By Laku Modi
August 27, 2005
Among the things stated by Dr. Mousa M. Elbash, whose paper discusses “The Legal Background of the Principle of Self-Determination and the illegitimacy of Secession” backed by President Woodrow Wilson’s “ Fourteen Points” speech on 8 January 1918 and other International organizations documents like UN, are the ideas of Self-Determination and Secession, the circumstances where Self-Determination can occur and his denial to accept South Sudan Self-Determination, the international law standard and the incompatibility of South Sudan self-determination with Wilson Fourteen Points , the concern in maintaining Sudan’s unity and his lack of not knowing South Sudan is experiencing foreign occupation or colonial domination. These concepts made him to conclude that South Sudanese have no right to claim self-determination unless it’s unanimously approve by the legitimate authority in Sudan and all Sudanese citizens . This article counters his false contention in a views that there is no incompatibility between South Sudan self-determination with Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” or any International law standard due to the fact that South Sudan is undergoing a colonial domination from foreign powers- the Arabs- in Sudan.
First and foremost, Dr. Mousa’s easy, which denied South Sudan self-determination, suffered seriously because he manipulatively used the true concept of self-determination which clearly exposed him as an occupier of my country Sudan and tuned it quickly to satisfy his ego and personnel taste. This common limitation of thinking further make him understand that Sudan is a nation with an assumptions that, his Arabs elites, who invaded and still occupying Sudan have secured their policy of assimilations, destruction of African Sudanese cultures, expansion of Arabs supremacy/superiority all over Sudan has reached its highest peak with no or little challenge. However, in order for Dr. Mousa to refrain himself from committing further academic suicide in future, he must understand what constitutes a nation as I don‘t see Sudan either a nation nor an independent sovereign state. I’m not going to define what a nation is for two things, first it is because I want to leave that to Mousa to do his home work on it, second the topic of discussion here is not about a nation. Therefore, my main interest is only to concentrate on South Sudan Self-Determination issue which Dr. Mousa failed to grasped in its historical context and rectify it for him since he blindly asserted that South Sudan Self-Determination is incompatible with Wilson “Fourteen Points” and international law.
According to Mousa and his UN document the right of Self-Determination applies to people under foreign colonial domination and not to the citizens of an independent states like Sudan. This means that the rebel groups within independent states like Sudan that fight to determine their political, economic, social or cultural development of indigenous peoples are not granted international recognition or legal support for some reasons that: one, that they’re not struggling against foreign domination; two, whoever support such rebellious group must be violating the right of their sovereign states as it is contrary to the UN Charter; and last but least, such situation will jeopardize other neighboring countries peace; these reasons altogether made him to arrogantly wrap up without shame that South Sudan didn’t qualify for self-determination under the provisions of international law unless it has been approve by them the northerners.
Comment, here I read the mind of this man in two ways: firstly, he didn’t sound like a concern citizen talking about his countries’ affairs, but a colonial master who has a short memory about his origin while at the same time exposing the dirty games which they have been playing with UN against Southerners for ages. Secondly, he tried to save the skin of his brother Al-Bashire by denouncing CPA under the term “secession” . Yet at the same coin he is mistakenly telling Southerners and the international community that a new concept “secession” has been added by the political parties at CPA, as a weapon aimed at destroying South Sudanese right of self-determination once and for all. In reminding South Sudanese the uselessness of UN as one of the obstacle organ for decades against their independence and at the same vain disclosing the ineffective of newly introduced theory known as “secession“, a tool capable of burying the right of self-determination of South Sudan, Dr. Mousa did a good service. For this reason I gave him 39 percent mark out of 100 for doing this wonderful job for Southerners.
Again, Dr. Mousa narrowly cited the Nigerian and the Cameroonian historical disputes and used some of the solutions which the two countries have scored for maintaining the unity of their respective states. These examples enabled him to justify and defend his effort to preserve the unity of Sudan and the illegitimacy of right self-determination of South Sudan.
Comment , since Mousa don’t know South Sudan is under colonial domination, I would like him to read a history book of Sudan entitled “ the entering of Arabs in the Sudan. Perhaps that will refresh his short memory and know were he belong. This will also assist him to revisit his comparisons of Nigerian to Nigerian and Cameroonian to Cameroonian, to South Sudanese or other African Sudanese, to them the Arabs in Sudan and find if there is relationships between South Sudanese and the Arabs in Sudan like the one in Nigerian and Cameroon. Otherwise, he used a poor examples which revealed his weakness in not identifying the commonality of those two countries in West Africa, which is not similar to Sudan’s Situation. Therefore, most of the quotations he copied from Wilson Fourteen Points and United Nations have nothing wrong with Southerners demand and cannot threaten South Sudan Self-Determination.
Therefore, without wasting time on Dr. Mousa flaws, he must be assured that, South Sudan has never been one with his de-facto “state Sudan” but has been and still experiencing foreign domination, exploitation, genocide, slavery, expansion, assimilation, dehumanization, corruption and all evils acts which most foreign occupiers have done in past history. The above criminal acts which the Arabs are perpetuating in Sudan as a whole and South Sudan in particle, have legalized the right of South Sudan self-determination which is compatible with Wilson “Fourteen points” . So, Dr. Mousa, if your international community, or the UN, which you asserted could deny this rights to my people in the South, then you better take this message to them that we in South Sudan have learnt two things in life. One , we either have right to live and survive in our rightful place in the Sun which will soon to be secured by self-determination or we die. But the choice we all picked is to live and survive and whoever want to take this humanly noble course from us, will only succeed in such endeavors over our graves.
Supporters and sympathizers of Dr Mousa and his Arabs elites might say Arabs in Sudan have right to be a Sudanese at least by birth since their grand grandfathers entered in the country over 150 years and so they have nowhere to go other Sudan. To say they’re occupiers and foreigners is to mean that they’re colonizers and thus South Sudanese or other African Sudanese brothers want to expel them from Sudan. Furthermore, why shouldn’t Southerners take the example of South Africa white settlers where Mr. Mandela and South Africans agreed to put up with them in a united South Africa. Even in North America, Australia, and some part of Latin American countries there is lots of whites from different background in Europe but are able to stay with the natives there. For this reason, Dr. Mousa is right to maintain Sudan’s unity just like other white settlers in other countries are doing. Therefore, if South Sudanese have problems with Arabs in Sudan, it should be resolve amicably as the like of Mousa is ready to confess to Southerners and give them other right especially the one from International Labor Organization which he mentioned in his arguments. Therefore, South Sudanese must put aside the policy of self-determination or else the Arabs will continue to misinform the international community like what Dr. Mousa is doing whether legally or illegally to block self-determination of South Sudanese.
Self-determination which South Sudanese are demanding for centuries have been misinterpreted in different ways either ignorantly or intentionally. But, the truth is every society or group of people within certain geographical location in the world always develop their struggle and destiny in accordance with their historical ideas, social welfare , norms, values, and resources. This therefore doesn’t mean that the political culture of every country can always be the same with another countryr. When people are doing lumbering in British Colombia don’t expect that to happen in Saudi Arabia. For this reason, Self-determination which southerners want has been developed in accordance with historical facts that recognized Arabs place in Sudan but have not compromise with their integration to Southern African society, as this did not work out like the one in South Africa. Furthermore, a number of factors and differences can put in consideration when somebody want to compare whites in South Africa and Arabs in Sudan. Whereas both White in South Africa and Arab in Sudan are colonizers and occupiers, South Africans white differ from our Arabs in Sudan in this way. When whites were exploiting South African resources at least they’ were able to set up modern infrastructures, better schools and hospitals for South African. yet Arabs in Sudan is exploiting resources, without even a single brief cast for them to change their clothing since they want to live with only one cloth, ( Jelabia) for the whole of their life in the South until they come to North where everything is in abundance. As to where they sleep, not even a pet cannot be there for a second. Perhaps this one distinction between the two race, though I’m not sure enable black South African to live with white South African in a united country. Don’t also forget that the black South Africans are in power and nobody will ever again throw them to the hell of past history. Therefore, by asking self-determination, Southerners are not trying to get ride of anybody in Sudan nor do they want other peoples’ examples though they can accept the good ones that can match their struggle. As for Mousa suggestion in trying to resolve Southerners crisis by the standard of ILO , he better keep it for himself or apply it to his people in the North Sudan when he return from exile in Mexico. Thus the above concerns cannot be the reasons for one to say South Sudan self-determination is irrelevant because this idea is rooted from historical perspective which proof to be the only mechanism that will provide peace to both Northern and Southern masses.
Last but not least, Dr. Mousa’s misconceptions about Sudan’s politics lack critical thinking, vigor, creativity, originality and PhD standard to enlighten the academics on the ongoing fundamental issues in Sudan. Therefore for future recommendation, I would him to gather enough information on the same topic so as to rescue his academic flawed. Otherwise, South Sudan Self-Determination is compatible with Wilson “Fourteen Points” and International law standard because South Sudanese
Of Greater South Sudan