Dear Drs. Hussein Alhaj and Mohamed Nageeb and the conferees,
I regret that I could not be present at this meeting because of a really unfortunate circumstance. My colleagues in Darfur Association of Canada (DAC) and I all expected that I would be with you today and deliver their message to you by myself but there were things beyond our calculations.
I would like to congratulate you on this historical meeting, which you are holding. At this very moment the population of Darfur urgently needs more than ever a wise, honest, well organized and hardworking leadership to rescue it from complete and ever irremediable destruction. As you all aware it has since 1956 been the plan of the Sudanese State to exterminate Sudanese indigenous cultures. The Arab nationalist parties and regimes that have been running the Sudanese State, have since the mid 1980s decided to destroy as larger number of the population of Darfur as possible. Their plans in the region first aimed at destroying the indigenous population. Then in the hands of the National Islamic Front the destruction of the population of Darfur included all groups regardless of their racial/ethnic or cultural backgrounds. It started with indigenous population (between 1990 and 2003) and has later included to its genocidal plans destruction of some Arab tribes as well. As a result of such racist policies, over 500,000 Darfurians have been killed and this number will continue to increase everyday until almost all the Darfurians unite themselves in one strong front to face the National Congress Party and its government.
Until recently, most of the Darfurians who graduated from colleges and universities and even the few of them who completed postgraduate training, instead of providing advocacy to Darfur and its population were tools in the hands of the governments of Khartoum and leaders of the Khartoum based political parties. They graduated only to qualify as obedient servants of sheikhs and sayeeds/sada and until recently they were used against Darfur and the cause of its population.
Darfur based political parties and movements proved themselves incapable of genuinely addressing the problems of the region. Sudanese Federal Democratic Alliance despite its crucial vision could not follow effective means of uniting Darfurians. Its plans and strategies did not involve the use of force against Khartoum at the time when Omer al-Bashir has invited every Sudanese who asks for freedom, justice, equality and the rule of law to pick up arms and fight against his domination with his clique. That is why it (SFDA) is not invited in Abuja. Most Darfurians are not enthusiastic in organizing themselves under the leadership of Justice and Equality Movement because of its leaders’ historical backgrounds who were mostly members of the National Islamic Front and failed to clearly draw the lines between religion and the state in their manifesto. The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army which was the ultimate hope of most of the Darfurians has disappointed many of its masses because of the shortsightedness of its top leaders and their inability of understanding what Darfurians want from them. Instead the leaders of SLM/A are complicating issues to themselves and to others who try to help them. They wrongly believe that they are the only legitimate representatives of the cause of Darfur but at the same time they do not know how to address it correctly.
Consequently, Darfur-Canadians believe that such meeting is long due. The Sudanese State and the Arab nationalist parties that run it are adamant in destroying Darfurians because they are interested in Darfur as land and resources and not as people. On the one hand, armed movements and political parties on whom many Darfurians put their hopes went astray as I hinted earlier. We, in Darfur Association of Canada (DAC) believe that now it’s crucial that the Darfur associations and non-governmental organizations seriously intervene to rescue not only Darfur but also the whole of Sudan, which the National Congress Party has transformed into its own individual enterprise. Our position in Canada is that Darfur associations and community organizations form a strong union whose main objective will be the salvation of the victimized Darfurians and create a powerful and well-respected Darfur in Sudan and possibly in the whole of Africa. Darfur-Canadians believe that the followings are the only ways that will lead us to a Darfur, which we all struggle to create and the union of Darfur associations and NGOs has to adopt them if it really wants to unite Darfurians from all backgrounds:
1) Together with human rights organizations worldwide the union has to put pressure on the ICC to immediately start the trials of those who involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. The position of the union should be that the first 53 top criminals have to be tried at the ICC headquarters at Hague and others can be tried in Sudan after the reformation of Sudanese law. Supported by some Arab countries, the regime of Khartoum is doing everything it can to get away with the serious crimes its leaders have committed in Darfur but it should be the union’s responsibility to do all what it can until every suspect is justly tried. The leaders of the union of Darfur associations and NGOs should understand that all human rights organizations worldwide have the moral obligation to support it until the last suspect is tried. Actually the Darfur-Canadians believe that trial of criminals should run concurrently with peace talks.
2) Together with human rights organizations worldwide the union can urge the UN Security Council to issue a resolution and form a special commission to study the human and material losses and emotional destruction and establish compensations and reparations for them. The regime in Khartoum has been trying to convince the international community that the destruction mainly resulted during its retaliation against the troops of the movements. However, there is satisfactory evidence that the regime already decided to wipe out entire ethnic groups long before the year 2003. Therefore, the destruction that has been caused in Darfur by the regime of Khartoum is not collateral. It is intentional destruction and its victims must be justly compensated for every single loss they have suffered and treated from any trauma that has been caused to them. The union has to play a leading role in pressuring the Security Council to force Khartoum to compensate every individual victim for every single loss.
3) Darfur-Canadians believe that disarmament of the Janjaweed and all other government militias is mandatory and the union of Darfur organizations and associations together with human rights organizations worldwide can pressure the Security Council to implement all the resolutions it issued in order to stop the crimes in Darfur including the disarmament of the Janjaweed and the government militias.
4) The union has to endeavor to unite Darfur based movements and political parties and ethnic groups in one large front that will genuinely address the following issues:
a) The union should pressure the parties to the conflict, mediators, partners, facilitators and the international community to reassess the Declaration of Principles that was signed in Abuja on July 5, 2005 as it does clearly stipulate the right of Darfurians to self-determination. The National Congress Party will never honor any agreement that does not include in its principles the right for self-determination. If it has now violated more than ten times the Naivasha Agreement, which includes the principle of self-determination, so what is the guaranty that it will honor an agreement that does not include the right for self-determination? Darfurians, Eastern Sudanese, Kordofanians and all other Sudanese who are signing peace with the National Congress Party should include the principle of self-determination otherwise they will be wasting time and energy for no reason. They should know that they are negotiating with a group of individuals who do not have any ethical principles and are not ready to learn them and consequently whatever they sign with whoever that is not member of their clique is only for tactical reasons. Even Islam, which they preach is only utilized for justification of retaliation against those who they see as obstacles for their racist plans.
b) There is another point in the DOP which says: “The territorial integrity and unity of the Sudan historically agreed to by the freewill of its people will be enhanced by the recognition and accommodation of such diversity.” This sentence is a serious misrepresentation of Sudanese history. Darfurians and population of many other regions in Sudan were never consulted about how they wanted Sudan to look like. Those who decided the shape and the fate of the independent Sudan were individuals from the riverain Sudan and their colleagues from Southern Sudan whom they later deceived and violated every single agreement with them. I vainly tried to draw the attention of both SLM and JEM negotiators on it but they did not take my comment seriously. However, the sentence is a clear misrepresentation of Sudanese history. The SLM and JEM negotiating teams will be committing a serious mistake if they accept to proceed with it.
c) The union has to make sure that SLM/A and JEM negotiate at least for 80% of 52% of the National Congress Party’s shares of power from Naivasha Agreement regarding the power sharing at the national level and 90% at the regional level. The 80% of Darfur’s share at the national level should include the positions of president of the republic, ministry of finance, ministry of energy and mining and ministry of interior. If the National Congress refuses the union has to call for putting Darfur under the mandate of international community for five years after which Darfurians have to vote for self-determination. Some observers and even some Darfurians might think that these demands are unrealistic but they have to understand that the National Congress Party is a party that is dominated by individuals from Ja’alyeen, Shawaiga and Danagla ethnic groups some individuals who recently migrated from Arab countries and settled in Khartoum. So as it is only some and not all Danangla and Shawaiga and Ja’alyeen who support the National Congress Party and some outcast elements from other parts of Sudan who sold themselves to it the National Congress Party’s membership counts less than two million out of 36 million Sudanese. It is therefore the right of Darfurians and other oppressed Sudanese to stop the domination of the National Congress Party whose only interest is to destroy most of the Sudanese people in order to realize its stupid project of “Civilizing Orientation” which stipulates that two thirds of Sudanese population must die in order to allow the remaining one third to enjoy an affluent life.
d) In the infamous paper which he recently presented at the National Congress Party’s investment conference, Abdelrahim Hamdi clearly explains that Sudan is the property of National Congress Party and that the National Congress Party is the property of individuals from Shandi to Dungula- namely Shawaiga, Ja’alyeen and Danagla in addition to recent immigrants from Arab countries who settled in Khartoum and other cities of the central Sudan. Abdelrahim Hamdi’s paper is the paper of the National Congress party and in it he did not say anything strange except he honestly put in writing what he discusses with his colleagues during the private gatherings. His only fault was that he presented with paper what was always been discussed in private gatherings and applied without passing on paper. I was surprised when Dr. Siddig Umbadda accuses him of lack of euphemism in his paper, but Dr. Siddig Umbadda missed the point that Abdelrahim Hamdi made a considerable effort to conceal some of the ideas and his addition of Kordofan and al-Jazeera to the National Congress Party’s State in the transitional period is a sort of euphemism. If Abdelrahim Hamdi did not make an effort to stifle some of the ideas that would shock Sudanese he would have said in the paper that the National Congress Party would select Shawaiga, Danagla and Jaalyeen among Sudanese who do not oppose it and empower them. It seems to me that Dr. Siddig Umbadda has forgotten what he wrote in 1993 in which discussed in an economic viewpoint how the Sudanese State has been the generous “milk cow” to arabized Nubians (Shawaiga, Ja’alyeen and Danagla) whereas most of the Sudanese are excluded from its milk.
e) The union should make sure that any talks that aim at putting an end to the conflict consider the border of Darfur as if January 1956 otherwise they will not lead to a lasting settlement.
Gamal Abdelrahman Adam
Darfur Association of Canada (DAC)
November 25, þ2005