Articles and Analysies
The Value of Peace in Sudan: From Ki-Moon to International Wisemen By James Okuk Solomon
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Sep 30, 2007 - 4:52:48 PM

The Value of Peace in Sudan : From Ki-Moon to International Wisemen


*By James Okuk Solomon

Desmond Tutu Jimmy Carter Nielson Mandela


                Desmond Tutu                            Jimmy Carter                              Nielson Mandela


The visit of the UN Secretary-General to Sudan in the first week of September 2007 has engineered some good hope for realization of Peace in Darfur through political dialogue between government of Sudan and Abuja DPA deviant. He has assured the international community that peace talks is going to take place in Tripoli by the end of 0ctober 2007 through UN-AU mediation, and under the hospices of H.E. Muamar Al-Gadhafi. He is optimistic that a comprehensive final deal is highly expected to be reached by the end of this year.


The diplomatic work of H.E. Ban Ki-Moon and cooperation of government of the Sudan has been met with admiration and applaud in the UN meetings that have been taking place in New York recently. From there a message has been sent out clearly to the government and to the rebels that the whole world is not going to compromise with whoever is not willing to sit down and negotiate peace for that war torn region. The government of Sudan has stated that it is willing to negotiate with the multi-Darfurian rebel movements and reach a peace deal as long as they are ready to present a common negotiable conflict resolution proposal. In other words, the government is willing to reach a peace deal that will be kept by the United Nations-African Mission In Darfur (UNAMID) in accordance with UN resolution number 1769 and in consonance with the provision that shall be stipulated in the expected agreement that shall mandate them nationally to operate in Darfur without intimidating Sudan sovereignty. The take off point for the government can be summarized thus: Peace first and then UNAMID next. On the other hand few of the Darfurians rebel movements have stated that they are not going to participate in that peace talks because they want UN forces on the ground first to protect the civilians and resettle them back to their lands. Their argument can be summarized thus: UN forces should be deployed first in Darfur and then peace will be achieved next. Those two diverging arguments of Peace-for-UNAMID and UN-for-Peace are very hard and complex to reconcile, but since UN is an organization of governments (and not of rebels), it has chosen the first argument in favour of Sudan ’s government. UN knows well that it cannot come to Sudan without government permission and cooperation because their mandate is not purely under chapter seven of UN Charter.


The UN has failed to prove that there is genocide going on or about to go on in Darfur , and therefore, could not find a justification to enter that region by force without government’s consent. The argument which have been presented by the human rights activists and lobbyists, and by the rebel movements and opposition parties were considered as something of the past, which could be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution on individual basis rather than the whole government of Sudan. However, Sudan government has refused to hand any of its war crimes accused citizens to ICC for prosecution because it is has not ratified the Rome Statute, though it has signed it. Even if the past government of Sudan was involved in the acts of genocide in Darfur , yet it cannot be held responsible now when it is no longer executing that evil act and when it has become a different Government of National Unity by virtue of CPA, DPA and ESPA implementations. The justificatory argument here could be presented as follows: if it was true that there was genocide in Darfur like when there was in Rwanda , it cannot be true now that there is genocide going on in Darfur like when there is nothing of that kind taking place in Rwanda at the present time. The reports that have been presented are something of the recent past more or less like the past history of Nazis’ holocaust. The present is not the past, and therefore, UN cannot intervene by force because it does not act on past records but rather on present actions and future threats of genocide. UNAMID is coming to Sudan , not because there was genocide, but because there is peace to keep and civilian to protect now from possible genocide.


Ki-Moon has also taken the issue of the ‘fragile’ CPA seriously when he visited Juba , the strong hold of SPLM party and CPA’s partner of the NCP. There he urged the leaders not start another war because that will hinder the regional and international efforts to end the Darfur crisis. He tried to make them understand that peace in Southern Sudan will pave a way for peace in Western Sudan , and peace in Western Sudan will enhance peace in Southern Sudan . Therefore, he commended H.E. Salva Kiir’s efforts to unite Darfurians rebel leaders for a better common-stand negotiation with the government. He assured them that their disappointment from Oslo donors will be resolved once the Darfur crisis is over by the end of this year. He also urged them to deal with the shame of corruption seriously and sincerely; bringing it down from the lips services to practical measures that are executable by fair promulgated law that is above everyone. With what he has seen and heard, at least, he came up with a better picture of Sudanese problems and went back with a hope that things will become better sooner or later through regional, international and national will for peace and development in all parts of the Sudan .


Now in three weeks after Ki-Moon left Sudan, a group of International Wise Elders – Bishop Desmond Tutu, Former US President Jimmy Carter, spouse of Hon. Nielson Mandela Mrs. Gracia Michaels, the prominent Lakhdar Ibrahim from Algeria, and the famous British Businessman Richard Pratson – have decided to come to Sudan in order to boost the UN-SG’s diplomacy of conflict resolution and peace in this vast country of Africa. They have got convinced of his sincerity to engage Sudanese and African Union to make Sudan a peaceful country so that the rest of its independence years are dedicated to the work of development and progress, rather than destruction of lives and properties that promote poverty. They are coming to encourage the government of Sudan to continue cooperating with the international community and come up with a peace agreement that will be worth to honour. They are also coming to convince the Abuja DPA’s non-signatories to go to Tripoli all as different rebel movements with one aim for the people of Darfur Peace, development and prosperity. They are coming to tell the Naivasha partners (SPLM/NCP) that peace is a God’s gift that needs to be appreciated and sustained with friendship, and there is no need for deceits, hypocrisy and language of war. They are coming to advice the Government of Southern Sudan that development and job creation for the poor citizen is a must, and that the satisfaction of people’s realistic expectations should never be dumped by tribalism, incompetency, laziness, or negligence. They are coming to tell the GoSS that they should not love power with its privileges while hating hard work and dedication to the principles that made Southerners to stand firm in the decades of their armed struggle. They are coming to tell Southern Sudanese, People of Abyei Area, People of Southern Kordoafan State ( Nuba Mountains ), and People of Southern Blue Nile State (Ingassina) that they need to change their mentalities from violent confrontation approach to non-violent dialogue in the demands of their rights within the context of the CPA. They are coming to wake up the Sudanese church and mosque leaders that they should start playing a great role in national healing and reconciliation process based on truth. They are coming to encourage those religious leaders to take seriously the plight of the war victims and help in healing them from trauma and emotional hatred.


Rt. Rev. Bishop Desmond Tutu is a South African elder with practical and experiential wisdom on liberation and freedom from colonialism and apartheid. Therefore, Darfur rebel leaders and Sudan ’ government should consider seriously what he is going to advice and recommend them to do. Hon. Jimmy Carter is an American elder with concrete and exemplary wisdom in democratization and good governance. His Centre had done a lot of good civic work and humanitarian assistance for Africa , including the CPA’s tedious road of peace in Machakos, Nynuki, Nakuru, Naivasha and Nairobi . Hon. Mrs. Mandela is an eminent lady known for her commitment for the realization of women rights and gender empowerment in Africa . The other wise mentioned elders from Rev. Tutu’s delegation are also well known for their commitments in humanitarian efforts and development in Africa . All these wise older international icons are not motivated by power calculations in there efforts to see peace in the Sudan in their lifetime, but rather, by the responsibility to preserve human dignity and fundamental human rights. Though they are old and less energetic, yet they are filled with enthusiasm for humanity and leverage of suffering of innocent people. That is why they took long and tedious trips and landed in Sudan on 30th September 2007 . They shall spent five days to practice their wisdom with different leaders and people in the diverse parts of the troubled Sudan in an attempt to help in finding better solutions and compromises for peace, freedom, democracy, development, health and prosperity in this beautiful country. May God give each of them long life so that they continue to implant the spirit of love for humanity and solidarity for mankind in this world. May their elderly efforts be a blessing for real peace and prosperity in the Sudan and may it be a curse for those who want war and poverty.


*James Okuk is a Sudanese PhD student in the University of Nairobi in Kenya . He can be reached on E-mail: [email protected]


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