Articles and Analysies
Tactics to Delay, Abort and Destroy the Referendum BY: Tut Gatwech, South Sudan
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Nov 5, 2009 - 10:05:34 AM

Tactics to Delay, Abort and Destroy the Referendum

BY: Tut Gatwech, South Sudan


We have seen the tactics of delay, abort and destroy the referendum. The South Sudan ruling party, SPLM, has rejected the hard won referendum bill. The main provision in the referendum Bill is the 51% which is agreed to declare the South independent. It is there in the bill. At least another 66% of the registered voters are also needed to come out and vote and out of which 51% will declare the South independent. This, the SPLM is saying it cannot be managed and therefore the referendum bill has to be renegotiated. Really? All the other provisions are good but the 66% can NEVER be managed or achieved? Are we really serious when we talk of this final destiny that burns inside every body to see the voting day?   

No, the truth of the matter is that there are coordinated conspiracies at work to delay, abort and destroy the referendum exercise all together.

Let us be very careful analyzing these groups that want to destroy the referendum by wanting to create a crisis. CREATE A CRISIS, HOW?

These groups include (1) Northern Opposition parties, (2) internal SPLM unionists and (3) some internal SPLM separatists but who are jealous about any achievement to do with Dr. Riek Machar.

1) Northern opposition parties:

These are the hyenas in sheep’s skin. Notably Sadiq Al-Mahdi, Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi and Osman Al-Mirghani. I also refer you to the article on ’’ about their gathered reaction to the referendum bill. Also read about the reaction of DUP, the second largest opposition political party in Sudan . The Northern opposition groups said the bill has given too much to the South and the South is absolutely going to become independent.

They also accuse the SPLM of betraying their Juba Declaration. To them, Juba declaration is about unity. They also asked for creating a crisis with the NCP by boycotting the coming elections. SPLM wants to boycott the elections because Salva Kiir and some members of the party in the parliament foresee losing their seats. They better boycott it. The opposition groups know that NCP wants the elections. But as northerners, they want to kill two birds with one stone. They want to lull the SPLM into false belief that the elections will be boycotted. SPLM will then be reluctant to prepare its candidates. In the last hour, the opposition in the North may surprisingly accept the conduct of elections. The SPLM will be left in difficult position and may be join the elections unprepared. This will be like what happened in the population census. The SPLM will then lose many seats in parliaments.

The opposition also wants the referendum bill delayed until an elected parliament comes in to adopt it after the elections. Their strategy is to make sure that the seats occupied by the two partners, SPLM and NCP, are drastically reduced in the parliament so that the referendum bill can be aborted by the parliament. The opposition groups know their seats will increase in the parliament after the elections and may dominate it. This is why they are worried of any breakthrough now on the referendum bill reached by Ali Osman Taha and Dr. Riek Machar. They believe that the NCP will mobilize its members now to pass it in the parliament. They are on the political offensive to blackmail the SPLM’s weak leaders in the name of their Juba Declaration agreement.

2) SPLM internal unionists:

This group doesn’t see its future in an independent South Sudan . And they have two categories; those who are southerners and those who are northerners. The northerners such as Yasir Arman do not have a future in the North if the South separates. Some are criminals waiting for trial if the CPA expires or fails and South separates by whatever means. He knows that the SPLM as a political party would not be allowed to exist in the North if the South becomes independent. It will be outlawed and its certificate confiscated. What he is looking for is unity with SPLM intact as a political party to protect him.

A referendum bill like the one agreed by Dr. Riek Machar that would make the South become independent through the simple majority vote of 51% is something he doesn’t like. He prefers a crisis with the NCP that would fail the referendum and make the Americans look for other peaceful alternatives and make the country remain united.

The other category of the unionist southerners want to rule the South through mandate by the North. To them, they cannot successfully convince or administer the South, given their corrupt records and luck of development, unless they have a big brother in the North. They want to continue using the current power and wealth sharing mechanisms as a tool to control the South. If the oil money will continue to be divided in Khartoum , GOSS president to continue appointed in Khartoum , and then the southerners will have no option but to listen to them. They were shocked by the referendum bill that would make the South independent. To them, independent South means freedom of southerners to choose good leaders. They are not prepared to be good leaders. Some of them such as Pagan Amum have allegedly built 2 million dollars worth mansion in USA . They know the corrupt records would continue to haunt them. They are not ready for it. They expected a crisis.

The group also knows that the South is weak and can be controlled by the North if a full blown crisis is created. They are not happy with successful implementation of the CPA with the NCP that would see the South separate. They want to pretend that they are separatists and call for unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) that would make the South recaptured. They have stolen all the money and have not bought modern weapons that would deter air attacks by the modern fighter jets. They know the SPLA army is demoralized and not ready to fight because they don’t even get their salaries. They even dodge the LRA and don’t want to fight them.

By creating a crisis with the NCP, they hope that the nation would either go back to war and the CPA destroyed in its final stage so that the South would be recaptured and forced to unite with the North for another 21 years or even longer. What they want to see is crisis, crisis and crisis out of CPA implementation.

3) Others are internal SPLM separatists:

This are separatists that would have accepted the referendum bill but jealous particularly about achievements by Dr. Riek Machar. Their mindset is purely on perceived power struggle. They are jealous that such an achievement on referendum bill will make southerners love Dr. Riek more and may want him to be their President in the elections. They are a naive group who compromise their bigger interest of seeing the South becoming independent just because of leadership interest.

Now that the NCP has seen the weakness of the SPLM, it may give it a chance to drag on with the referendum negotiations until January 2011. Surely, we will see a crisis. The devils have succeeded to drag the nation to war again. We may soon see a crisis!

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