An Open Letter to President Elbashir
AN OPEN LELLER TO
General Omar Hassan Elbashir
President of The Republic of The Sudan;
Colonel Dr. John Garang de Mabior
Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army;
Lt. General Lazarus Sumbeiywo Chairman of IGAAD’s Delegation for Sudan Peace Initiative;
USA Special Envoy to Sudan’s Peace Negotiations;
Fellow Sudanese Compatriots
May 19th, 2004
Dear Honorable Excellencies and Fellow Sudanese Compatriots:
First of all I would like to salute you all in the name of our beloved Sudan. Before
I dwell into the topics of this open letter, I also would like to pay a special tribute to all the precious souls we lost during the last fifty years of our conflict.
As a Sudanese residing in Canada, I am sincerely concerned over the fate of our country. Apart from my praise for your achievements for the people of Sudan,
I would like to express my view points on a few matters of great importance regarding peace in Greater Sudan.
We Sudanese people, Northern and Southern alike, respectfully recognize your ongoing efforts and will continue to support and cherish them. As manifested by Machakos and Naivasha’s protocols; your persevering efforts have resulted into one of the patriotic achievements in our nation’s search for peace. Within beloved Sudan or abroad, we have been anxiously awaiting the news of any break-through that would ultimately offer another chance for peace, unity, justice, and prosperity for all Sudanese. As your fellow compatriots, we are not merely waiting for the mysterious news to happen, but we have gone an extra mile in anticipation, meditation, and dire expectation for a true and everlasting peace. Sympathizers or opponents, politicians or common people, uniformed citizens or civilians, elderly or young, men or women and children of Greater Sudan have all vested their last hope and trust upon you.
Honorable excellencies, you have been marking this
particular time in the history of our people with your exceptionally serious and rigorous negotiations, as the details embodied in the agreement to be signed have unmistakably proved to many of us who read the texts. You have indeed demonstrated diligence, wisdom and sense of responsibility for the people’s cause. However, as is necessary and complimentary to the realization of peace in Greater Sudan - during the period after the signing and expected jubilation over the long awaited brotherly agreement, a few matters of immense importance must be pointed out for your special attention.
Without the following matters being dealt with, the
peace process might not go as smoothly, especially when we all return home:
v Many southern and northern Sudanese expect to see justice done with regard to their perished loved ones, lost properties and their traumatized well-being;
v Many individuals, tribal groups and others still live under tense conflicts exacerbated by lack of clear and well-intentioned reconciliation initiatives;
v Both main sides of the conflict, the
Government of the Sudan and SPLM/A have made mistakes demonstrated by defensive and offensive actions, and as a result many people suffered horrible consequences;
v Many important political forces and
individuals who can and should contribute in the peace process are not given the opportunity to be part of it;
v Darfur’s conflict still remains as one of the alarming disasters in Sudan’s series of civil wars, and a disaster to the whole continent.
Honorable excellencies, it is my humble opinion that even if the civil wars in the Sudan with the highly recorded toll in human lives, properties and
infrastructures did not directly involve or implicate each and every Sudanese, the work for unity has to involve and implicate each and every Sudanese.
I would therefore like to suggest the following as ways of dealing with the issues mentioned above:
• The two negotiating parties, the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A should present an apology to the people of Sudan for whatever loses, sufferings, problems, and issues the people have endured as a result of the civil war.
• An amnesty has to be declared by all and for
all, coupled with sincere urge for forgiveness and tolerance.
• The truth has to be uncovered with regard to dubious and unaccounted acts of atrocities and injustices committed by all implicated parties.
We may want to consider duplicating the South African experience with their Truth and Reconciliation Commission - as a sincere demonstration of willingness for amnesty and reconciliation.
• An inter-regional and inter-tribal
reconciliation initiatives must be undertaken to settle old time hanging disputes and outrageous elements of vengeance among different groups such as Dinka-Nuer problem, Dinka-Jur-Fertit Problem, Dinka-Didinga problem, Fur-Arab problem, and so forth.
• Civil wars are civil wars no matter whether in Darfur or in Junub El Sudan, therefore Darfur’s issue must not be dealt with separately, as it severely impacts the whole country and all Sudanese. Since true peace can never be partial if unity is to prevail. Darfur’s issue has to be dealt with fairly and immediately, so as to avoid what previous regimes could have done but did not do in 1983 when the first spark was ignited fi Junub el bilaad.
• Political organizations with significant representations and influential politicians must be given an opportunity to participate, if not in the almost-concluded negotiations, at least immediately in the early stages of peace implementation. Such
organizations and their affiliates need proper assurance as to what level and in what dimensions their role will be in the post war era.
Honorable excellencies, you must remain assured that we are behind every truthful, wise and genuine step you have taken towards achieving everlasting peace, justice and prosperity for us Sudanese people.
I would like to express my most esteemed gratefulness and appreciation to you all for the patriotic tasks and responsibilities you are assuming at this important juncture of our history.
A concerned Sudanese National
Residing in Canada