By: Justin Ambago Ramba
January 30, 2012 (SSNA) — This is not in anyway an attempt to suggest that there do exist some conspiracy theories within South Sudan’s polity, but since much rat can already be smelt in what is now the earliest steps in the long preparation to write the country’s so-called Permanent Constitution, such propositions become to hard to resist. Like many other fellow compatriots, we all had hopes that the heavy engagement of the international community in helping this nascent nation would help redeem and rectify all the evils that befall our leaders as a resulted of their wrong policies over the past seven years :- the wrong census, the flawed elections, undemocratic transitional constitution, the lack of broader participation in government, the sluggish decision taking process and worst still the rampant corruption and impunity that goes with it. Now sad though nothing seemed to have worked and we are now faced with yet an alarming situation where things are fast moving from bad to worst.
It can’t be over-stressed that to date as our people remain galvanised and polarised, the insensitive SPLM leadership finds no shame in gerrymandering every bit of the post independence recovery process the countrywide. We know well that it is their only way to cling to power as they desperately seek to survive in face of the mounting opposition to their ‘unchartered’ style of rule. Some may argue otherwise, but the proof to this can be seen, even by a no-brainer as every rotten act that was committed in the transitional constitution’s draft process has unfortunately found its way back into the proceedings of the Permanent Constitution and with the same insensitivity, if not worse.
In the past few weeks many voices have come out condemning the exclusion of very important sections of the community who were denied representations on the Permanent Constitution Review Commission, especially so in the Permanent Membership of the National Constitution Review Commission [ political parties – women groups – civil societies – youth organisations etc …etc]. It is thus the author’s wish not to bore the reader with that version of the argument as it has already been dealt with elsewhere.
Nonetheless as obvious as it is, this same leadership which is never ashamed to deny the true sons and daughters of this land a fair representation and participation proceeds to take comfort in what amounts to a gross adulteration of the free peoples’ national history. The weird move by the SPLM to appoint representatives from the all too known pan-Arabists and pan-Islamists in the Constitution Commission clearly embodies this trend. And it further goes on to highlight that the presidential decree that qualifies the memberships of the National Islamic Front [NIF] and its tributaries, the National Congress Party [NCP] and the Peoples’ Congress Party [PCP] of sheikh Hassan al Turabi to join the Permanent Constitution’s Commission is in its least evaluation an act of insult to our sense of independence from these bigots.
To put it mildly, one can only say that those who continue to display affection to or do business with these groups [Islamists & Unionists] who undeniably preach political Islam or any re-unification with the Arab Islamic ‘North’, are undoubtedly not only serving the interests of a foreign state which recently claims itself as our number one real enemy of all times , but are indeed obstacles that if not taken care of will for sure abort our national efforts towards de-colonisation, de-Arabisation, de-Arabicisation, and above all the de-radicalisation amongst the various religious believers.
In other words, the fact that a presidential decree has gone to recognise the different factions of the National Islamic Front [NIF] as an integral part of the sovereign state of South Sudan, then the true meaning of our five decades of struggle has grossly been compromised if not entirely defeated. This must be understood as such regardless of who issued that decree. It is for the people of South Sudan to know these things and whether it is a party’s, a few individuals’ or a single person’s misjudgment that would want to derail our hard won independence, they must be told in their face and further be held to account.
As a secularist myself, one feels deeply offended by this new trend in events. However no one can tell us that the Islamic Charter of Hassan al Turabi that went on to become the National Islamic Front [NIF] and then the “Ingaz Military Rule”, then lately bifurcated into the National Congress Party [NIF] and the main stream People’s Congress Party [PCP] are NOT the same ideological bigots who are seeking by all means including force, terrorism and military coups to force political Islam through our throats. This must clearly have no place in the post independence South Sudan.
The Sudanese Communist Party [SCP] on the other hand has it share of the blame to shoulder for historically it has opposed the struggles of the People of South Sudan for an independent state of their own. The so-called Sudanese Communists (northerners or southerners) waged ruthless wars both verbally and diplomatically against our Just struggle and it did much to distort our genuine cause.
They(the communists) are on record for portraying South Sudanese freedom fighters as mere reactionaries and even tried to redefine the injustice that was imposed on us throw their own narrow literature to suite pedagogues in Moscow and beyond. Today we are an independent South Sudan Nation. We see all unionists with scepticism for reasons obvious and unless they come out clean and truly converted to support our irreversible sovereignty, our paths will never meet theirs.
Last but not least our message is a clear one and no authority how high it perceives itself shouldn’t be allowed a free hand to lure us into policies which only allow for the ‘breading, incubating and empowering’ “dangerous groups” which are more likely turn around and reverse our political and socio-economic divorce with fanatic Islamism, the international communism and the others. Nor should our people be silenced or blindfolded into "laying red carpets" to well known unionist groups who for their own inherent lack of pride into what is indigenous and African are forced to continue looking towards the Arab Islamic Middle East. Thus any attempt by the SPLM leadership to start the Permanent Constitutional Review process with these pro-North representatives on board only works to confirm our fears of the much unpopular ‘United New Sudan Vision’. And thereafter it remains in the centre of our national sovereignty’s interest to block it – or go for a total boycott should the government not re-think its position!
Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General of United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: [email protected] or [email protected]