Articles and Analysies
If Sudan Want Peace it has to Prepare for War? * By James Okuk
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Nov 19, 2007 - 7:38:23 AM

If Sudan Want Peace it has to Prepare for War?


* By James Okuk


It has been said in the ancient times in the Roman Empire that if a nation want peace it has to prepare itself for war. But this does not necessary means it has to start or get into war situation and its destructive consequences because ‘there is no peace in war,’ and because “war has no home.” The purpose for that violent preparation is mainly deterrence to the enemy so that it does not risk attacking you in any shortest time possible. This logic has been adopted by the League of Nations and it went out of hand when the World War II broke out. Nonetheless it was re-adopted by the United Nation Security Council in its decision of establishing the International Peace-keeping Force. That force is supposed to be well trained and well equipped with sophisticated lethal military facilities and strong mandate of not starting any war or attacking the enemies of peace except in the rare cases of protection of the civilian, ethnic minorities, and/or war prisoners from genocidal acts. The same logic had also been employed by the greatest world military powers like the United States of America (USA) and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the period of their cold war when they threatened themselves with heavy destructive weapons and told each other that “if they want to live they should think to die massively.” The same attitude has become very common today even in the less developed world. Some of the less developed countries now days have chosen to waste most of their resources and money in inventing nuclear weapons of mass destruction with a justification that they want to protect their sovereignty from possible external threats and intrusions. But the case of the Sudan now is some how unique though the Sudanese are resorting to use the same logic of ‘prepare for war if you want peace’ and ‘prepare to die if you want to live’, given the risky crisis haunting the Naivasha’s partners.


Since the time when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in Nairobi in the beginning of 2005, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has been equipping and preparing itself heavily more than the time of their war with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Southern Sudan . Right after the CPA era the government of the Sudan had neglected a bit the ‘Holy Warriors’ (Mujahidin) known as the Popular Defence Force (Dafaa El Shabi) because they seemed not to be needed in peace time any more. Nonetheless, and at the tensioned heights of the current partnership crisis between the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP), the President of the Republic of the Sudan, H.E. Mr. AL-Bashir went public and told all Dafaa El Shabi warriors to report back to their previous centres in preparation for defence of Islam and sovereignty of the Sudan. Notwithstanding, he assured them that his call was not for waging war against Southern Sudan but rather for the protection of the CPA within the internal mechanism of its implementation.


The above move from the chief of the NCP suggests that those ‘Mujahidin’ are being re-activated and re-prepared to face the enemies of Mr. Al-Bashir from outside the Sudan and to protect the current borders of the North against any claim by the South. The public statement issued by Dafaa El Shabi of the White Nile State some weeks ago (when food and other commercial supplies from the North were detained by SAF from getting into Southern Sudan) corresponds with the President call, because those ‘Mujahidin’ have bowed to wage war against the SPLA and the Southerners if they tempered with the current (un-demarcated) borders of the White Nile State of Northern Sudan with Upper Nile State of Southern Sudan. But I wonder if the same Mujahidin will act according to the same morale they had prior to the time of departure of ideologue El-Turabi with Mr. President Al-Bashir, which was caused by the 1998 constitution that was known vaguely as ‘gawanin el twali’ – or progressive laws. Right now, Sheikh El-Turabi looks at what those Dafaa El Shabi had done in the South as wrong and irrelevant to the meaning of the Holy War in the Holy Qoran. He regards the Mujahidin who got killed in the South as ‘wastes’ and never martyrs of Islam. Therefore, I doubt whether, Mr. President’s Call for re-activation of Dafaa El Shabi will be the same as his Call of long ago when the Muslims of the Sudan were talking in one language. Those Mujahidin might turn up for political and financial purpose but I doubt whether they will act the same way they use to, because up to now most of them had learnt a lot from the past and will not risk to be blinded by emotional appeals to get into dirty business of regrettable war again. Of course if the Arab Northerners chose to recruit as many warriors as they can afford in Northern Sudan it will be up to them because it is their Sharia (Islamic Laws) territory, which has been accepted in the CPA. The problem will come only if they attempt to extend the activities of that Dafaa El Shabi to the Southern Sudan . The CPA and Interim National Constitution and Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan do not allow any other armed force in the territory of Southern Sudan apart from the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs), the SPLA, the Police Forces, the National Security Forces and UN Peace-keeping Forces.


Right, if this is the current scenario of the NCP and its Chief Mr. Al-Bashir, what is the scenario of the SPLM and its Chief Mr. Salva Kiir in regard to the on-going crisis and risk? So far it seems that the SPLM is not totally prepared for war in spite of the execution of Plan ‘A’ of the withdrawing of its cadres from the top executive constitutional positions. That Plan ‘A’ has proved to be valueless and ‘effectiveless’ for the SPLM political strength beyond the media campaigns and noises. It has not threaten any possibility of the regime change of the NCP controlled Khartoum . Instead it has led many Arab Northerners to rally behind Al-Bashir administration and build strong confidence in him for protecting Arabs (Jallaba) interests in the Sudan . Now Mr. Salva Kiir is talking of Plan ‘B’, which strongly points and can be read as war of Juba with Khartoum and, perhaps, after the possible Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) for South Sudan . Because if SPLM finds it impossible to see the fulfilment of its conditions for resuming the activities of its Ministers and Presidential Advisors at the Government of National Unity (GoNU) level, it might resort to total withdrawal from Khartoum and that will complicate the crisis and increase the violent risk to a higher decree.


Will the CPA survive with that assumed Plan ‘B’ of Mr. Salva and his cronies in the SPLM? Where will the SPLM be by then if they take that option? If they refused to be part of the GoNU will they also have the guts to continue to be part of Mr. Al-Bashir administration at the level of Southern Sudan ? Will the SPLM afford to go home and be an opposition to the current NCP-controlled government, leaving its continuation to the other political parties who are participating in the CPA government both in the North and South? Will the SPLM allow the Government of Sothern Sudan (GoSS) to continue to be given from Khartoum the 50% share of the oil revenue and the other government budget that goes from the North to the South if they pull out from Khartoum? What will be the plight of the Nuba Mountains , Abyei Area and the Angassina Area (i.e., the former Liberated Areas) if the SPLM took the South to the option of UDI and the consequences of the reaction by Khartoum , particularly in regard to those areas?


I am sure that (even with the moves and preparations of the SAF and its allies at present time) the Arab Northerners are not going to defeat Southerners if war broke out. The feeling of hatred for the Jallaba (Arab Northerners) has already taken roots within the Southerners and it is going to be suicide and genocide for both sides this time if they took the war option. The South will lose the North and the North will lose the South in this beautiful and potentially rich Sudan . So many people will run away to the neighbouring countries for refuge and those who will suffer the humiliation most shall be the poor ones (both from the North and the South). Uganda might not welcome the South Sudan refugees in a friendly manner as they use to in the past, because right now they are bitter about the continuous coldblooded killing of their people in Juba and other parts of Southern Sudan . Some of them might take revenge or avenge on the Southern Sudanese. Ethiopia has a lot of problems and it will not accept refugees from Southern Sudan to add into its crisis. Kenya does not receive whoever does not carry direct financial gains; it will only receive some few rich Southern Sudanese and no more than that. Democratic Republic of Congo is totally insecure and even worst than Southern Sudan . Egypt shall not afford to host those who do not have more than two thousands US dollars in their accounts, and therefore, it shall only receive those who are rich and reject those who are poor. Libya is unreliable and never a hospitable country for refugees and immigrants. Leave alone Eritrea , Chad and Central Africa Republic , which are far behind the Sudan in terms of peace, development. The overseas continents like Australia , America and Europe are already fatigued with the problems and burdens of the Sudanese and shall not be willing to welcome then in their countries. Asia continent has no records of receiving and hosting refugees.


What then if the Sudanese got into that worse kind of war? So bad and God’s mercy in receiving so many Sudanese souls for either hell or heaven! I wish and hope the radical elements within both the SPLM and NCP will listen to the conscience of peace within them and spare the Sudan from war, disintegration and destruction. The poor Sudanese have had enough of suffering and should not be burdened with more deaths and trauma. Many Sudanese want to live even if they are poor. Mr. Salva Kiir and Mr. Omer Al-Bashir should not take away from them the value of peace. Their mistrust of each other in the hope of leading the CPA to its harmonious democratic logical end should not become a curse to the naturally blessed Sudan . God help us!



* The author is a Sudanese and a PhD student in the University of Nairobi in the field of Political Philosophy. He can be reached at: [email protected]


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