June 15, 2013 (SSNA) — No one whether locally or internationally can still argue there is more hope to resolve Abyei stalemate peacefully. It has been everybody’s wish that dialogue could prevail over wrangling and peace over war. But all the well wishers, South Sudanese and Sudanese of good will are put to shame by intransigence of some of ruling elites in Khartoum. For many peaceful options were suggested and equally exhausted that resulted in failed negotiated settlements. These were Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA that devoted one of its protocols on Abyei referendum in tandem with that of Southern Sudan in 2011, Abyei Boundary Commission, ABC whose findings were rejected by Khartoum, The Hague Court of Arbitration whose ruling remains gathering dust on the shelves due to Khartoum refusal to implement it. Then, came Khartoum invasion of Abyei in response to its alleged provocation by Juba in the run up to independence declaration. The whole world weighed in to resolve the crisis, urging both side to establish the Abyei joint administration and keep off the area militarily, but Khartoum refused the proposal while Juba has ever since been begging the AU and UN to either sweet talk out or flash out Sudan armed Forces all in vain. This resulted in recent out bust by President Kiir in accusing the two bodies of bias.
That is true because when South Sudan was allegedly invaded and took over the oil field of Heglig, the whole world was on her neck while condoning the same invasion and takeover of Abyei by Sudan. Khartoum has not only taken over the urban parts of the disputed territory, but further urges Miseriya Arab to drive out the Ngok Dinka from their remaining ancestral rural land. One of these atrocities is recent cold blood murder of Ngok Dinka paramount chief, Kuol Deng Kuol not in his own house, but in the hands of AU peace keeping troops who supposed to protect him.
If such atrocious killing could not jolt AU and UN into action, then what else? The gruel act has caused President Salva Kiir Mayardit and all concerned patriotic South Sudanese to question the AU/UN’s motive of lulling us into deep sleep while Miseriya are busy ethnically cleansing Abyei of all Dinka Ngok people over night. The same concern has made leader of Minority party, SPLM-DC in parliament, Honorable Onyoti Adigo to propose the transfer of Abyei to a neutral administration run by UN and AU so that Abyie referendum takes place in October as planned. This is normal procedure in UN system whereby two rival groups over a disputed territory are asked to vacate it in order for a peaceful referendum to take place whose verdict shall be respected by both sides and problem solved once and for all. It happened in colonial times back in 1940s – 1950s and recently it was the case in Estimore, Indonesia and Kosovo. Then, what is unique about Abyei’s issue which is even more genuine and complicated to attract action than that of Estimor and Kosovo. Unlike Ngok Dinka with Arabs, Estimoris are from the same Asiatic race with Indonesians as is the case with Kosovars and Serbians.
My own proposals
Due to Khartoum’s intermittent failure to listen to the voice of reason, South Sudan government should redirect its efforts in the following alternative avenues:
One, issues an ultimatum to Federal Republic of the Sudan to withdraw from Abyei within specific time frame for UN-AU to take over and organize a free and fair referendum as scheduled.
Two, failure of which it shall tantamount to declaration of all out war by Sudan against Republic of South Sudan.
Three, South Sudan should by now begin sending troops and essential relief items for the returning Ngok Dinka to Abyei.
Four, due to austerity biting government and everybody, all South Sudanese citizens in and abroad should be asked to contribute whatever they have, be it Dura, clothe, fair of shoes, money, medicines, etc. as part of general efforts towards an impending war with the Sudan.
I proposed all the above simply because Sudan is gravely exploiting vulnerability of South Sudan. This vulnerability is in form of our dependence on Sudan as our main supply route for cheaper consumer goods and source to which our oil pipelines are connected besides our current economic depression.
All these weak points have made South Sudan beholden and slave to Sudan. Therefore, it is high time for South Sudan to choose between food and her dignity. Now it is up to the South Sudan to assert sovereignty by relocating her business interests to neighboring East Africa and like Jews leaving Egypt never to look back again. Or failure to do so, South Sudan shall remain deprived of her valuable territories through black mails by using food and oil pipelines, confined in an abject poverty and virtually bartered at will.
South Sudan is land birthed out of our nakedness and nothingness and what brought her into being was our sheer determination to be free and honored in the community of nations that cherishes freedom and sovereignty as the only means to an end: material needs.
And those who may say they are too hungry to fight for their right, like Fidel Castro who opened leeway to Cubans clamoring for cheap life in the west, President Kiir should allow them to leave South Sudan alone and freely for anywhere of their own choosing.
These terrorists, who burn innocent children, old women and men in their sleep in Abyei, need to be taught one or two lessons as they so wish. Of course they may go to Arab cousins in the Mideast, urging them to wage a holy war against us. This is nothing new. As for us there is nothing holy about an exercise that snubs life out of human being. Which was why South Sudan won the war full and square because what they call holy, God’s spirit was not with them anyway. These are just bunch of terrorists hiding behind all the glorious terminologies of God they can lay their wagging tongues on. In response, we must call up on the west to help us so that the next phase of fighting the Sudan as terrorist state of her likes has begun in earnest. Sudan is hell bent on denying us peace and development she jealously enjoys.
Deng Vanang: Journalist and Executive member of South Sudan official opposition, SPLM-DC. He can be reached at:email@example.com
NB. All the words expressed in this opinion piece are solely mind and cannot be attributed to SPLM-DC as the party.