By: Justin Ambago Ramba
April 20, 2012 (SSNA) — Those who choose to remain cocooned in the myth that the republic of South Sudan and its northern neighbor which is ruled by the orthodox National Islamic Front (NIF) a.k.a the National Congress Party(NCP) of Omer al Bashir were unlikely to revert to war were being either too naïve or just wishful thinkers. Now they can see things for themselves for every development on the ground, be it militarily or politically, they are all strongly supportive of the opinion that the two countries are already at a very advanced stage of a real war.
In Khartoum an all-out war against Juba has been declared by President Omer al Bashir. This serious declaration came only a few days after the NCP dominated parliament in its sitting overwhelmingly voted to declare the Republic of South Sudan as an “Enemy State”. And in a culture where people mostly referred to one another as brother or sister, in fact to designate someone as an enemy is often taken more seriously than the real act of fighting itself.
And it’s no longer about beating the drums of war as some would like the public opinion to believe. Nor is it about the traditional brinkmanship between South Sudan’s ruling party, the SPLM and the northern Islamists of the NCP that has for long characterized the relationship between the two since the day they signed the embattled CPA in 2005.
At this stage of the unfolding crisis it is absolutely vital that all outsiders appreciate the basic fact that the chances for the two governments to ever reach any peaceful settlements over the unresolved issues can only be feasible through a third party which will militarily impose the full implementation of all the outstanding issues in the 2005 peace deal. Only and only then can this part of the world see peace and stability.
It is regrettable that the UNSC has not shown any clear lead in guaranteeing that the Republic of Sudan abides to the peace truce it has inked with its neighbor of South Sudan especially so on the issue4s of timely demarcation of the borders on one hand and the implementation of the Abyei Protocol.
Thabo Mbeki who has found a permanent employment for himself on Sudanese issues has since long become part of the problem and never will he be able to strike any break through given his leniency on the genocidal regime in Khartoum. On the other hand his employers in the African Union’s HQs in Addis Ababa not only do they lack the political will to handle such a complex issue, but are even short of the money to do so since the death of the organization’s most generous benefactor late Moamaar Ghadafi, the disposed Libyan dictator leaving the AU with a huge financial gap to fill.
There was no need for the so-called International community to bury its head in the sand when the possibility of a real return to war between the Sudan and the new State of South Sudan was long coming. The fact that Khartoum has continuously and systematically undermined the nascent state is everyone’s knowledge. The Khartoum regime has always carried out aerial bombardments, border incursions and subversive activities against South Sudan. What have the African Union or the United Nations been towards these aggressions were no more than issuance of statements
Controlled by Islamic fascists and bigots the likes of Nafie Ali Nafie, an NCP senior official and a Presidential Assistant or al Tayeb Mustafa of ‘Al Intibah’ tabloid, who has since been promoted to the unusual political post of the “Presidential Uncle”, no new agreement can be sealed between the two countries leave alone sticking to points already signed into the existing truce.
The international community as represented by the UN Security (UNSC) has only one genuine role to play in the South Sudan – Sudan conflict after the two have become separate countries and that is to use everything in its reach to enforce the implementation of all the protocols of the CPA, even if that means the use of military intervention.
As things stand now, the UNSC can only play an effect role if it immediately opts for a military intervention in the border area and force the demarcation of the borders according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and that is the 1/1/1956 borders plus the full implementation of the Abyei protocol to the letter and to the spirit of the truce.
As for the reclaimed land of Paanthou (so-called Heglig), this is an integral part of South Sudan per the map of the Old Sudan that stood on 1/1/56, although it was later annexed to the north following the discovery of oil in the region. To every concerned South Sudanese it was just a matter of time that once the CPA is fully implemented, Paanthou (Heglig, for further clarity) would automatically return under South Sudan’s administration.
Yet it cannot go without saying that the SPLM delegation to the Hague unfortunately seemed compromised by some internal party deals probably driven by ideological reasons, when Paanthou which was already annexed from the Unity State of South Sudan to the Southern Kordofan State of the North since the year 2004 and incorporated as part of Abyei was not objected to when it was abundantly known that the court was going to use the 1905 Abyei map and not the new map for ruling.
Furthermore the SPLM delegation had already committed a fatal mistake when it chose to declare in advance that it was going to abide by the ruling of the court, when history has shown that court rulings aren’t always right while each contestant reserves their right to appeal.
However Khartoum in defiance of the CPA is determined never to let go of the many territories it has annexed from the South Sudan. To achieve this it has intentionally avoided any peaceful settlement of border issues. Whether it is Thabo Mbeki of the African Union or Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, both gentlemen have spectacularly failed to enforce the border demarcation process for reasons they know better.
So what the fuss is it now all about if the government of South Sudan has now opted to militarily reclaim all its territories as they stood on the 01/01/56 given the fact that every attempt at negotiated settlement has been frustrated by the Islamist hardliner in Khartoum?
From all lessons learned so far it is clear that Khartoum is not prepared to demarcate its borders with South Sudan because in so doing it will lose all the strategic positions, natural resources and rich agricultural territories of Kafia Kinji, Hofrat Nihas , Megeinis , Paanthou and others. Waiting for Khartoum to concede these territories through negotiations alone is in fact to wait forever.
While the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign state has a recognized right to liberate and protect its territories, one only sees a further military pressure towards the total reclamation of all territories as it stood on 1/1/56 as the only viable option left on the table.
Hence it need not be overstressed that any naive attempt from the SPLM leadership to give in to outside pressures at these crucial moments would be politically detrimental. For to pull out the gallant SPLA forces from Paanthou will not only be a repetition of the mistake committed in the case of Abyei, but definitely also to dash any hopes of reclaiming the other territories annexed to the north by the successive ‘jallaba’ regimes which alternated in Khartoum since the British colonizers left the Old Sudan.
On the other hand external pressures will continue to mount on South Sudan to withdraw its troops from the reclaimed territory of Paanthou, yet there is every proof that an internationally guarded 1/1/56 borders between South Sudan and the Sudan will take ages to be realized especially given the fact that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon seems to have bought into the erroneous belief that the reclamation of this integral part of RSS is illegal .
However the United Nations and other international and regional bodies need to understand that with the complexity that surrounds the North-South borders, there is nothing that is 100% legal or illegal until the borders between the two countries are delineated and demarcated on the ground as they stood on 01/01/56. Any other judgments outside the full implementation of the CPA will remain as opinions which are controversial to the best.
Al Bashir’s weird speech : As for the irresponsible speeches delivered by the Omer al Bashir one can only thank him that so far he has indirectly helped at this crucial moment to unify the internal front in the Republic of South Sudan by arrogantly describing South Sudanese as “Insects” and people who do not understand. He also went on to sarcastically talk of how he would use “a stick” to discipline the people of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS). This only explains how the sick “Jallaba” still considers himself a slave Master of the indigenous black Africans. Whatever the cost, he must sincerely be made to pay for these insults.
Bashir cannot claim to be concerned about the citizens of RSS whom he has tortured for decades. He too is not in any way qualified to talk about an intention to be a liberator of the very people (South Sudanese) who voted (98.8 %) overwhelmingly against his discriminative rule and infavour of independence from his government.
What does this ‘ Jallaba dancer’ from ‘Hosh Banaga’ take the people of South Sudan to be when he [al Bashir] has literally spent all his life working hard to achieve an ethnic cleansing so that his preferred Arab riparian’s can enjoy a free hand on the land and its natural resources?
Whether there are still South Sudanese who continue to fight alongside the Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces [SAF] as admitted by Bashir in his latest declarations – is no secret to anyone. We all know that it isn’t the first time to neither see nor hear of such people throughout the history of our long liberation struggle against the northern Arab Islamic colonialism.
At the end of the day none of his (al Bashir’s) collaborators will ever dictate the will of the South Sudanese masses. Whatever the “Jallaba” gets from a sell-out can never stop the clock. And once the goods are delivered, a sell-out has no further use except to be dumped like the thousands who walked that same path before. The total reclamation of every inch of South Sudan’s territories is an inevitability that is destined to happen. To all the gallant forces of South Sudan, I salute you and congratulate you for the job well done. Forward Ever, Backward Never. Battles will be won and battles will be lost, however the struggle continues and victory is certain.
Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. He can be reached at: [email protected]