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African Union: Right Steps toward Comprehensive Settlement in Sudan

09-22-2014, 02:45 PM
Gamal A. Adam
<aGamal A. Adam
Registered: 09-22-2014
Total Posts: 1

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African Union: Right Steps toward Comprehensive Settlement in Sudan

    September 21, 2014
    By: Gamal A. Adam
    The efforts that African Union has recently started making through its High-Level Implementation Panel (HIP) led by former president of South African, Thabo Mbeki, regarding a comprehensive settlement to the disastrous situation in Sudan, constitute a first endeavor toward the right direction in the history of conflict and peace in the country. These efforts really deserve the support of Sudanese as well as that of non-Sudanese observers who really want a united, peaceful, stable and prosperous Sudan in the future.
    I have made it clear on many occasions that the Sudanese problem is one and needs to be settled all at once without any segmentation. Many opportunities were missed and resources squandered from Addis Ababa agreement in 1972 to recent attempts by Qataris (Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in 2011) and African Union (various meetings between Sudan People’s Liberation North (SPLMN) and the al-Bashir regime in Addis Ababa earlier this year). In particular, the Naivasha peace talks that resulted in the “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” (CPA) in 2005 would have settled the problem of the country entirely and saved its unity, probably with a first non-Arabized Nubian Christian in its presidency. However, the racism of those in power, self-centeredness and/or opportunism of some in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including individual rebels, and geo-political interests of mediators gave birth to a partial solution. The irony is that they named it a “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” despite its exclusiveness.
    Helping the government, movements and political parties “representing” various components of the Sudanese population is the only way toward a viable comprehensive solution and it is what the African Union is trying to do this time. Nevertheless, there is a lot of work waiting on the way before reaching the negotiations stage. The Sudanese society today is more fragmented than it has ever been and the alliances (i.e. between different factions of rebel groups, between the latter and political parties, and between political parties themselves) are rather tactical than strategic and based more on individual leaders’ interests than on the salvation of the country. For example, the political bodies such as National Consensus Forces and political-military bodies such the Sudan Revolutionary Front are all tactical bodies and, as a result, their leaders failed to come up with a convincing national program that would rally most of the Sudanese masses behind it. Therefore, the Sudanese opposition (both civil and military) has to overcome the myopic goals aiming at serving individual leaders’ interests, find a way to quickly unite itself, and come up with a comprehensive program that will put the unity of country and the wellbeing of its people above all religions, races/ethnic groups, and cultures that exist in Sudan.
    The biggest problem is the NIF regime. By his National Dialogue Speech of January 27, 2014 which he and his supporters call al-Wathba (literally, a big leap) and which most of the Sudanese people refer to as “al-Kazba” (lie), President Omer al-Bashir and members of his government are only looking for means to reduce the pressure they are experiencing in all fronts. According to several Sudanese media sources and African Union website, it seems that President al-Bashir promised the chair of AU’s High-Level Implementation Panel, President Thabo Mbeki, during their September 10, meeting in Khartoum, that the AU would host inclusive meetings toward a comprehensive peace deal for Sudan in Addis Ababa. It also seems that al-Bashir promised Mbeki that the cessation of hostilities in all parts of the country, most particularly in Blue Nile, Darfur and Nuba Mountains, must precede the prospective comprehensive peace talks in Addis Ababa. However, a week later, the same Sudanese news sources reported al-Bashir’s most prominent presidential aid, Ibrahim Ghandour, saying that there is no such a thing as cessation of hostilities, talks outside Sudan, or transitional government. He even went further to describe the AU’s High-Level Implementation Panel’s efforts toward finding a comprehensive settlement to Sudan’s problem as defective and detracting to al-Bashir’s initiative. Ghandour stressed these issues in a rally, which his party organized in ‘Atbara, Northern Sudan. Ghandour (http://http://www.sudantribune.comwww.sudantribune.com, 20/9/2014), Mukhtar al-Asumm (http://http://www.sudanile.comwww.sudanile.com, 20/9/2014) and others in al-Bashir’s NIF regime further continued reiterating that their regime will go ahead with the 2015 election plan and that the national dialogue will never postpone it. These statements reflect the NIF regime’s position and the al-Wathba initiative is only a lifejacket its leaders are using to survive in the turbulent sea of pressures in which they have put themselves. Therefore, the Sudanese people are right by considering al-Wathba dialogue as one of the regime’s habitual lies which they have been hearing for over a quarter of a century.
    The African Union is now facing the problem of bringing to a negotiation table an incompetent and fragmented opposition and a racist regime whose leaders are trying everything they can to stay in power forever. Therefore, the organization needs to adopt new mechanisms that will enable it to put pressure on both sides equally and then rally its member countries as well as other organizations and countries behind its initiative. One of the reasons why the NIF regime is adamant in the pursuit of its destructive policies and violating every single agreement it signs is the endless support its leaders received from the African Union and individual African countries in the international arena. Yet, it has become common knowledge that the regime’s racist plans aim at cleansing Sudan of entire groups simply because they are not Arabs. There is a ray of hope that the opposition will unite with a help from mediators, but the regime will continue to be the main problem until the African Union puts the security and wellbeing of Africans ahead of criminal regimes that victimize their own people for no reason.


    Gamal Adam
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    mailto:[email protected]@yahoo.ca
                  

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