SUDAN AWAITS THE NEXT MANDELA
The last few years have been proven to be one of the most important years in Sudanís history. The signing of the peace deal ending Africa longest civil war, and the upcoming referendum, which will dictate the future of Sudan, are the major points in our recent history. The intellectuals in the north and the south have failed to seize the opportunity to keep the momentum of the peace process to create the ďnew citizenĒ. As somebody from the north, I must admit the ugly history of our relation with the south. One must be honest to admit the systematic marginalization of the people of the south during the past decade. But I must also say that the level of the leadership shown by SPLM intellectuals was more disappointing; aside from the closed-door talks with the NCP, SPLM seemed less concern with Garangís vision of the new united Sudan. I think SPLM didnít keep the honorees memory of Granagís dreams of building the new country. One of the biggest mistakes is to assume that we can eradicate the painful memory of the past in such a short period.
Nation Building is a process that require patient that both of NCP and SPLM seem to lake and understand. I never thought that the bitterness of the past was so strong to make these two parties forget their own purpose. I respect the right of the people of the south to have their own country but I truly think that both of the north and the south will regret this step. People in the south need to understand that the so-called ďseparationĒ advocates donít see the big picture. Iím stunned by some folks who insist that southern Sudan is more culturally connected to Kenya, Uganda, and neighboring countries more than its connection to the north. Itís so sad that we donít even know our history or even care to know.
The scenario of the new country in south Sudan may create a temporary feeling of relief for some time but in the long run both sides will see the many side effect of this forced divorce. I will address some points that some of my critics usually point out in arguing for the independence of southern Sudan:
The appearance different in culture and religion
While countries need a common bond to create its identity, the assumption of the necessity to share the same religion is not a valid assumption even in the Islamic way of thinking. In the worst-case scenario that assumes the current system of governing, I believe the country can hold its foot for a while. In the future the NCP may be no longer in power and the door of democracy may open again to improve the union at that point. Itís amazing that all of our leaders lack the vision of the future. Letís take a look at the U.S when the founding fathers wrote the constitution in 1778. Futures amendments were added to improve the constitution totaling up to 27 amendments. Have we thoughts about this? We need to learn, listen and adapt to be able to build our country. Itís the lack of vision and leadership that led us in the first place of creating society based on reactions. Our intellects draw their life learning lesson from their personal life experience; rather than putting the future of this country ahead of their own wake.
I really question the lesson we learned from this long war beside knowing that war is the worst choice, not only did it destroyed our physical life but it also crippled our hopes and the way we look to the future.
The difference in the governing laws, ideology, and historic ties between the two side
Despite all of these different, weíve a lot in common. During my quest to get my degree, I had the chance to know so many people from the south and I can say despite all of the hesitation they had toward me, we maintained a good relationship. We donít have to agree on every subject but we can still maintain a good base for dialogue.
Sudan does not need to be two states in order for it to succeed; we need our own Mandela to lead us into the future. I hope that we have some silent majority in the south that agrees with my point of view but I learned to keep my expectations low as much as I can. Will the history bring the next Mandela or will it repeat itself?