In the seventies of the last century, when the dictator Ga’afar Nimeiri was promising the Sudanese people that he would make Khartoum the “Havana of Africa”, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shoush booked himself a front seat, claiming falsely communist credentials. Though he was not the most academically qualified, he was appointed the dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Khartoum, replacing the late professor Abdullah al-Tayib. I also remember al-Shoush with his “III Mark” on both of his cheeks, resembling those marks used by the great Nigerian Yoruba nationality (other than that there is nothing much conspicuous people can remember him for). When dictator Nimeiri took a sharp right turn, al-Shoush disappeared into the thin air; probably he went to the petro-dollar tiny sheikdoms of the Gulf.
However, he suddenly appeared during the pre-Naivash period. In his new role as the National Islamic Front (NIF) apologist and in the last few years that led to Naivasha Peace Agreement and thereafter, his mission has taken three directions: first; he has distinguished himself as a racist bigot, spreading hate messages against our hero, Dr. Garang, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), and then Dr. Mansour Khalid; second; against Mansour Khalid, he has viciously attacked and attempted to ridicule the brightest mind among Sudan elite; and lately he has turned his attention to Cdr. Pagan Amoum of the SPLM/A.
Al-Shoush’s message and that of his paymasters, the NIF, is simple: there would be no one united Sudan that is not dominated and run by Arabs and Arab-Islamic ideology. And that ‘if you the black and non-Arab-Islamic people of the Sudan don’t like it, we the Arab-Islamic race can force you into extinction’. Since the NIF took power on the night of June 30, 1989, this race-religion-based ideology has been implemented—with devastating consequences—in the South, Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile and Darfur. The objective of the NIF policy, supported by the likes of al-Shoush and Khalid al-Mubarak, is to racially cleansed Sudan of its non-Arab population. However, despite the colossal damage inflicted by the NIF on the non-Arab population of the Sudan, the policy has yet to produce the fruits desired by al-Shoush, Khalid al-Mubarak and many others, the champions of ‘ethnic purity’. The non-Arab population of the Sudan has, since 1955, put up a tenacious fight to protect itself against obliteration and extinction.
In many of his writings, al-Shoush has directed his hate message against our fallen hero, Dr. John Garang, as well as the SPLM/A. The message of the NIF apologists, including al-Shoush, has been a protest as to how Garang, a black man of non-Arab-Islamic origin, dared to claim the leadership of Sudan, when his ‘normal’ place should have been at the rear of Sudan politics. Hence, al-Shoush made and still makes relentless efforts to shoot down the messenger, and not the message. During his life, Dr Garang had so eloquently put forward his message in a manner that makes it immune to ill-informed criticism by such people like al-Shoush and al-Mubarak. Because of Dr Mansour’s association with Garang, he has earned himself the hatred of al-Shoush and al-Mubarak. What is the nature of Dr. Garang’s message that had earned him the hatred of al-Shoush and al-Mubarak during his life and after his death?
Dr. Garang’s message had been loud and clear: if the Sudan has to remain united—and he saw why it should not remain united—then that unity has to be on the basis of respect of all the rights of Sudanese, without distinction as to race, culture and language—a new Sudanese political dispensation, based on democracy, equality, justice and equal opportunity among all its races and citizens. This is the message the racist bigots such as the NIF leadership, al-Shoush and al-Mubarak do not stomach, and would call on the Arab world to come to the aid of the Arab Sudan because of imaginary danger the non-Arabs pose to the Arab-Islamic ideology. In this imaginary war against the non-Arab, al-Shoush and al-Mubarak have included the few northern intellectuals who disagree with them, particularly Dr. Mansour Khalid.
In any case, Dr. Mansour Khalid, a Sudanese from the North of formidable intellect and credentials saw, at the early inception of the SPLM/A, Dr. Garang’s leadership abilities and the message he had been putting forward as the solution to the Sudan problem. Dr. Mansour therefore voluntarily came to the assistance of Dr. Garang/SPLM/A and spent the last twenty-two years of his valuable time in defense of Garang and his message. Dr. Mansour’s motivation in undertaking the defense of Garang and his message was not influenced by any material considerations, as the SPLM/A and Garang have none of this. His true motivation has been his love for his country (Sudan) and his strong belief in the message of Garang as the only viable solution for the problems of a huge country that has been at war with itself for the last fifty years. In this regard, he has been warning the racist bigots like al-Shoush and al-Mubarak that if they insist on the ideology of Arab-Islamic Sudan, they run the risk of letting a country of a size of continent fall apart.
This relentless defense of the Sudan has earned Mansour unwarranted hatred among the bigots in the midst of his own people, the North. He has been classified by people like al-Shoush and al-Mubarak as anti-Arab and by the NIF as anti-Islam, simply because he sees the Arab identity of the Sudan as cultural—not racial—and one among many identities Sudan is blessed with. Indeed, Mansour’s Arab lineage is more verifiable than the lineage of al-Shoush who still carries the “III Mark” on his face until this moment. However, what al-Shoush and Mubarak have missed is that Mansour is not the type of a person to be terrified by ill-conceived classifications. On the contrary, his mission has been a humble attempt to save the Sudan from tearing itself into unrecognizable pieces; because of the intellectuals of the type of al-Shoush who have knowingly or unknowingly adopted racial ideology similar to the Nazi Aryan ideology of the thirties of the last century. Mansour can therefore walk the streets of Khartoum, with his head held high, as he is presently doing.
At this juncture, I would commend Dr. Mansour for a job well done. He has honestly and devotedly tried, and is still trying, to let those of his kinsmen in the North, who have taken to the Arab-Islamic ideology, see that it is the surest way to the disappearance of the Sudan. In one of his many brilliant books and publications he has devoted to the problem of Sudan (Junub al-Sudan fi al-Makhiela al-Arabia), Mansour warns the Arab world, the NIF, al-Shoush and al-Mubarak that if the South opts for secession, there will be no telling where that secession will stop. In the book, Mansour sounds prophetic. Since the conclusion of Nairobi, every day that passes points to the fulfillment of his prophecy. We should all remember that Sudan does not any longer have Dr John Garang who could reign in the separatist elements of the South. Now, the question therefore is not whether the South opts for secession—after the untimely death of Garang—secession has gained more momentum and recruits in the South.. Myopic intellectuals like al-Shoush, Mubarak and many others should understand when South goes, Darfur will be hot on its heels; so will the Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile, and probably the Beja. Although Mansour has devoted his life for a united Sudan, I do not believe the man will be disappointed but he will be telling the racist bigots and all of us: you see, Garang and I told you!
After our fallen hero, al-Shoush has shifted the focus of his racial profiling of SPLM/A leadership to our colleague and friend Cdr. Pagan Amoum. In an article in the racist al-rayaam daily (I do not understand why the SPLM/A leadership keeps giving interviews and statements to this NIF racist newspaper and mouthpiece) of September 19, 2005, al-Shoush launched a scathing attack on Cdr. Pagan Amoum for having: first, commented on the riots of the black Monday and Tuesday; second, for his removal of the Sudan flag from the coffin of our fallen hero and replaced it with SPLM/A flag; and third, criticized NIF/NCP greedy attitude over the portfolio of energy and mining.
On the issue of the events of black Monday and Tuesday, Cdr. Pagan disapproved the manner in which the NIF mishandled the fallout from the tragic death of our leader, Dr. Garang, especially in the light of the existence of similar events of 1964 (Clement Mboro’s delayed arrival) and the events of 1968 (William Deng’s cold blood murder between Rumbek and Tonj by the Sudan Army). Amoum was not inciting violence among the internally displaced people (IDPs). If Amoum was precisely doing that, what about the incitement of geneocide al-Shoush has been advocating against the people of the South and Darfur, since he left Canada, for unexplained reasons? Doesn’t al-Shoush know that inciting genocide is an offense under the international criminal law that may ship him over to The Hague, together with his paymasters, Field Marshall Omar Ahmed Hassan al-Bashir, Ali Osman Mohammed Taha, Salah Gosh, Nafie Ali Nafie and the rest of the membership of the genocidal ill-fated symphony?
Al-Shoush’s second criticism of Cdr. Pagan Amoum relates to his removal of the Sudan flag from the coffin of our great fallen leader, Dr John Garang de Mabior. I was delighted with response of Cdr. Pagan Amoum, who refused to mince his words and called a spade a spade. There was no so-called bond of sadness, which brought together the people of the North and the South, as al-Shoush would want us to believe. If that was the case, how does al-Shoush explain the events of black Monday and Tuesday? Indeed, Pagan eloquently and precisely explained why the SPLM/A flag was more appropriate, and to hell with the presence of al-Shoush’s paymasters, Omar al-Bashir or Turabi. Those moments were moments of truth and Pagan rose to the occasion, as a leader who appreciated the wishes and the feelings of southerners and the person they were burying. Further, if Garang in his life swore his taking of the office of First Vice-President under the Nimeiri’s flag, it never meant Garang approved of it. If he were alive, he would have raised the issue of that flag by now. Equally, if al-Shoush loves that flag, why did he take-up the Canadian nationality and clings, with tooth and nail, to its passport?
Finally, al-Shoush described the statement of Cdr. Pagan Amoum about the sharing of the cabinet portfolios as an unbecoming threat of resort to IGAD and the international community, which are both the witnesses and guarantors of smooth implementation of the CPA. Nobody would disagree with Pagan’s metaphorical depiction of what is going on between the SPLM and NIF/NCP, except somebody like al-Shoush whose imagination has run bankrupt. The elegant literary language Pagan had used to describe the nature of differences between the NIF/NCP and the SPLM/A brought the message very close home, and was appreciated by the vast majority of the Sudanese, whether Arabs or non-Arabs. As to the suggestion of Pagan of referring the dispute to IGAD and the international community, I do not know why al-Shoush is apprehensive of the resort to such mechanisms for which the parties have pre- committed themselves to resolving disputes at the implementation level.