Articles and Analysies
Search for Intelligent and Prudent Strategies for South Sudan Independence *By James Okuk
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Dec 3, 2008 - 9:22:14 PM

Search for Intelligent and Prudent Strategies for South Sudan Independence


*By James Okuk


The unintelligent approach against the continuous history of South Sudan   include weakness of many politicians and political parties of Southern Sudan and the SPLM itself, portrayed by their incapability of avoiding waste of time, energies, and resources on petty and non-prior agendas at this critical journey to freedom and independence of South Sudan. What is lexically important and prior at this challenging moment in the history-making of South Sudan should be:


1)            Creation of continuous and coordinated awareness amongst the grassroots, the IDPs and Refugees of South Sudan so as to get them mobilized, registered and identified legally as Southerners before the start of mid-term general elections before July 2009 and also for participating in referendum for self-determination for independent of South Sudan in 2011;

2)            Speeding up of the North-South border demarcations with the help of IGAD and International Community at most before the end of the first quarter of 2009;

3)            Speeding up of the identification of electoral constituencies in the South before the end of the first quarter of 2009;

4)            Speeding up the formation of the Referendum Commission and drafting of the Referendum Bill so that it could be adopted into law in appropriate time with a matrix that put into consideration the unfavorable rainy season in Southern Sudan; and

5)            Finding a win-win mechanism of approaching the Referendum date with strategic unity and harmony in diversity of South Sudan political forces and Communities.

6)            Starting the debates on the prospects of the independence of South Sudan in terms of equitable political, economic and social opportunities and possible sustainable progress from the maximum and intelligent investment of the local national resourced with the help of transferable modern technology and productivity experiences from the friendly advanced world.

7)            Starting the debates of how to create and maintain good neighborhood and friendly bilateral relations with the bordering countries including the new country of North Sudan.


However, a keen cautiousness must be taken by the patriotic Southerners because the journey to the independence of South Sudan is tough and thorny in some cases. For instance, the case of some unionist SPLM members who do not feel ashamed to intimidate, detain and eliminate their separatist comrades because of power struggle is an obstacle in point here. It is known in the dark history of SPLM/A that those of Samuel Gai Tut, Abdallah Chol and many other separatists' leaders were brutally murdered for their opposition to the vague New Sudan Ideology of Dr. Garang and Dr. Monsour Khalid. Also Hon. Dr. Lam Akol and H.E. Dr. Riek Machar and other prominent figures (like the house arrested Cde.Obote Mamur in Juba) in the lead for Southern Sudan right to Self-determination and independence, had escaped assassination attempts and were humiliated in many cases for their unwavering stand on the core interest of the people of Southern Sudan.


The case of Transitional Areas is another Kashmir-in-the-making (Kashmir is a contested bloody province between India and Pakistan) and a would-be headache to the case of the independence of South Sudan. If the public decision-makers of Southern Sudan do not approach this challenge intelligently at the moment, then the whole of South Sudan would risk delaying or losing its core interest of independence because of foolish sympathy with the interest of others (Nuba, Funj, Fur, Zaghawa, Massalit and etc). In this regard, I have the opinion that it is better to lose Nuba and Funj at this critical moment in the history of South Sudan than continuing having them as catholic-married allies with the consequential loss to South Sudan independence and dignity. There is no much time left for patriotic Southerners to hesitate stating their position openly and optimistically even if they are not decision-makers in the GoSS or GoNU.


But get me right that it is not all the SPLM members who have not been telling the comrades of the Transitional Areas sincerely that most of the common Southerners are struggling for separation and independence of South Sudan by any possible means   (either by military force at worst resort or by peaceful democratic power at smooth transition).The insincere SPLM members are those who have been thinking and who still think that the dead ideology of delusive New Sudan with its illusive connotation of the unity of the marginalized blacks of the Sudan, can resurrect from the CPA grave of Machakos and Naivasha which was followed by the unexpected shameful death of founder of New Sudan Ideology, Dr. John Garang de Mabior in the crash of Ugandan Presidential Chopper above Didinga Hills  in July 2005.


I am not directly in the political decision-making forums in the GoSS or GoNU but I believe what I say and write can have an influence on the most sincere political and military decision-makers of South Sudan. It is well known that media is the invisible forth branch of public power.


In my forecast, if the SPLM turn down the chance for self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan, then there is no doubt that the patriotic Southern separatists will continue with the struggle because South Sudan is bigger and older than the SPLM itself or any other political party in the Sudan. The desire for the independence of South Sudan was already there before the SPLM/A was born and it will always be there even if the SPLM/A wither away as a consequence of its unintelligent approach for securing the core interest of the majority of Southern Sudanese from one generation to the next. This was understood by Dr. Garang when he drew the three Models of the scenarios of the final outcome of the CPA in 2011. That is, if unity continues to be an unattractive Model for the Sudan in six-year interim period, then the South will get qualified from being an interim semi-autonomous government to a full autonomous government of a new country called South Sudan.


This last Model for independence is becoming fashionable now amongst 90% of Southerners as rightly stated by H.E. Pagan Amum, the SPLM Secretary-General. This may be the strongest reason why Chinese, Egyptian and the Gulf Countries are rushing to Southern Sudan with billions of money and promises to buy the hearts and minds of Southern leaders to skip secession before it is too late in 2011. But will this money buy the conscience of the patriotic people of South Sudan? Will this money buy the consciences of H.E. Salva Kiir, H.E. Wani Igga, H.E. John Luke, H.E. Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, and etc.


I am pretty sure that 'Chance' and 'Choice' are inseparable features of human life and history of nations/societies/communities. So I strongly believe that the desire of patriotic Southerners for independence can be accomplished by either chance or choice right from 2011 but not by default. What is important is just reaching there with a continuous counteracting of the unfavourable policies against Southerners because of lack of unfair-mindedness and lack of respect of human dignity by many of their confused leaders and enemies of separation in the armies and civilians of the Sudan.


Yes, the SPLM ruling party and dominating army in Southern Sudan is not doing well as expected when the CPA was signed. The NCP is neither doing well too in regard to the commitment in avoiding any possible dishonouring of the CPA as it was done against many agreements on Southern Sudan in the near past. I hope this time with his chairmanship of the Transitional Electoral Commission of the Sudan, Hon. Abel Alier will make sure that too many agreements are not dishonoured against the interest of the South.


Nonetheless, the work of both chance and choice and may be Godís Will shall take the people of Southern Sudan   out of the threatening international and national waves   against the unstoppable secession for independence, dignity and bright future of South Sudan, given its strategic location and hosting of the most demanded valuable natural resources for the industrialized word supply markets.


*James Okuk is a concerned Southerner and PhD student in University of Nairobi. He could be reached at [email protected]



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