By: Daniel Abushery Daniel USA
July 11, 2011 (SSNA) — Today is one of the most remarkable days ever in the lives and history of the brave people of South Sudan. It comes in the aftermath of more than five decades of liberation struggle from Khartoum’s elites oppressors, which resulted in the lost of over two million lives, not to mention the displacement of four million more people into the neighboring African countries, USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, and elsewhere in the globe, in search for a safe-haven and stability. Please join me in a moment of silence to pay our sincere tribute to our fallen heroes, and mytres who have lost their precious lives for this historical day to emerge. Dear friends, today, we are a free nation and a free people due to their unselfish sacrifices. We owe them our lives.
To begin with; Sudan is the Africa’s largest country, having successfully resisted Egyptian domination since pre-modern times, Sudan was finally conquered by Ottoman-Egyptian forces in 1820. Unable to defeat a Sudanese revolt led by the self-appointed Mahdi (“guided one”) in 1885, the loose administration that ran the country collapsed. Four years later, Egyptian forces reinforced by the British, re-captured Khartoum and established the jointly-administered Anglo-Egyptian Condominium. Under the British divide and rule strategy, the country was separated into North and South. In 1947 “close areas” political power was granted to the northern elite, which retained it following independence in 1956. Anticipating marginalisation by the North, southern army officers mutinied in 1955, and formed the Anya-Nya (“snake venom”) guerrilla movement, which began launching attacks on government troops in different areas in the south.
In 1958 General Abboud seized power in a coup d’état and began instituting a policy of Islamisation, he was forced out of office by a popular uprising in 1964, several Arab-dominated governments followed. In 1969 Nimieri gained power through a coup d’état followed by a failed Communist coup in 1971, which left him politically isolated, then, seek peace with southern rebels. Result of Addis Ababa peace agreement with the Anya-Nya in March 1972 that granted autonomy government for south Sudan.
Systematic violations of the agreement by Nimieri government, combined with an increasing Islamic shift in late 1970s and discovery of oil in the South eventually led to a resumption of hostilities and the deployment of northern troops in southern oil-rich areas.
President Nimieri abrogated the Addis Ababa agreement in June, dissolving the South’s constitutional guarantees and declaring Arabic the official language. Introducing Islamic Sharia law, when he said; “Addis Ababa Agreement is not a Quran or Bible, its can be amended.” three months later. Southern grievances crystallised around the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) led by late Dr. John Garang de Mabior follow by a popular uprising overthrew Nimieri in 1985 and Sadiq al-Mahdi’s democratic government was elected the following year.
Moves towards reaching peace between the SPLA/M and the government stalled when the National Islamic Front (NIF) led by Omer Al – Bashier a bloodless coup on Friday, June 1989, a day before a bill suspending Sharia law was to be passed, revoked the constitution, banned opposition parties, moved to Islamise the judicial system and stepped up the North-South war, proclaiming jihad against the non-Muslim South Sudan.
On and off negotiations between the government and the SPLA/M under the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) made little progress between 1994 and 2001. The July 2002 Machakos Protocol stipulated a self-determination referendum for the South after six-year period. On January 2005 Naivasha Accords formally ended the North-South war with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The agreement incorporated the SPLA/M into a Government of National Unity (GNU) and created a schedule for 2009 general elections, later pushed back to 2010. While implementation stalled – largely due to absence of political will within the ruling NCP – a new constitution was ratified and a new government installed in October 2006.
On July 2007 deadline for the withdrawal of government troops passed without any national or international response. The face-off between Arab militia and the SPLA/M continued in the oil-rich Abyei region on the North-South border, which had been granted special administrative status by the CPA…
The implementation of all three major mechanisms to end conflict, the CPA, the Darfur Peace Agreement and the East Sudan Peace Agreement, has been unsatisfactory, largely due to the resistance of al-Bashir’s ruling NCP. As agreed in the CPA, multiparty elections were held in Sudan in 2010, unfortunately, Boycotted by most opposition parties in the North.
The elections were seen as a step forward. However, as the deadline for the 2011 referendum, which is highly resulted of over – whelmingly for secession of south in a free, fare, and transparent referendum with the observation of international community, civil society, and Carter foundation centre. But mistrust between the two parties remains high, unresolved issue of Abyei and demarcation between two entities are still complicated the political environment up to now. A lot of challenges are on the rise, security, and economic crisis. But at the end we will prevail.
Back to referendum, which we all celebrated here in the valley of the sun, and in different States, its didn’t come by luck, but through your dedication, commitment, and hard work, and we will not forget our brothers and sisters who travelled from long distant, droved hundreds of miles from other States like; Utah, Nevada, Hills of Colorado, Washington State, Sendiego, and Alaska, and Phoenix law enforcement personnel officers whom tirelessly devoted their precious time to keep security and order in the centre.
In conclusion, today, at this time, and this moment, the whole world is watching through the satellite and all kind of media, the birth of the newest nation in the world called “The Republic of South Sudan. Today, my friends, we are celebrating our independence day. Truly, this is a day we will never forget. So congratulations to each and everyone of you fellow Southerners, wherever you might be.
In this juncture, I would like to thanks African brothers and Americans friends who celebrate this historical event with us today. Our people will never forget your help, and we look forward to building stronger ties and friendship with your people all across the board. Your generosity and support was highly appreciated.
May God Almighty richly bless you. And may God bless the Republic of South Sudan.
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