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Articles and Analysies Last Updated: Dec 20, 2009 - 3:34:53 PM

SPLM and Opposition planned demonstration: A Test on Democracy in Sudan. By: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.D.

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SPLM and Opposition planned demonstration: A Test on Democracy in Sudan .      


By: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.D.


Judging by the turn of events, it is clear that the Sudanese politics has no doubt entered its crucial stages. While the peace agreement between the north and the south still holds, it is no longer true to continue to hold any one of the peace partners responsible for the present chaos without the other. However as it stands    right now whatsoever camp you stand in, you just have to shift your mind to the evolving tripartite negations that is about to replace the current bilateral talks between the National Congress Party (NCP) of the fugitive president al Bashir and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who are both beginning to doubt the very comprehensiveness of the agreement they signed 5 years ago.


It is true that the implementation of the CPA wasn’t taken seriously and so much as the NIF/NCP is the only northern political party in the Sudan to ever come this far in addressing the Sudanese problem which has its root cause in the chronic marginalization policies adopted by the successive governments that alternated in Khartoum, but unfortunately due to its intrinsic evilness, it was the first to start    relegating the whole peace settlement.


The NCP is no longer a credible party to make sound and binding decisions in the Sudan after the kind of showdown that it continues to experience in the world arena over the Darfur crisis, culminating in the indictment of its leader, the incumbent Sudanese president Omer al Bashir, now wanted by the internal Criminal Court for his roles in the crimes committed there.


The indictment of President Al Bashir was a missed opportunity that was not well exploited by the leading political party in southern Sudan , the SPLM. Had the SPLM played its cards wisely by diversifying the way it did business with the NIF/NCP, they would have walked away with more gains from a system that was too ready to make consensus as it was shook    down its   toes,  when the ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo was tying his noose on the Sudanese president.


Anyway all those are now history and the latest evidence shows beyond    doubt that any bilateral talks between the CPA partners are doomed to fail since the SPLM is now in the lead of the political forces that are working to change the present regime though of course officially it remains the second biggest partner in the so-called government of unity (GoNU).


As a proof that it is all over between    the two, the SPLM with the support of the other Sudanese opposition parties have planned to carry out a rally, which is meant to be “a peaceful demonstration” in the Sudanese capital city Khartoum, and they intend to march    to the national parliament  building in Omdurman and present their protest to the speaker of the parliament    demanding the  adoption of the laws related to democratic transition which are embodied in the National Security Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, the Trade Unions Act, the law of immunities, the law of personal status, press and publications law, the laws of public order as a condition for taking part in the coming elections. Otherwise……………………


Of course before even going any further in this, it is necessary to shade light on the position of the dominant NCP to which the Speaker belongs. And as should be expected, any moves by the SPLM following the Juba Conference remain to be very disturbing to the NCP and views it with much scepticism.


And though the SPLM’s initial motives might have been to pressurize the NCP into living to the spirit and letters of the CPA and implementing the agreement in its timely manner without the current foot dragging, only that sooner than expected it (SPLM) has found itself working side by side with the Sudanese opposition in a broad policy of regime change, something naturally disturbing to the NCP.


But as the date for the peaceful demonstrations closes in, the SPLM and the Opposition supporters are going to be faced with the fact that the very laws that they are about to demonstrate against are still in action, and accordingly for the demonstration to go ahead they need to get an approval from the security organs………..which is controlled by the    NCP.


This would be the first time since the NIC/NCP came to power to allow such an opposition move should the SPLM and the opposition    take to the streets to protest the NCP’s foot dragging over the CPA implementation, reviewing of the census results and    the contested undemocratic laws.  


However all depends on whether the Sudanese Security organs will approve the demonstrations or not and this will be the first test for this newly forged alliance in confronting the NCP.


The second important issue to consider would be how peaceful the so-called peaceful demonstration would turn out to be in an atmosphere loaded with much popular resentments due to the prevailing   soar    prices of    basic essential commodities like sugar, bread and sorghum (Dura ……the Sudanese staple food) .


It can not also be ignored that the voter’s registration process as reported by the local and the international observers, have been much flowed, adding yet another discontent.   Now putting all these together with the new dissident group that calls itself “We are Disgusted”, which emerged in Khartoum during the registration process, things can easily be pushed off limits.



While on the other hand, the security organs on their side are much concerned about protecting the regime, especially so after the indictment of president Omer al Bashir by the ICC which means that the slightest match stroke can send the whole country ablaze.


However as I have already stated    somewhere else   in this article, the coming few days would real mark one of the most crucial moments in every concerned Sudanese’s’ life, as we are to face yet an exceptional test in as to how much the Sudan is prepared to embrace democracy.


But should things be allowed to slip into a purely partisan political confrontation, a thing more likely to happen, and then the legacy it might leave may remain to be recalled with much bitter memories throughout our coming history.


Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MB, BCh, DRH , MD. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan . Can be reached at either [email protected] or [email protected]

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