By Elhag Paul
March 18, 2012 (SSNA) — Lord of the Rings’ is such an impressive film, especially because of how claims are laid and power is contested. The players in it deploy all kinds of intrigues, benign as well as deadly to obtain the jewel. Our country is about to be made subject of such a struggle in our relationship with the Sudan. At the heart of this game is none other Sadiq El Mahdi, the leader of the UMMA party and his brother-in-law Dr Hassan El Turabi of the Islamic movement who in the past presided over policies of ethnic cleansing in South Sudan. Some of us are survivors of their heinous crimes. For example, those of us who survived the Juba massacre of 8 th July 1965 ended up being called by our fellow South Sudanese sisters and brothers as ‘Bagi Jim 3’ meaning those who escaped being mowed down by the army of Sudan in that year using their standard German made G3 rifle.
All the northern parties in the Sudan without exception were/are committed to doing away with South Sudanese in order to establish a pure Islamic Arab Sudan. We survived the Arab onslaught due to our persistence and tenacity to preserve our cultures and identity. Against all odds we have now freed ourselves from this thing called the Sudan. 9 th July 2011 will be remembered as the day the world accepted our humanity by incorporating us into the community of Nations of the World with the right to run our own affairs.
In less than 24 hours of that date, the forces of the dark (the Sudanese parties) sprung into action by suggesting the establishment of ‘soft borders’ between our new country and its former colonial power (please see ‘Negligent SPLM exposes RSS’ published in Sudan Tribune on 13 th September 2011). Indicating some restlessness in the Sudan, Sadiq again rushed to Juba within 7 weeks with another proposal. This time, to have an agreement on dual citizenship between South Sudan and the Sudan. In addition to this, Sadiq proposed four freedoms: a) free movement of people; b) right of employment; c) right of residence, and d) right of ownership.
In the history of the Sudan since its independence in 1956 until July last year, Sadiq did not visit Juba frequently as he now does. Why? Obviously, the Sudan was one country and he was the master. He had no interest in South Sudanese people but the land as he put it in one of his many interviews with BBC Focus on Africa in 1986. Sadiq made it categorically clear that if the South Sudanese did not accept his policies of Islamisation, and Arabisation then he would not hesitate to clear them.
25 years after this interview, Sadiq could not believe that his policies (Arab policies) failed and South Sudan has attained its independence. Knowing that his violent policies towards South Sudan did not work, he is now embarking on diplomacy with soft policies.
On 10 th July 2011 at J1 (presidential palace) here in Juba, Sadiq expressed satisfaction and gratitude to SPLM leadership for naming the new country ‘South Sudan.’ He referred to the reunion of East and West Germany and North and South Yemen as examples that should give the Sudanese people hope for reunion of the Sudan in future. What was vital according to him was to keep the name Sudan. He further emphasized the importance of keeping our borders open so as not to severe link between us and them. Sadiq like all the Arab Sudanese are committed to the project of Islamizing and Arabising Africa.
These proposals that Sadiq had put forward then are the very ones now incorporated into the ‘Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the other State and Related Matters between The Republic of the Sudan and The Republic of South Sudan’ signed in Addis Ababa on Tuesday 13 th March 2012 by Mr. Pierre Buyoya on behalf of African Union, Mr. Idris Abdel Gadir on behalf of The Republic of the Sudan and Mr. Pagan Amum, on behalf of the Republic of South Sudan. The UMMA party’s vigorous promotion of this idea is designed to lead into merger of our countries in the distant future. In other words, for us to go back to square one. To the abusive, racist, Arabist and theocratic Sudan. No way. This should not be allowed. The current SPLM government (“government of one-man, one-tribe and one-party”) in Juba with its unionist sympathy (articulated in the concept of New Sudan) if not monitored carefully by the South Sudanese masses may plunge South Sudan deep into troubles once again with the Arab parties of the Sudan whose ulterior motives are dangerous to our own existence.
Let us now examine Sadiq’s witch brew in the recent agreement blindly endorsed by Pagan Amum, whether they have any benefit for South Sudan.
The recent agreement which carries Sadiq’s proposals was negotiated initially in August 2011 between Mr. Ahmed Deng Alor, for South Sudan and Mr. Sadiq El Mahadi, for the UMMA party.
Before going into the agreement itself, it is worth noting that Ahmed Alor and his brother Mustafa Biong should not have been appointed as ministers in South Sudan, simply because their national status is in doubt due to the status of their home area, Abyei.
As it is, Abyei is neither part of South Sudan nor the Sudan. It remains a contested area with a special status. It is only after the Abyei people have decided in their referendum that their national status will then be clear. As you can see here there is a very serious conflict of interest. Appointing non-citizens to distort our foreign policy due to tribal interest and sentiment is a grave mistake South Sudan must not do. I am aware of the emotions attached to this matter, but it needs to be handled with objectivity and mature level headedness.
Nobody dislikes the Abyei people and nobody wants to exclude them from South Sudan. However, as there is a protocol in place to deal with this issue, that protocol has to be taken seriously and interpreted in such a way that it benefits both the Abyei people and South Sudan. It is only fair that Abyei people wait until they have decided their fate in their referendum. Having Ahmed Alor and Mustafa Biong in these positions not only deprives genuine South Sudanese of positions that are legitimately theirs, but also puts the interest of RSS at risk as demonstrated in his dealings with Sadiq. To get to grips with this point, please refer to recently released WikiLeaks cables on Deng Alor. These documents clearly reveal conflict of interest in his dealings. That can not be good for South Sudan.
Ahmed Deng Alor’s agreement with Sadiq in August 2011 is not in the interest of South Sudan. Accepting Sadiq’s proposals on his four freedoms works in the interest of the Sudan. This is all the reason why a foreigner should not have been allowed to negotiate on behalf of South Sudan. Unfortunately, this agreement has now been given weight by its incorporation into the Framework Agreement signed by Mr. Pagan Amum.
On free movement of people. Opening the border and allowing people to move freely between the two countries is not good for South Sudan. Our natural resources are a big ‘pull’ factor and this is going to attract many people. Many Arabs are going to be attracted to come to South Sudan in search of greener pastures. In the process, this allows the Arabs to promote their culture and export terrorism into our country. Khartoum will be able to operate with ease in South Sudan. It will also allow Khartoum to mobilize the resources of the Arab world to re-introduce the project of Arabism and Islamisation of Africa. It must be remembered that this is UMMA party’s main objective.
When Sadiq was in power from 1986 to 1989, he rallied the Islamic and Arab countries gaining massive financial and moral support against us. He used that money to create the Muraheleen who wrecked havoc in Bahr Ghazal. Promoted enslavement of South Sudanese on the border areas while encouraging genocide activities such as the Daein Massacre in late 1980s and early 1990s.
The Muraheleen were commanded by General Abu Gurun and General Fadlallah Burma, prominent UMMA party members. This same group is the Janjaweed of today tormenting Dar Fur. Currently, Khartoum laws allow Arabs from all over the Arab world to acquire Sudanese citizenship within a very short period.
With the current agreement, this will enable a huge influx of dubious people into our country. A further disadvantage to RSS on its image internationally. A country with a lot of dubious people is not worthy of trust, especially a corrupt one like ours led by the quintet squirrels. In return, there is nothing that will make South Sudanese go to the Sudan simply because the environment over there is harsh with Sharia law and racism. Although GoSS benefits in the short term by diffusing the issue of South Sudanese stranded in the Sudan, this is not reason enough for it to put the interest of its people in jeopardy.
On employment. With free movement, the high skilled unemployed Arabs in the Sudan will be encouraged to move to South Sudan due to lack of skilled labor there. This will help the Sudan to solve its problem of employment but also silently promote Arab policy of taking over South Sudan. The skilled Arabs who will take away jobs from the citizens of South Sudan will also help the Sudan economically by remitting hard currency back home. That is hitting two birds with one stone.
Then there are the rich Arabs who will be coming to South Sudan to create employment for the unskilled Arabs encouraged to come and settle in South Sudan. This in itself will create a powerful section of Arab community in South Sudan that can distort the entire job market. South Sudan on the other hand will not benefit from this policy as we do not have highly skilled man power that can travel up north to seek employment in a hostile environment. The Sudan economically is not also attractive given its current economic woes.
On residence. Using the right to movement and employment, the number of Arabs moving to South Sudan no doubt will steadily increase. As such they will begin to put down roots and claim rights. In doing this, they will spread their culture via social programs as the Muslim brotherhood did in Middle East and North Africa.
This point on promotion of social programs by Islamic aid agencies in South Sudan is very crucial. The reason being that the “Oyee party” thieves have failed to provide or set up any social services structures in the country. As the South Sudanese people are poor and needy, the Arabs will ruthlessly exploit this area. They will then proselytize the poor and gradually begin to build a political base from which to spring to power. That is when our problems will begin. So, this is about putting down roots in South Sudan and the first step towards accumulating rights in the political life of South Sudan.
The question then is: why are we letting the Arabs to destabilize South Sudan few month from its birth? As with regards to South Sudanese, it is not feasible that our people will immigrate to the Sudan. The only group with this interest is the current political class who have amassed obscene wealth illegally and they would want to hide over there.
On ownership. With the mobilization of resource from the Arab world as Sadiq did in the 1980s, the Arabs will be able to buy land and properties to settle in South Sudan in a big number forming a nucleus which will be nurtured and developed to grow into a considerable population. Once this is achieved, it becomes a reality and the Arabs will be able to assert their identity once again in our country. Therefore, this poses threat to our African identity.
Given the above, the four freedoms do not benefit South Sudan, the only group from South Sudan that is likely to benefit is the corrupt “Oyee party” members who no doubt would like to have a safe haven in the Sudan (especially Khartoum) for them to horde the loot and later live-in after they are thrown out of power. Please, research Ayad Company to find out who the owners are, and how much was transferred to it from the coffers of GoSS to grasp the point being made here.
On 14th March 2012, the Sudan Tribune reported that the leader of Just Peace Forum (JPF), Mr Al Tayyib Mustafa, who is related to president Bashir expressed strong views against this agreement on grounds of security. I do not believe that security is really his reason for rejecting the agreement. The most likely reason behind his rejection could be based on issues around race and religion.
However, Mr. Ali Karti, the foreign minister of the Sudan on the same media outlet on 15th March 2012, swiftly castigated Mr. Mustafa saying he lacked understanding of the agreement. “Karti went on to voice his support for the deal, saying it is a good seed for maintaining social and economic connections between the people of Sudan and South Sudan.”
Mark the word ‘seed’ and the pieces of this jigsaw will begin to fall into place. The support of the Sudan government for this deal is not just for nothing. It has a strategic objective of reuniting the two Sudan’s. Sadiq and his UMMA party embarked on this project right from 10th July 2011 as explained above and they have sold it to their government. For execution and now it has done so.
Therefore, these agreements must be thrown out for the sake of the future generations of south Sudan. These ventures that the ‘Oyee party’ is indulging in with Khartoum are not in the interest of our country and there is no need to give birth now to a problem that will bind future generations into slavery yet again.
We should not be part of any foolish policies leading to take over of our country in future. Our relation with the Sudan is to be like any other. Our history says we can not live together and that was depicted in the overwhelming vote for separation in January 2011 of 98.83 percent. There is no need for politicking around.
Therefore I recommendation the following:
1) That Part II which expressly spells out the four freedoms in the ‘Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the other State and Related Matters between The Republic of the Sudan and The Republic of South Sudan’ be revoked.
2) The ministry of education to include the studies of Arab slavery in the Sudan and Africa in South Sudan curriculum. This should run from primary school to secondary education.
3) The media to constantly enlighten the South Sudanese of Arab discrimination and oppression of Africans in the Sudan, especially from 1956 to date. The role of Arab parties like the Umma party in planning and promoting genocide against Africans in the Sudan. For example, the 1965 massacres of South Sudanese in Juba, Wau and Malakal.
4) South Sudan’s relation with the Sudan to be like any other.
5 ) The government of South Sudan is not to lower its status by doing deals with mere parties of the Sudan such as the UMMA party.
6) GoSS to immediately embark on repatriation of South Sudanese nationals from the Sudan.
Li Like Sméagol, the shy and cunny murderous character obsessed with recovering the jewel in the film , ‘Lord of the Rigs’ Sadiq is not going to rest without destroying the sovereignty of South Sudan . Sadiq adamantly wants to see the old Sudan back as it was. It is up to us, the victims of Sadiq and Khartoum establishment to stop this deadly game.
The Author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at [email protected]