchorman at Juba Radio. He can be reached at: [email protected]