By Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
November 21, 2010 (SSNA) — One week has so far passed since the kick-off of the voter’s registration for the January 9 south Sudan’s referendum on independence and already the NCP has started preparing the north to reject the results which they themselves expect to come in favour of Independence for the South. Who will ever believe that the very NIF/NCP hardliners who did everything to derail the South’s Right to Self Determination would ever turn around and complain of a low turn-out by southerners to register in the north. Is this not the very people who worked hard to make the whole process run this late? We must not forget that the issues facing the registration process for this particular plebiscite is quite numerous, but for the NCP to turn around and accuse its peace partners in Sudan Peoples ‘Liberation Movement [SPLM] of playing tricks in order to forge the will of the people of the South is extremely ridiculous, given the fact that it was the latter that went in the streets of Khartoum in demand and demonstrated in front of the National Parliament to have the referenda laws and a guarantee for timely polls.
It is an established fact that the number of southerners who intend to register to vote in the north is low and will continue to be so, unless of course al Bashir and his gangs of hypocrites plan to inflate the figures, but not at our watch please. After being through all types of humiliations in the towns of northern Sudan, the southerners have at last decided that it is now time to go home. But even those who had second thoughts about heading south, the ruling NCP of President Al Bashir did just what was missing to accelerated the life-time decision. First they were scared and told that should the out-come of the referendum favour secession, then any southerner residing in the north will lose all their properties and be denied even the basic human rights like food, housing and treatment.
So it is no surprise that most southerners residing in the north are now prepared to get back to the south as soon as possible or better still before January 9th 2011. With this in mind it is only logical that they do not register in the north as they won’t be there to vote come January 2011. With still one and a half month to go for the voting, if provided with the means of transport more than three quarters of the people can still relocate to their home towns in south Sudan. This is a very important step that the GoSS and the International community must give a due concern. Anyone who subscribes to the fake guarantees uttered by al Bashir and goes on to mislead others into believing that NIF/NCP government would provide safety to the southerners in the north and safeguard their properties even in the most likely scenario of secession, such persons must be considered as dangerous and should be held responsible for whatever human cost that will result.
Was it a coincidence when the NCP/NIF insisted to judge the outcome of the referendum based on high turnout despite the fact the very elections that it manipulated in order to retain power never had that type of turnout? Obviously it wasn’t. However it wasn’t also too long that the southerners residing in the north foiled the plan that the NIF intended to use in order to discredit the vote – and that is by encouraging people to register in huge numbers through incentives, brides and even intimidations. Once this is achieved, the NIF/NCP would then turn around and use the same methods to discourage registered voters from turning out to vote. This in every way is how southerners in the north read the minds of the NIF/NCP Jackals and chose not to risk the future that they fought for over the decades and so much yearn to witness come January 2011.
If you read the statement made by Sudan’s ruling northern party when it warned that it may not recognise the result of a January 9 southern referendum on independence if problems with registering voters were not resolved, you can immediately see the underlying naivety. This statement seems to have already concluded that the outcome of the referendum would definitely be in favour of an Independent south Sudan, so it is a result to be rejected even in advance. But what about if the result [just for argument sake] comes in favour of unity with the north – will the same greedy Arab imperialists not turn round and call it the choice of the people?
This is a moment of sincerity and I would like to point to those so-called northern NCP/NIF intelligentsia and their handpicked southern stooges, that their time is gone. If they with all the blood of our innocent citizens (from south Sudan, the Nuba mountains, Darfur and the other war torn regions of Sudan), still dripping from their hands, and they have no shame in coming forward to campaign to us about the lip-service unity, how much is a true southern nationalist worth listening to when they talk about our Independence?
This article should help those confused unionists and I hope that they don’t get drowned in this cup of water. At least now everyone is not aware that the low turnout for registration in northern Sudan is not because the southerners are busy celebrating the Eid nor is it because they are still in the HAJ as some leading NIF/NCP politicians initially suggested. Those who read the reports by the Sudan Tribune (16.11.10) which reported a statement made by a certain Ismail Ibrahim, a referendum official supervising a registration centre in Jereif West (Khartoum) who accordingly admitted that no one had come to register at the centre that day and I quote:
"Since yesterday, we have been able to start as early as possible but the centre continues to experience low turning out. It is now twelve o’clock yet we do not see people coming for registration although there a lot of south Sudanese walking about around the centre,” said Ismail.
We all must come out boldly to congratulate our heroic people who are able to take the right decision not to register when they know that they wouldn’t be around in the north to vote in January. This is true patriotism. On the other hand if anyone is tempted to register now, while they are not sure to vote – out of ignorance or due to absenteeism or pressure and intimidation from the NCP/NIF and its opportunistic institutions, that would be a complete sell out.
The NCP is known for its noise when things don’t go according to its devilish plans. it can go on shouting, that’s fine . We are aware that it has already made a formal complaint to the referendum commission on Monday alleging that southerners are being prevented from registering in the north and south. But although the referendum commission has confirmed the “very low” turnout in the north, it is yet to receive complaints from anyone being prevented from registering. And according to the spokesman George Makuer, and I quote Sudan Tribune:
“Nobody came to the commission to say he or she was prevented from registering, “he said. “Probably someone was prevented only if they did not meet the criteria to register,” he added. This should leave the NCP/NIF with only one choice but to prepare to accept the choice of the South for Independence and not the other way round. This referendum means a lot to our people and we have every reason to equate it to independence. NCP must come to its sense and acknowledge that it is time to row with care for the regimes life-boat has now many holes than ever before and is likely to sink any time.