By Charles Deng
Readers should not consider the several articles I have written thus far, as a complete recount of our complex political history in the past fifty years. What I have attempted was to make stops at certain critical events, which if our leaders had acted differently, we would have perhaps arrived at the safe shores of our destiny. It did not, however, happen that way, and we are where we are today. Was it the will of God, as the theocratic regime of Khartoum and al-Sadig al-Mahdi Umma Party, would want us to believe? Or is our predicament due to the fact that our early leaders had no vision or sense of history? Or is it due to, as some non-ruling Arab-Islamic elite claims, the separatist tendencies prevailing among southern leadership, which had resulted in wars and civil strife?
Obviously, the lack of vision and sense of history among the early Arab-Islamic leadership has greatly contributed to the Sudan being known as the “Sick Man” of Africa. Over the last fifty years, we have not sought solutions to our problems, but we have insisted that our problems are the creation either of the colonialists or the separatists among southerners. For the last fifty years, we have blamed, sometimes, our problems on the invisible enemy, while rejecting the suggestion that the enemy is in the midst of us. The enemy has been and is still going to be the imposition of the ruling and the non-ruling Arab-Islamic elite of the Arab-Islamic identity on the mosaic Sudan. It is our refusal to deal headlong with the problem of identity, which lies at the core of our ambivalence and the muggy vision of our leaders.
Northern Sudanese, unlike southern Sudanese who do not have this problem, live a “split personality”. They look at themselves as racially and culturally Arabs, but the Arabs of the Middle East consider them as black people, not real Arabs. This “split personality” has created, both an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the Arabs of the Middle East, and a superiority complex when dealing with the rest of the non-Arab Sudan. They can be exaggeratingly accommodative with the Arabs, particularly the Egyptians, to an extent of compromising territorial integrity of the Sudan. Examples of such compromising attitude is the slogan of “unity of the Nile Valley”, which a number of the pro-Egyptian Arab-Islamic elite began singing since the early years of independence. It was this inferiority complex that allowed General Abboud to concede the town of Halfa and the surrounding villages to be permanently inundated with the water of Aswan High Dam. In 1970, it was the same inferiority complex that allowed Nimeiri—a Nubian who can hardly speak fluent Arabic—to destroy, both, our tested educational and legal systems, which Sudan had developed over more than seventy years in favor of the lousy Egyptian educational and legal systems. It is the same inferiority that made Nimeiri also create a sham parliament called “the Nile Valley parliament”. Finally, we witnessed in the 90s the generosity of the NIF in offering Haleib, as gift to Egypt.
Despite the obvious betrayal of the country in the acts referred to above, northerners have, nonetheless, described southerners as the product or the mouthpiece of the colonialists and white missionaries. Northerners have further unjustly described southerners as people who do not know their interests and the interests of the country, when indeed no southerner has ever conceded any part of the South, and therefore the Sudan, to any neighboring country in the manner northerners have done. My own northern colleagues have held such views, and I do not see what will make them change those views. Why do northerners think the way they think about southerners of not knowing the interest of the country, when all (northerners and southerners) have gone to the same schools and universities the colonialists founded? What qualifies northerners to be more conscious of the interest of the country more than the southerners? I guess it is the unfounded superiority complex, to which we have alluded. Superiority complex has made northerners to look upon southerners condescendingly. When southerners called for a system of government suitable for the governance of the country, as vast as the Sudan, northerners characterized it as an idea planted by the colonialists in the heads of southerners. In addition, that superiority complex and condescending attitude have made northerners to look to the Arab World, and find belonging to that world more than to their non-Arabs who share the land, Sudan, with them.
When northerners do not find open arms from the Arabs because they consider them abid, they turn inwards and against their fellow citizens, the non-Arab Sudanese, with devastating violence, as we have seen in the South, and now in Darfur.
Soon after the independence of the Sudan in 1956, al-Azhari hurriedly rushed to the Arab League requesting membership for Sudan as an Arab country. However, Lebanon and other Arab countries had other ideas; Lebanon voted against the membership of Sudan in the Arab League because Lebanese honestly considered the Sudanese as a bunch of slaves, and not Arabs. Recent experiences in the tiny petrodollar emirates of the Gulf and Saudi Arabia have proved to the Sudanese working in those emirates that they are just looked upon as another poor black labor, no more no less. In the sixty years of the existence of the Arab League and countless summits, Sudan had organized only one in 1967, in the aftermath of the Israeli wiping of all Arabs in the June war. During that year Arab differences had reached unbridgeable gap, only an uninterested party was required to fill that gap. Sudan, being a marginal member only, was chosen as the most qualified to plead with the bickering Arab nationalist leaders, led by Abdel Nasser, and the traditional petrodollar kings, led by King Failsal Al Saud.
The Arab-Islamic elite holds the view that it has a messianic mission to Islamize and arabize the South Sudan, in particular, and Africa, in general. The battle cry of the Arab-Islamic elite is total and comprehensive arbization and islamization of the South, and hence South becoming a stepping-stone into Africa. Our northern brothers have promised their Arabs “kinsmen”, to arabized and Islamize the South, and a lot of petrodollars have gone into this project, but with no success.
This has been the solution adopted by the ruling and non-ruling Arab-Islamic elite to the problem of diversity in the Sudan. In an interview with al-Sayyad, a weekly Lebanese magazine 1988, the Islamic ideologue, al-Turabi said: “it was our destiny that we (meaning the so-called Arabs) have been tested (perhaps, by God) with a complex structured country, almost representative of African peoples, with its languages, ethnicities, and traditions”. Diversity, which sensible people would consider as a source of power and admiration, becomes, in the view of al-Turabi, a trial by God. In a lecture in one of the Gulf emirates, titled “The Future of Islam and Arabism in Sudan” (Mustagbl al-Islam wa al Arouba fi Sudan), al-Sadig al-Mahdi proposed forcible Arabization and Islamization of Southern Sudan. The implementation of this project required Ghazi Salah Atabani to shout at the SPLM/A delegation and IGAD diplomats during peace talks in 1997 that southerners “would neither get secularism nor independence” and that “the Sudan’s mission was to islamize Africa”. It also required the philosopher of political Islam Abdel Wahab El-Effendi to admit that South can go its separate way, but the problem was the ”Heathen jungles of Africa”.
Regardless of what the northern Arabs thought or planned for the country, southerners have had different ideas about the Sudan. No dignified people (and southerners are dignified people, even if the Arabs may think otherwise) could allow others to copy them like the sheep dolly. Southerners decided that they were not going to sit on their hands, blaming colonial inequities in their country or blaming invisible enemies, but to resist the new masters, while making the statement that there are better ways to govern a country in the size of a continent like the Sudan. Southern politicians made it abundantly clear that if such Sudan cannot be achieved, the partition of the country would be more justified and sensible. Over the last fifty years, the north has refused equality of the citizens of Sudan or the partition of the country. During this period millions of lives have been lost, precious and scarce resources have been wasted and the country has lost forever the opportunity of being the pioneer of diversity in Africa, a source of strength. Northerners who belong to political Islam (NIF and Umma Party of al-Sadig al-Mahdi) think that they are culturally superior and entitled to rule, and that God Himself has sanctioned their superiority through Islam. While those who belong to Arab nationalism (SCP, Baathists, Nasser followers) think that they are culturally superior and entitled to rule, and Arabic language has sanctioned that superiority.
Most of the northern Sudanese have had lifetime wish for the Arabs of the Middle East to genuinely recognize them as Arabs. This wish forces the northern Arab-Islamic elite to find ancestors between Aws or Khazrag—two ancient Arab Peninsula tribes. The desire for recognition as Arabs, according to al-Baghir al-Afif, has created this inferiority complex and crisis of identity, and the impossible desire to be “white”. This ambivalence about skin pigmentation has made northerners to invent colors that do not belong to human race, such as akhdar, azreg, asfar, etc. Inferiority complex further works its magic in the northern Sudanese intellectual writings, beginning with al-Mahjoub to Ghazi Salah el-Din Atabani. Al-Mahjoub held the view that although the northern Sudanese is a product of interaction between many cultures, there is no doubt that the Arab culture is the dominant, and that Islam is the religion of the majority among northern Sudanese. In fact, al-Mahjoub saw the indigenous non-Arab cultures as anomalies that must be remolded through arabization and islamization. Poets like Mohammed al-Mahdi Majzoub, Salah Ahmed Ibrahim and Mohammed al-Makki Ibrahim followed this pattern. Although Salah Ahmed Ibrahim was a Nubian and possibly Mohammed al-Makki is from West Africa, and therefore, both not Arabs, the former used to insist that the Sudanese were “the Arabs of the Arabs”.
Though the death of one human being is painful wherever it occurs and whatever his/her skin pigmentation is, a northern Sudanese Arab intellectual, however, is ready to protest and raise hell with the death of one Palestinian at the hands of Israel. For the last fifty years millions of southern Sudanese have died at the hands of Sudan army, police and northern civil servants, working in the Southern Sudan, without one voice rising in the north indicating some kind of disgust and resentment. On the contrary, the history of the past fifty years is replete with tacit approval of the behavior of the ruling northern elite in the South. The death of southern Sudanese, or of a non-Arab Sudanese in the eyes of northern Sudanese, is nothing but a deserved death. This is being demonstrated clearly in the present crisis in Darfur, where western media has been exposing the crimes of the NIF regime in that region, while the Arab-Islamic elite maintains inexplicable silence, bordering complicity in the NIF crimes.
The inferiority complex the Arab-Islamic elite exhibits toward the Middle East Arabs turns into superiority complex vis-à-vis their black countrymen under the rubric of superiority of Islam, Arabic language and Arab culture. Every non-Arab Sudanese, though a Muslim, is automatically abd. Their cultures are despised and called either “heathen” or “anomalies”. And consequently, an Arab-Islamic elite is not ready or willing to learn an African culture or language, even among those who have studied social anthropology of the southern or non-Arab Sudanese tribes. While one finds European scholars or colonial administrators well versed in southern languages. Examples of scholars were professors Godfrey Lindhart and Evans-Prichard; the former spoke Dinka, while the latter spoke both Nuer and Zande. Almost all the British colonial administrators who worked in the South spoke local languages in the districts they administered. The Arab-Islamic elite considers southern or non Arab Sudanese languages as dialects or ruthana, meaning an unintelligible speech, therefore, not worth of learning. The northern elite considers these languages and cultures as backward and not capable of expressing ideas, when none of this elite has attempted to learn them in order to come to that conclusion.
Politically, the superiority complex is even more evident in the manner northern politicians have treated southerners with disdain, throughout the last fifty years; and hence southern proposals for the unity of Sudan were ignored, insisting that unity can only be achieved by forcible imposition of Islam and Arabic Language. In 1947, before the British colonialists could withdraw from the Sudan, southerners agreed to the unity of the Sudan, provided that unity should be within a federal Sudan. Again southerners raised the issue of federation during the deliberations of the constitutional committee established by the Governor-General of the Sudan, paving the way for self-government in 1951/52. When al-Azhari, upon the advice of the Americans, felt the need of Sudan independence declaration should be made from inside parliament, against the provisions of the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement 1953, he had to pacify southerners with a false promise that federation would be given due consideration when writing the permanent constitution of the Sudan. Based on that promise, southerners voted for independence of the Sudan on December 19, 1955, a promise that was shortly after discarded, with al-Azhari himself threatening southern members of parliament, with "the use of full force of steel", if they continued to call for federation.
After the fall of Abboud’s dictatorship in 1964, southerners once more proposed federation during the Round Table Conference. With the exception of the Republican Brothers (the party of the visionary Mahmoud Mohammed Taha) and the Sudan Communist Party—with the latter proposing Soviet style autonomy—southerners came out of the conference empty handed. All efforts to include some kind of autonomy in the 1968 draft constitution were frustrated by al-Sadig al-Mhadi and his brother-in-law, Dr. al-Turabi. This time around the demand for autonomy did not only come from the South, but it was the demand from the rest of non-Arab Sudan. Thus the Addis Ababa Accord met the same fate like previously unfulfilled promises.
In the face of this rejection, southerners had no choice, but to resort to war. Northerners have thus far refused to recognize the mosaic nature of Sudan and the diversity of its cultures, since independence in 1956. Admittedly, the Sudan is not the only country that suffers from the problems of diversity, but countries that have had this problem have known visionary leaders who succeeded in overcoming the same problems, such as India. Problems of diversity are best resolved through continuous dialogue among different nationalities, provided that no nationality should arrogate to itself the right to exclude others, as it has happened in the Sudan. The insistence of the Arab-Islamic elite on one-dimensional Sudan, i.e., the Arab-Islamic dimension, has forced others to resort to war. Southerners have always been interested in such dialogue, but the north has always met them with violence. Consequently, the Sudan in the last fifty years has vacillated between war and peace, and a lot of precious time and resources have been wasted.
During the third democratic period, al-Sadig al-Mahdi again frustrated the efforts of all Sudanese political forces to have a constitutional conference in which the Sudanese could have deliberated and come up with a new Sudanese political dispensation that would have stopped the war. Under al-Turabi/al-Bashir NIF theocratic regime and along the paternalistic line, al-Turabi set up an empty shell federation, and divided up Sudan into myriad of states, without any meaningful federal powers. It is a well-known constitutional principle of government that a federal system under a theocratic totalitarian system is a farce. A federal system by its nature is a democratic institution of government and cannot be exercised under a theocratic military dictatorship.
In the early 50s of the last century, northerners used to argue that there was no single entity called South Sudan, but disparate squabbling backward tribes, which could not be considered as one people. Based on that assumption, successive Khartoum governments denied the South the right to be one region. This argument persisted for long until the Round Table conference in 1965, and the proposal for one region in the South was aborted by al-Turabi and al-Sadig al-Mahdi in the draft constitution of 1968. This argument, however, went on in disregard to the fact that these tribes of the South are the same tribes, which are the backbone of the 53 African nation-states, members of the erstwhile OAU, and now the AU.
When the argument of homogenous entity could no longer hold water, the South lack of resources was echoed all around Africa. Arab-Islamic elite projected this argument in its political literature that South is too poor to be a state of its own, and that the north was spending its resources to shore-up education, health and development. In fact, at the time this was being said, there were no schools, hospitals, roads or development in the South of any kind whatsoever. The few and only schools and hospitals that were operating, was those either built by the colonialists or by the missionaries. If there was any spending in the South by the North, it was spending on war of subjugation. The railway line to Wau constructed by Abboud was falling apart because of lack of spending on its upkeep. The poverty of the South until today was not due to its poverty per se, but due to underdevelopment.
In the late 70s of the last century, when suddenly the north realized that South was rich with petroleum resources, the poverty of the South was dropped, and northern elite stopped talking about poverty also. Instead, Nimeiri began annexing oil rich areas of the South to the North, in an attempt of giving the world the impression that the oil areas were in the North. When NIF came to power and the proven oil reserves became technically a reality, it pursued a policy of emptying the oil areas from its original population, and resettling Arab tribes in the same areas. The Dinka of Abyei, the Nuer and the Dinka of Bentiu were bombed and their villages were razed to the ground to give space to the resettling Baggara Arab tribes. There was no further talk about the poverty of the South, but the pillaging and stealing of its wealth.
Finally, the federal system provided under the Machacos Protocol and its sisters, though democratic, does not mean much to the southerners. It is only acceptable as long as it is a temporary arrangement before their exercise of the RSD, which in the mind of many southerners is the most important single provision of the Naivasha peace deal. For fifty years, Southerners have become tired of begging the north for unity. They have died in millions; their women have been either raped or used as sex slaves; their children have been taken as slaves; and their property has been looted. Northerners carried out all these despicable acts since 1955. How can North or those few southerners who speak about the united Sudan expect southerners to vote for unity? Come the day of the RSD, and southerners—God willing—will deliver a resounding “NO” to unity.
A respectable writer and intellectual from the North, Dr Abdel Latif al-Bouni, who recently visited Juba, has confirmed this fact that southerners are determined to separate. Dr. al-Bouni did not only lament the pathetic conditions of Juba, the principal southern town, but could not imagine how the conditions of the rest of the South would be. Dear Dr. al-Bouni, I can assure you; much of the South never witnessed any kind of development since creation—as recently declared recently by John Garang himself.
Southerners and the SPLM/A should make it clear to the Arab-Islamic elite that they did not take to the bush and sacrificed millions of lives in order to restore to the Arab-Islamic elite their stolen power. If the Arab-Islamic elite is genuinely seeking freedom, it should take up arms and remove al-Bashir/al-Turabi from power. Why on earth should southerners fight on behalf of the same people who have been the cause of their miseries? What is the difference between al-Turabi and al-Sadig al-Mahdi? Both of them have been and are enemies of the South; both of them have fought southerners. When al-Sadig al-Mahdi joined the NDA in 1996, he could not persevere for two years. He quickly decided to join al-Turabi and al-Bashir and met them in Geneva and Djibouti, on the promise that he would be accommodated in the NIF system. Under these circumstances, why should not southerners sign a peace deal that has afforded them RSD? Indeed, the North wants southerners to fight on, until no southerner is left on the face of the earth.
For the last six months, northern Sudanese have attacked and ridiculed southerners and the SPLM/A for leaving them out in the cold. What did the northern Arabs do to remove al-Bashier/al-Turabi from power? Nothing. Their logic is that SPLM/A has not removed the NIF, while they (northerners) have migrated to America and Europe in millions, without firing a single bullet at the NIF. Even when the NDA opened up a front in Easter Sudan, the majority of the fighters were from Beja and southerners. Now, the SPLM/A has signed a peace to save the lives of southerners, the Arab-Islamic elite is telling Darfur armed organizations to remove al-Bashir and fight to the last man in Darfur. Indeed, our brothers in Darfur have lost focus of their main objective, their just cause, and organizations like JEM are fighting for al-Turabi. This is what the northern Arabs want; somebody to fight for their freedom, while their kids go to schools in the UK and the US.
Further, NIF membership is not composed of southerners, but of northerners. Muslim Brothers are the product of Islam and of Arabs. What is the responsibility of the South to remove them from power? Are they not members of the Arab-Islamic elite? Who put them in power? Is it not the failure of al-Sadig al-Mahdi, who today commands the support of parties like the SCP, Baath, Nasser Socialists, and, paradoxically, al-Turabi’s National Popular Congress? In as much as I hate the NIF, if NIF can successfully implement RSD, as provided in the Naivasha protocols, so be it! The northern opposition has refused to approach Naivasha with an open mind, despite all its provisions that talk about democratic change. It has therefore itself to blame, and not the SPLM/A or southerners.
The idle talk about the SPLM/A not having removed shari’a from the North is sheer nonsense. From 1985-1989, the elite had power and failed to use it to remove the September laws from the statute books, simply because they had trusted Muslim Brother like Sawar-el-Dahab and Gizouli Dafalla with the leadership of the April uprising. Where is he responsibility of Dr. John Garang, if shari’a remains supreme in the North? Again the person that is leading opposition to Naivasha, al-Sadig al-Mahdi, refused to repeal these laws. If the secular elite does not like shari’a, why is it lining-up behind the Imam?
The ruling and the non-ruling Arab-Islamic elite have been insisting on the unity of the Sudan over the last fifty years. And for the sake of maintaining that unity, it has committed crimes in the South, and now in Darfur, of genocide. However, what has the Arab-Islamic elite offered to maintain that unity, besides violence? Over the last fifty years it has slaughtered millions in the South and Darfur and displaced further millions.
Because of wars, draughts and famines, southerners and Darfurians have made it since 1984 to the fringes of Khartoum. These victims of man-made and humanitarian disasters have been flagrantly discriminated against and described as the “Black Belt”. Well, these are the people who know why the unity of the Sudan is a farce. And once they return to the South during the interim period, their vote will be emphatically for separation because of their bitter experience in the North.
Moreover, southerners will exercise the right to separate, because it will be the beginning of a fundamental restructuring of the Sudan. The Arab-Islamic elite had ruled the Sudan for the last fifty years, as purely an Arab and Islamic country, when it has never been, and despite southern Sudanese having begged them, during that period, to work out a political dispensation that would accommodate all Sudanese. Due to the superiority complex, which it has exercised for the last fifty years, against all attempts at preserving the unity of the Sudan on the bases of equality, have been rejected; the northern Arab-Islamic elite had refused the voice of reason. It should therefore understand that no human being is ready to accept living perpetually as a second-class citizen, or perpetually endure all the inhuman crimes committed against him by somebody who equates himself in theory as “equal” citizen with his victim of injustice.
There will be no amount of persuasion that will convince southerners to vote for unity. The memories of the last twenty-two years are impossible to wipe out, even if you turn, within these six years of transitional period, the South into one of the Asian Tigers. If the call of the Arab-Islamic elite, led by Imam al-Sadig al-Mahdi, for a constitutional conference is to consider a peaceful and a velvet divorce between the North and the South, as happened between the Czechs and Slovaks—which I doubt— then we will all support him. In other words, the bitter memories of the last fifty years will negate any attractiveness of unity to southerners. For southerners, the RSD is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I do not think any people would waste such an opportunity, against a future promise that we will have a just Sudan. Southerners have experienced northern promises, which, at the end of the day, amount to nothing.
For fifty years, however, South has resisted this forcible Arabization and Isalmization, paying, in the process, heavily in life and property. Southern dignity was trembled upon and grossly violated. Early northern military and civil personnel who replaced the colonialists began this program of forcible arabization and islamization. These military and civil personnel aimed not at creating a united Sudan, but at establishing Arab hegemony over the Sudan. This idea was early expressed by Mohammed Ahmed al-Nigumi when he said ”… party politics and political propaganda, if practiced in their country (South), would bring confusion and give a chance to crooks to assume false leadership…” Hence, northerners planned from the early days of independent Sudan to have a country in which the so-called Arabs formed the privileged class and the non-Arabs second-class citizens.
Consequently, Sudan has been at war with itself for more than thirty-eight years of its fifty years of existence. During these thirty-eight years wars have not been confined to the South only, but have spread to the East (the Beja Congress and the Free Lions) and West (SLM/A and JEM). It has been a general protest by the non-Arab Sudan against Arab Sudan. This phenomenon is indeed threatening the very fabric and existence of Sudan, as a country. Nevertheless, the ruling and the non-ruling Arab-Islamic elite seem to have learned very little, if anything at all, from phenomenon of wars.
As soon as, the SPLM/A signed the historic Naivasha peace deal with the NIF, voices surfaced as to how the SPLA dared signed a bilateral agreement with despicable NIF. All northern parties, Umma, SCP, Baath, NDA, DUP, NCP etc., protested that the agreement does not call for the NIF relinguishing power, or at least, guarantee democratic changes in the Sudan. These parties argue that they were not a party to the negotiations that resulted in Naivasha, and therefore, the agreement was bilateral and should not bind them. Audaciously, al-Sadig al-Mahdi came out clearly to denounce the peace agreement and began forming a right wing opposition to it, including the party of his brother-in-law, Dr. al-Turabi. This position was further supported by the non-ruling Arab elite, such as Dr. Hayder Ibrahim Ali, Dr. Abdullah Ali Ibrahim and many others.
In the view of the Arab-Islamic elite, if the peace agreement were to find acceptance, there should be a constitutional conference where northern parties would endorse the agreement, after making the necessary amendments, including the removal of the RSD. The purpose of the agreement was therefore forgotten and swept aside. Democratic rights, not the millions who died in the South, become more important and paramount to stopping the war and giving the RSD to the South. In fact, the call for constitutional conference is smoke screen for the real intentions: the rejection of the agreement, simply because the Arab-Islamic elite does not like an agreement that may lead to the South ultimately choosing independence.
Above all, al-Sadig al-Mahdi does not like the agreement that has not restored to him his birthright, the rule of Sudan. Behind al-Sadig, northerners have line-up to oppose the peace, on the pretext that it perpetuates the NIF rule and creates partnership between it and the SPLM/A. Their real intention is to scuttle the peace and back to war. As we have seen, al-Sadig al-Mahdi short-circuited the same constitutional conference in 1986-1988. What has changed for al-Sadig to be calling now for the constitutional conference? It is a masked rejection of RSD; any claim that northerners accept the agreement is a mistake. Northerners will never accept anything that benefits the South, or does not guarantee its racial dominance. I would have believed the Arab-Islamic elite rejection of peace if it has independently built up its position against the agreement. But going along with al-Sadig, has lost the elite and its secular parties like SCP, any credibility, if it ever had one in the past. Al-Sadig al-Mahdi, twice-failed prime minister, does not deserve the northern elite support. However, what can we do if the same elite has been the reason behind the biggest African failed state in the last fifty years?
For the last twenty-two years, southerners had fought a ferocious war against all the northern Arab governments, while the elite were just spectators, waiting for the NIF to exterminate the abid. Their differences with the NIF were simply that the NIF stole their power in the midnight of June 30, 1989, not because southerners were dying in millions. So, if southerners continue to die, that is good for the project of Arabization and Islamization. In this project, there is no difference between al-Sadig, al-Bashir, Turabi, Nugud and others.
Southerners should be aware and their eyes should remain wide-open because this subtle opposition is going to develop into a sinister strategic aim, prevent the RSD being ever exercised. The most dangerous group in this regard is al-Bashir/Turabi/al-Sadig alliance; others like SCP would follow suit. A scenario similar to that of Western Sahara will surely be attempted by the NIF, in collaboration with Egypt, al-Sadig al-Mahdi and others. Al-Sadig al-Mahdi and the NIF are working hard to convince Egypt that the RSD is equivalent to separation and Egypt should not allow one additional sovereign state to come into being along the Nile Valley. If RSD is sabotaged by the Arab world—the ultimate aim of the Arab-Islamic elite—SPLM/A should have by now alternative plans. The Egyptian participation in the UN peacekeeping force is planned to be a future catalyst for torpedoing the RSD. Egypt has never participated in any UN peacekeeping mission. Why now?
SPLM/A should not just rely on international guarantees only; international guarantees can possibly change according to the change of interests of those who gave the guarantees. Six years is long enough for such a change to occur. Further, SPLM/A should have a plan how to protect its leadership against assassinations, directed at the elimination of SPLM/A leaders; they have failed buying over those leaders. NIF’s maktab el-siri and the Egyptian intelligence are known of resorting to physical elimination of their political opponents, and there is no reason why they will not attempt in the near future. Al-Sadig al-Mahdi is constantly speaking about the fact that SPLM/A does not control the whole South. Recently, he gave a talk to the Egyptian foreign affairs think-tank, the Council for Foreign Relations, alleging that Dr. Garang was responsible for the failure of the so-called Libyan-Egyptian initiative. Behind this suggestion is a sinister plan to use the pro-NIF Nuer militia, either to formant instability in the South, or embark on assassinations, according to what al-Sadig and the NIF will choose or prefer.