Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Comment on African Union's Road Map and United Nations Security Council's Resolution 2046

By: Gamal Adam

The African Union’s recent road map which the United Nations Security Council has endorsed with the Resolution 2046 includes a clause that puts pressure on the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to negotiate with Khartoum in order to settle the Sudanese problem in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile -- a clause which the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) has refuted through its commander in chief, Abdl-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu, who said that selective negotiations are not acceptable because they will never lead to sustainable peace since they do not address the root cause of the conflict in Sudan (see 10/5/2012). Mr. Al-Hilu also added that the international community has short memories with regard to Sudanese conflict and he tried to remind the AU and the UNSC that “Bashir has dishonored more than 43 peace agreements including key provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement….” I say yes, Al-Hilu and Sudan Revolutionary Front have got it right, whereas the international community represented by the African Union and the United Nations Security Council got it seriously wrong. The road map which has been endorsed by the Resolution 2046 might be suitable for the settlement of the crisis between Khartoum and Juba, but including to it South Kordofan and Blue Nile is a serious mistake. It is something in a gold dish, as Sudanese saying goes, which unexpectedly came across Khartoum’s way because it never thought that the AU and UNSC would be in such a level of naivety or even dangerous carelessness. There are many questions which those who included South Kordofan and Blue Nile to the road map for the settlement of conflict between Juba and Khartoum should have first asked themselves before doing what they have done. They should have asked themselves: “Where are the agreements which Khartoum signed with several fronts in 2005 and 2006, including Abuja Agreement, Asmara Agreement, and Cairo Agreement? Why did the majority of southern Sudanese opt for independence rather than unity? Was the unity really attractive and southern Sudanese did not want it simply because they wanted to have their own country for no genuine reason? Why did Pagan Amum cry that the SLPM/A and the NCP started the division of portfolios nicely as if it was a spoon for the NCP and a spoon for the SPLM/A, but as soon as they reached the portfolios of finance, energy and mining, security, interior, and so forth, the NCP threw its spoon away and used both hands? Why is Tijani Seisei crying that his Doha agreement is dying (even though I had told him many months before he signed it that his Doha was going to be born dead because he did not take right steps toward its conception)? How can Doha be an agreement without ceasefire and why have most of the crimes of which Al-Bashir and leading members of his party have been accused continued, including killing, rape, and various types of humiliation (e.g. farmers farm their own farm lands and harvest crops on condition that regime’s militiamen take what they want of the crops and leave the rest to farmers or farmers rent their own lands from militiamen or else they should not farm, militiamen also rape women almost every day and those of them who try to defend themselves or their relatives are killed, stabbed or seriously beaten up, and so forth)? And have Minni, Abul-Gasim Imam, Al-Hilu, Agar, and Arman gone back to arms simply because they are naturally inclined to fight, risking their own lives for no genuine reasons?” The people who formed the Sudan Revolutionary Front did not form it only to be dismantled by selective negotiations which lead to no settlement. In fact, the selective negotiations regardless of their number (43, more or less) did function like a type of medicine that doubled the resistance of virus once it was taken. One of these examples is the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which the NCP and the SPLM/A signed in 2005. Had that agreement been signed between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including the SPLM/A and the other constituents of the NDA, Sudan would still have probably been one country ruled by a democratically elected leader, the fruitless agreements that took place in Cairo, Asmara, Abuja, Doha, and Addis Ababa would have been avoided, and efforts and money wasted in them been invested somewhere else. Also, Dinka, Misseirya, and other Sudanese would have been interacting peacefully in Abyay and Hijleej, Al-Bashir’s racist speeches and Al-Intibaha’s abhorrent writings stopped, and the games of hatred in the name of Islam outlawed. However, according to some authentic sources, Dr. John Garang had at the beginning insisted that the problem of the whole Sudan be solved at once in Naivasha, but he let the idea of including the NDA to the talks go because of the mounting pressure that some IGAD members and friends exercised on him. There is no doubt that Khartoum had in some ways influenced the mediators to exclude the other members of NDA, as any move toward the segmentation of Sudan’s problem constitutes a dream that comes true for the NCP regime whose existence in power is based on dividing the Sudanese society at all levels starting from the smallest unit such as family to the entire country. For example, the regime divided members of the same families between supporters and enemies, causing conflicts among them, made population of the same villages kill each other, and tore the social web of Sudanese society by categorizing the people as either Arabs and non-Arabs (‘Abeed—slaves or non-full-citizens) and treat them accordingly. I would like to correct Mr. Al-Hilu that the problem of Sudan is not only limited to Blue Nile, Darfur, and South Kordofan—it has now reached almost every corner in the country and most Sudanese, except NPC members, and Al-Mahdis and Al-Marghanis and their entourages, are convinced that the NCP regime has to go by all means. The document which 12 Sudanese political parties and movements signed in Washington DC on May 10, 2012 and in which they decided to work together for the regime change is evidence that most Sudanese want this regime to go (see 10/5/2012). Moreover, the Sudan Revolutionary Front does not only include SPLM/A-N and the Darfur movements, as the Beja Congress and Kush which represent the far north and east are also its members in addition to some important political figures from the DUP and Umma party who had been fed up with the incompetent leadership of Al-Mahdis and Al-Marghanis and decided to join the SRF (see Sarri at 17/05/2012). I also met many individuals from the eastern, northern, and western parts of Kordofan who were members of the movements that were fighting the regime in Darfur and which are now part of the SRF. All of these efforts leading toward keeping the remaining Sudan united and even bringing South Sudan back in the future, if we are able to completely exclude religion, ethnicity, and race from politics, and make everything be based on citizenship. The frustration of these efforts, exerted by Sudanese of all backgrounds toward finding an inclusive settlement to their country’s problem, will definitely lead to further complication of already complicated situation, as there has never been peace in Darfur and Asmara Agreement did not bring any genuine stability in Eastern Sudan. Moreover, western Kordofan, far north, and many parts of Al-Jazeera (central Sudan) are all potential conflict areas. As Al-Hilu has mentioned, the way toward reaching sustainable peace for Sudan is the inclusive negotiations that will lead to the birth of a constitution that genuinely guarantees equal rights for all Sudanese citizens regardless of their backgrounds, bestows on them the right to never accept again any more coups d’état and resist dictatorships by all possible means, establishes a real national army, as there is no longer Sudanese army, and allows the people of each region to run the affairs of their own region, including the management of resources. I have to point out that the leaders of Sudan Revolutionary Front are partly responsible for the mistakes that the international community is about to make on Sudan, as they are not able to quickly get rid of the factional labels (e.g. SPLM/A North, SPLM/A Adelwahid or Minni, JEM, and so forth) that make them look divided. They have to raise themselves to the hopes of most Sudanese, pave the way for a Sudan that is for all Sudanese, and put an end to Al-Bashir’s Sudan of masters and slaves (or humans and insects). I hope that Sudanese all over the world will demonstrate against the AU and UNSC’s clause on South Kordofan and Blue Nile that will not only further divide Sudan, but will also prolong the suffering of Sudanese people under a regime which many Sudanese describe as the worst ever in the history of Sudan since 1821.

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