Sudan's al-Bashir and Palace are imperfect Match
By Sabrino Majok Majok, [email protected]
Nov 17, 2006 — Would you reaffirm your union with an unremorseful, abusive partner if given another chance? This is a question my co-facilitator asked a small, diverse group of men and women attending a workshop recently in Alberta, Canada. Despite of our cautioning them not to response to the question verbally or otherwise but seriously and privately reflect on it, many were evidently and physically observed talking to one another condemning all sorts of abuse in strongest term, irrespective of race, colour, gender, or geographical location. In addition, some explained, in detail, why they would dissolve such relationships.
Based on the participants’ reaction, I concluded that the spontaneous responses were in part due to past, unfavourable experiences or lessons learned from abusive couples, be they relatives, neighbours, or strangers.
In discussion that ensued in that afternoon, I couldn’t help but worry. I told myself, “If those who live in abusive relationship are abdicated from their social, cultural, spiritual and legal obligations and freely allowed to choose, for a second time whether or not to keep their marriage intact, many will choose separation or divorce. This is serious!”
Although abuse and neglect in all their forms were mentioned by participants as principal reasons for divorce or separation nowadays, I might add other possible reasons including (1) desires for greener pastures, (2) to forge more loving and quality everlasting relationships, and (3) to live as singles.
Even so, who would predict with accuracy that a divorce or separation would yield in a stronger, perpetual relationship, happiness, and peace of mind? And who would guarantee that divorced men or women wouldn’t divorce again in their second or third marriages?
Contrary to expectations and desires, many divorced or separated couples sometimes end up in another failed-marriage, unsatisfied and miserable, to say the least. This is not to generalize that all divorcees are likely to divorce in future marriages. Of course, few often survive their subsequent relationships, albeit a fraction of whom live under suspicion and mistrust, an experience that generates seemingly endless searches for “perfect” match.
Grave, ominous, and continual the scenario may appear; the abused would oftentimes take their chances, and move on, beating the odds and dreadful barriers of divorce or separation.
This uncertainty and complexity of divorce is even more demanding if it’s applied to a broader, more complex types of union, for example, a nation, whereby citizens amicably and loosely agree to live together as nationals of one country.
Unlike building and maintaining a family through marriage, forming and keeping a country united is even more complicated. First, people involved in the union are in their millions and every member (citizen) has his/her unalienable rights in the affairs of a nation, resulting in a slower process to reach a collective decision. Second, it takes at least tens of thousands (if not millions) to effect partitioning of a nation legally and democratically, in case of a family one person suffice. Third, if a country breaks up, the hopes of finding another partner to form an enabling country is daunting, if not impossible. Finally, the partition of a country can be even more challenging on the part of breakaway group if their land is economically poor, and lacks social, political and military might.
These eventualities among others, I think, are the main factors that usually compel citizenry to embark on peaceful solutions to problems that tend to divide them, instead of opting for secession or independence.
Sometimes, however, if citizens of a region(s) determine that they are being sidelined, denied of their rights, marginalized in decision-making, power, wealth, and provision of services, the aggrieved are forced to divorce (secede) from the union after having exhausted all remedying options.
Like abused partner in a family, the oppressed masses would care less of unexpected or what lies ahead after secession. This is true in case of the marginalized peoples of the Republic of Sudan. So far, the world community in general and Sudanese in particular are cognizant of gross human rights abuses, senseless, disastrous slaughters of innocent people since independence on January 1, 1956, because the successive, oppressive, abusive governments in Khartoum have their mysterious understanding about what it means to be Sudanese, or to live as a citizen of a united Sudan.
According to Jaafer Neimeri, Sadiq al-Mahdi, or al-Bashir, unity means to abuse, enslave, butcher the weak and political opponents, commandeer country’s wealth and power, dishonour peace treaties, and consequently to self-inflicted isolation within the international community. Above all, these dictators believe that a unity of the country must be enforced or preserved by force and genocide.
To date, Khartoum’s abusive, oppressive, and genocidal policies have already eliminated more than 2.5 million people in South Sudan alone, and displaced more than 4 million others. As such, the country (the old Sudan) had been at the verge of disintegration for fifty years until temporarily saved by Naivasha’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 which gives Southerners rights to Self-Determination either to affirm unity (union) or secede through an internationally supervise referendum in 2011.
Therefore, between now and general elections in 2008, al-Bashir has two choices. (1) to make unity attractive by implementing CPA in spirit and letter and unconditionally repent to Sudanese people for crimes he has committed, or (2) to support secession by dishonouring peace deals and to continue his genocidal war in Western Sudan. Definitely, if he and his cohorts fail to clean their mess until general elections, then the marginalized peoples will be the only arbitrators on genocidaires’ fate to seal, once and for all, the ugly history of abuse, oppression, enslavement, marginalization and genocide. After all, who will be interested to install abusers, aggressors, and killers in a palace after Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Darfur Peace Agreement, and Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement? Southerners, Northerners, Westerners, Easterners, or those in the Centre?
Finally, at the elapse of six-year interim period, people of South Sudan will proudly then determine the future of united Sudan vis-à-vis the overall political, social, cultural, economical assessments of the country examined together with political performances of other regions (North, Centre, West, and East) during interim period. Until then, we have a long way to go!