Dear Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General,
November 18, 2011 (SSNA) — We the SPLM-USA Secretariat add our voices in condemning in the strongest terms Khartoum’s regime act of war against the sovereign state of South Sudan. We, therefore, call on a swift international community intervention to stop the regime’s aggression by all means possible as well as to hold it accountable for the crimes committed against the innocent civilians. Khartoum’s acts of belligerence, which compel decisive international community response, have been consistently brutal throughout the years as the history below clearly illustrates.
• Support for Militia
Khartoum regime intervention into South Sudanese internal affairs dated back to the interim period. The regime propped up and supported oppositions against the existing South Sudan government under the rule of SPLM. In 2010 Sudanese general elections, the National Congress Party (NCP) tried to influence the outcome of the elections in its favor through its South Sudanese surrogates. However, when the NCP failed to elect any single member from South Sudan, it turned into supporting and arming certain elements from within South Sudan to act as proxies armed forces to do its bidding of destabilizing South Sudan. Today, these militiamen who enjoy full support of Khartoum remain the number one security threat in South Sudan as they go about in killing innocent people, displacing the population and carrying out looting and untold destructions.
• Occupation of Abyei
Khartoum’s brutalities against the people of Abyei have been well documented. The regime rejected outright to settle the dispute of Abyei in a peaceful manner. It refused to recognize and implement all the peace agreements pertaining to Abyei. These milestone agreements include the Abyei Protocol under the CPA of 2005, ABC Report of 2005, Abyei Roadmap Agreement of 2008, Abyei Arbitration under the Permanent Court of Arbitration of 2008, Abyei Referendum under the CPA of 2005, and Abyei Temporary Agreement of 2011. Throughout this period, Khartoum actually chose war as the solution. These wars often resulted in killing of civilians, burning of villages, and driving of the population away from their homesteads. The last of these wars occurred early this year, where Khartoum forcefully took control of Abyei. A subsequent agreement between the NCP and SPLM to settle the matter peacefully is not being honored by Khartoum. Hence, the situation remains volatile, despite the fact that South Sudan under the SPLM leadership elects to restrain from confrontations, which will easily lead to an all out war.
• Aerial Bombardment
When it became very clear early this year that South Sudan was bound to secede due to overwhelming majority vote for independence, Khartoum began to step up its aerial bombardment against targets in South Sudan. At first, those targets were random locations along the South-North borders, nonetheless, of recent; Khartoum is going after specific targets. For example, on November 8th this year, Khartoum bombed the town of Gaffa, which houses several hundred refugees who fled the regime’s onslaught from Blue Nile state. Then on November 10th, the regime carried another sorties against a camp of Yida, which is home to about 20,000 refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. As if those bombing were not devastating enough, the regime carried out a daring attack on South Sudanese military barrack at Kuek in Upper Nile state. Satellite evidence surveillance is showing that Khartoum is refurbishing its military airports in the border regions, an indication it is trying to increase the range of its air power deep inside South Sudan, as observed by many regional analysts. These attacks constitute serious breach of international laws as well as crimes against humanity, the potential of which will result in a catastrophic renewal of South-North war. All these violations are happening and yet the South Sudan under SPLM leadership is opting for peaceful resolution as one of the best means possible.
• Negotiating in Bad Faith
Khartoum has never been a good negotiating partner, whether with internal forces or international community. Despite outstanding issues, which required peaceful settlement, between Khartoum and South Sudan, Khartoum always drags its feet throughout the negotiation and after an agreement is signed, it is often reluctant to implement it. Just of recent, Khartoum unilaterally called off negotiation with SPLM on the outstanding issues, giving an invalid reason for its move. This latest move is in part due to the actions Khartoum is undertaking in accordance with its war plans, where its intention is to sustain significant gains on the ground so as to negotiate from the position of strength. Some of the pending issues that need urgent resolutions through negotiations include but not limited to the following: oil agreement, Abyei status, border demarcation, citizenship question, popular consultation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, etc.
Course for Actions
Given the overwhelming evidences above of the state of belligerency, we therefore call on the following immediate and specific actions for the:
• UN and international community to immediately intervene and stop Khartoum’s aggressions against South Sudan
• UN and international community to immediately pressure and force the NCP into negotiating table
• UN and international community to establish a no-fly zone over the Sudan
• UN and international community to thoroughly investigate Khartoum’s violations of international laws and hold the regime accountable
• UN and international community to take dutiful responsibility in protecting and caring for refugees within South Sudan
• US government (State Department, White House, Congress) to immediately intervene in taking a lead against Khartoum’s aggression
The White House
The US State Department
The US Ambassador to UN
The USA Congress