The Theory of Making Unity Attractive: Facts and Misconceptions BY: Rengo Gyyw Rengo, Jr, UGANDA
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Jul 28, 2009 - 1:22:24 PM
The Theory of Making Unity Attractive: Facts and Misconceptions
BY: Rengo Gyyw Rengo, Jr,
UNITY has become a podium song in the
, for the parties, NCP and SPLM. This song has gained momentum in recent weeks as we move towards the referendum in
in 2011. Drawing from two speeches delivered separately recently from the two top most citizens, President Beshir in Egypt on July 17, 2009 and the President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir in Abyei, and Kaduguli, the Nuba capital, it seems they dwelled so much on unity and that unity “must” be there by hook or crook.
This implies that unity is the problem, and what
No, Unity itself isn’t the problem of the
. The problems of the
are larger than unity. The problems are those that make unity impossible or unthinkable among the Sudanese citizens. What are those problems and how have the parties resolved them before they shout loquaciously on the streets for unity. If the underlying causes that hamper unity are dealt with fundamentally, then unity could come naturally and automatically without labouring to preach it or imposing it as it has been done in the past. And I think the parties have digressed and lost focus of their objectives of making unity attractive as stipulated in the CPA. Maybe the theory of making unity attractive has been misunderstood or someone is trying to cheat history once again.
On the mornings of 13 and 14 [Friday and Saturday] June 1947, the north and the south were brought together involuntarily after their long separate autonomies and independence before and during the colonial times. “On the first day, the southern Sudanese spoke against unity with the north but on the second day, six delegates favoured forming a single legislative assembly with the north, four spoke against and seven did not speak! It was adopted without voting that the southern Sudanese favoured unity with the north,” wrote Yosa Wawa in his book, ‘Southern Sudanese pursuits of self-determination’.
Without looking at the negative side of this unity, we took it there was a sort of unity forged then between the north and the south. Where did it go and why, before we talk of another unity between the north and the south?
Perhaps that explains the reasons of the wars because unity has failed; therefore, the nation has failed to hold together due to fundamental factors. In his letter on
9 June 1947
, P.C Lojok wrote from
to the Governor of Equatoria province, explaining why unity should not be viable between the south and the north. He concludes his letter as follows: “is it the mouth when crying and writing that this unity will be accepted? [It means there was no positive action or deeds on the side of the north] But look back and say what have I done yesterday to my brethren though of different race as an act of charity? Don’t you know that the good you do me today or yesterday will be remembered tomorrow? Go back 20 or 50 years ago and think what you or your fathers did to the south? After your misbehaviour, did you do anything good to cover the whole wrong you once caused on your neighbour in order to influence his asking feelings towards you? It seems you are just blindly crying for unity without looking back to see what you did. Does all mean unity?” queried Mr.Lojok.
WAS THE SOUTH GENUINE ON UNITY?
William Deng Nhial, in their letter [Sudan African Closed Districts National Union] to the African Liberation Council [ALC] in Tanzania on December 5 1963, wrote, “our hope in the south was to create an Afro-Arab state and had the experiment succeeded, the Sudan could have been a bridge between the African and Arabs world, and possibly a nucleus of African-Arab unity or continental unity, thus creating a United States of Africa governed by the rule of law and free consent”.
Late in 1966, the Arabs killed Deng.
The SPLM/A through its manifesto launched on
July 31 1983
, since its inception has pursued a vision of creating a New United Democratic Sudan.
laughed it off. It couldn’t be true that they need unity. How has unity become a problem in the
? So, what is the problem in the
? It is this last question that
has not answered yet! The Sudanese believe that Unity cannot be created in a vacuum, as
wants it to be. There is no environment for unity. And if unity is to be there, that environment must be created first to the satisfaction of its citizens.
This is what the south knew and still knows hitherto that there is no environment for unity because
does not need unity in the first place. Probably the vote for unity was not carried, when seven members kept quite in
conference. They were opposed to unity in principle but not practically, because they wanted to hear on how unity would work. The seven did not understand why we should unite if it would not work. Similarly, majority of us do not understand why we should unite. The deliberate lacuna of not voting is what the CPA tackled through the referendum-to seek the consent of the citizens. But, unity is as good as answering why there should be unity and this implies that
needs transformation and complete overhaul of its vision and system.
Perhaps the parties need to be reminded that the whole CPA is coiled in this theory of “making unity attractive”. Garang was neither making a mere statement nor joking when he said the north must endeavour to make unity attractive for the south and any other area of the country that seem not to be agreeing with the system in the north. All protocols signed act to reinforce this theory and referendum. If the theory fails, referendum will work as a reflection of the failure of the unity. Actually, in Latin, we refer to the current CPA system we have as modus Vivendi between the two regions of the
. The purpose of the partnership was not permanent; rather it is a transition towards the creation of the new
or Independent Southern Sudan. There is no secret in that. The transition gives room for the north to sell its beauty. “the SPLM will work in partnership with the National Congress Party. The objectives of this partnership is to ensure a sincere implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in both letter and spirit and to provide, within the parameters of this agreement, permanent solutions to the problems inherent in Sudan’s cultural, social and political diversity. In our view, the attempts by various Khartoum-based regimes since 1956 to build a monolithic Arab Islamic state with the exclusion of other parameters of the Sudanese diversity constitutes the fundamental problem of the Sudan and defines the Sudanese conflict. The Sudanese state hitherto has excluded the vast majority of the Sudanese people from governance and therefore their marginalization in the political, economic and social fields.
“The solution to the fundamental problem of
is to involve an all-inclusive Sudanese state which will uphold the new
. A new political Sudanese dispensation in which all Sudanese are equally stakeholders irrespective of their religion, irrespective of their race, tribe or gender - and if this does not work, then to look for other solutions, such as splitting the country.” [Dr.John Garang, 9 January 2005]
Citing from the above quotations, the Northern Sudanese pursuit for monolithic, arab state that excludes all the non-arab Sudanese constitutes the problem of the
, not unity.
The solution is to involve all sudanese people in the affairs of their nation, irrespective of religion, race,tribe, gender, etc.
that is constitutionally blind to the above aspects is the New Sudan we want and the Sudanese begining with the South,
, Nuba, Funj, and Beja will enter unity voluntarily and naturally at their own pace and will.
Five decades have elapsed and
has not gathered its scattered souls. It is the south alone that has always toiled politically and militarily to define the soul of a nation, in its comprehensive way. For example, On March 24 1986, the Koka Conference was convened at Koka Dam Ethiopia, to define the problem of the
and heal it permanently so that Sudanese could live in peace once more. All political parties, oppositions attended save NUP and NIF. In this conference, which pained the Movement up to date, SPLM had adopted no intransigence position on the way the nation could define its national identity on majority basis. Through democratic process, all the parties agreed to the holding of the national constitutional Conference, first of all to define the nation correctly constitutionally, hence weeding the nation of its fundamental root causes of the problem. Item no. 4 of the resolutions proposed the National Constitutional Conference, to “be held under the banner of peace, justice, equality, and democracy”. Other points were national question, religious question, basic human rights, and the system of rule, development and uneven development, natural resources among others.
later turned away from this agreement because they did not want to do away with Islamic religion in politics, dictatorship over the Sudanese, infringement on human rights of the citizens, and so forth. Striving to find conditions or environment for mutual unity and peace based on consent took us all the five decades and we have failed to find that environment.
The second phase of the struggle took us 22 years to arrive to where we are today. The CPA Sudan has taken more than four good years, but in five decades, 22 years, and four interim years after the signing, nobody in the north saw sense in the above SPLM vision of a united new
. With stalemate in the war, the CPA was born, coined with extreme care based on the experiences of the past.
THE QUESTION NOW IS, HAS
Perhaps that question is not enough. Is unity viable for the Sudanese? What has changed in the
? What has
to offer or sacrifice for unity of the country? Has anything changed in the
really? What was
rejecting in the idea of the New Sudan and what is her vision that surpasses the SPLM one? What is
’s argument for the unity of
? What is it accepting in the unity now? Is there difference between unity and the concept of the new
? Can development now in the South,
, Beja, Nuba, and Funj bring unity?
through president’s speech in
talks of “Unity fund” in order to make unity attractive, and then it is not fulfilment of the new
. Was development the problem of the
? What cause lack of development in the south and other areas in the first place? Unity fund is like giving Turkana people maize during presidential elections in
after every four years. After Turkanas have voted for maize, they are left alone for five years until another election comes and the same will take place through and through.
Can Beshir explain why Sudanese should vote for unity? What has changed in the
under their government? What difference have they seen?
It was good to acknowledge that NCP is not going to rule
forever. NCP should also know there were other parties before them right from independent in 1956 and all have failed
. The problem is not a length of time one spends in leadership but the poor quality of his leadership as reflected in the lives of the citizens. Good things whether they take short or long time, constitutes good spirit and positive attributes in the lives of men and women. Therefore, whether NCP will go soon or not,
must change altogether. It must make unity attractive or else,
cannot form a simple community united in any ground, social, economic and political. Arabs cannot have their cake and eat it as well. [i.e to enjoy the advantages of two things, bad oppressive system and unity, each of which tends to make the other impossible. Impossible.
May be, let’s make critical analysis into the current Sudanese situation in which Beshir is calling for the unity.
First of all, the war in
is still naive and young, albeit raging on, it was launched in 2003, and Beshir is indicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity inflicted on the Darfurians within short time. What hope does the Sudanese
people have in Beshir and his NCP? The same NCP was the National Islamic Front that committed crimes
against Southerners, Nubians and Funj since 1989 till 2005 while trying to establish the Second Islamic Republic after that of Mohammed Ahmed, the Mahdi [the Mahdi state].
President Beshir speaking to Sudanese in
in the Egyptian capital made one of his rarest remarks by stating that the
(NCP) “does not and will not want to stay in power forever. We do not want to stay twenty-five years on top of the people but looking at the future and seeking a peaceful and genuine transfer of power,”. This statement was first of all aimed at galvanizing the shattered hopes in the Sudanese citizens in dictatorial rules in which
and Beshir excel very well.
Time does not matter, but the quality of leadership as I already said above, is what matters. This points at impending elections in 2010. “Elections” have always been held in the
but the manner and environemnt in which they were held in were deceitful and frightful. If Beshir wants peaceful transition, let him resign and retire while handing over power to his First Vice President Salva Kiir for the Sudanese to know Beshir was serious with his statements on peaceful transition and positive transformation and reformation of the country.
understanding of unity and its preconditions tend to differ with what we know. Beshir said in
, “We are for the unity of the
and we also believe that many of our fellows in the SPLM share the same feelings with us. For this reason, we are doing our level best to work hand in hand in formulating the referendum laws. These shall be laws that will bring the end result of the referendum to favour the unity of the country since we both believe that unity is the best option for the
”. (Al Sharq Al Awsat)
This statement embodies several negative things. First, the assumption that
all for the unity is fallcious. Second, we do not share the feelings over national issues. We must share a good vision of the new
. This vision must be handled on objective basis rathar than subjecting it to subjectivity of feelings. When it comes to feelings, feelings are intuitions, instincts and flactaute with times and environrmnt and situation in which the “feeler” is in. How could we feel the same way as the NCP or the north? What has brought such share of feelings? Unity and what?
His remarks on the formulation of the referendum laws, is the most dangerous and telling part of the problem to unity. It points at forced and sham unity brought about by manipulated laws.
There I can see a war. Last months, The speaker of the National Parliament in Khartoum, Ahmed Ibrahim Al Tahir, was quoted saying that “since they (NCP) are against the secession of the south, they are not going to hide what they intent to do as they will be working hard to come up with referendum laws that would render the secession of the south something very difficult if not impossible to be attained. Quoting from the
On the referendum law, Al-Tahir said that the NCP view is based on the belief that they will not facilitate secession through a law”. Wrote Justin Ambago Ramba, “We want voluntary unity and we encourage this because we tried wars and its destruction,” he added.
MANIFESTATIONS OF THE OLD
DURING THE CPA ERA IN THE LAST FOUR YERAS.
Has anything changed in the
during the last fours of the interim period? Here is a brief overview.
The country still operates under different system, such sheria in the north and secular laws in the south. Arabic langauge in the north and english in the south,
under what pillars shall we eventually unite under?
are still sentencing innocent citizens simply because they come from
They are Arabs courts; they are religious courts and not national court with judicial impartiality. For example, Briton lady teacher in 2007 was accused of blasphemy by a government of naming a teddy bear Mohammed. She was imprisoned, tried and sentenced to harsh terms such long term in jail, fifteen strokes of flogging etc. A white lady, was a simple teacher demonstrating lectures to children, when she called a teddy bear Mohammed. Mohammed is a common name to every Muslim worldwide, and if it was sacred; Muslims should not have been named Mohammeds in the first instant. That is a manifestation of Islamic theocracy over the laws of the land in the
. Islamists lead the government than for political leaders.
Yasser Arman, one of a liberal Sudanese, member of the SPLM, freedom fighter in the Movement
and Secretary of the SPLM for the Northern Sector, a legislate member in GoNU, Last year was accused of apostasy when he opposed death penalty to crimes of adultery in parliament in Khartoum. Muslims in and outside the parliament including newspaper in 2008 called on him death because of his legislative advocacy to make laws against death penalty on adultery-he was accused of apostasy. The second Vice President, Taha’s Father, Mahmud Taha was killed under that in 1980s during Nimeiry’s regime when actually this law was not in the constitution. Simply because he converted to Catholic Church out of personal conviction! Yes, even if it was an apostasy, why should a citizen die because he/she changes her religion due to personal conviction? Where is the new
we fought for? Where is the new
the CPA brought? Where are the changes the NCP have brought to call for unity?
That brings in the aspect of Islam as state religion even after the CPA.
Media is not yet free in the
, killings journalists, imprisoning them, censoring newspapers, continues unabated. It is unfortunate the SPLM has joined in censoring of newspapers even in
Has the SPLM reverse its policy, objectives, and vision? Is SPLM part of these?
The peace of
does not depend the south uniting with the north.
NCP cannot continue bombarding children, women and homes in
and at the same time calling for unity with the south.
cannot cling to resources in Abyei while at the same time, calling for unity. Let talks of popular consultation for
and Funj, which is not implemented. Shall the Nubians and Funj be governed without their consent?
agreement between the NCP and Beja of Musa not implemented.
West Africa mediated NCP-SLM agreement of Minnawi not implemented, Killings in
is still using national resources for purchasing heavy and sophisticated war machines to impose unity on the Sudanese. All these are double standards
continues to harbour up to date.
Can unity flourish under such environment? “As is the case in the south, the events in Darfur, eastern
and elsewhere have made it clear that we must have an all-inclusive state at the national level and full devolution of power to the various regions of the
, for otherwise it is unlikely that the country would stand a chance of remaining united. Furthermore, by adapting and applying the form of governance and wealth-sharing arrangements stipulated in the comprehensive peace agreement to other parts of the country with similar afflictions as the south such as Darfur, eastern Sudan and other parts of the country, we can once again become a great nation that is voluntarily united in diversity rather than divided by diversity and forcibly kept under a coerced and fake unity.”
Basing on the speaker’s recent remarks, that he can make referendum for southerners hard, it is true. He has all the powers to impede and hamper referendum through NCP dominated parliament. But, the speaker should have been informed that he does have not jurisdiction of a gun, rebellion does pass through parliaments and office of the speaker. When rebellion takes place, it is not always immune or sacrosanct those fomented it. This time, stalemate may not be an option. One side must go either south or north.
cannot brag of weapons its purchases, after all
a blow with small arms.
WHAT HAS SPLM ACHEIVED TO ACCEPT UNITY?
Is kiir dancing to the tune of Beshir or is he convinced that
has changed and hence is fertiled for unity?
Kiir’s speech in Abyei and Kadugli, July 7 2009 said unity is first SPLM choice.
The SPLM has fought for united new
for 22 years though it hasn’t worked. The CPA recognised this, that is why referenda for Southern sudan, Abyei, and Popular Consultation for Southern Kordofan and
Southern Blue Nile
were granted so that views are gathered on the status of the nation. On top of these, SPLM gave condition of making unity attractive to
The writer is opposed to President’s Kiir public utterances for the unity of the country when such duty is solely given to
. SPLM has not oppressed the Sudanese citizens. If this is the case, Sudanese citizens will vote for SPLM in the next year’s 2010 elections to express their gratitudes over liberty and freedom. The creation of unity fund to buy unity is against the CPA and the fact that GoNU must “work hard” to make unity attractive “through providing better services and undertaking development projects in the South”.
I doubt whether the duty of GoNU Is make unity attractive, its purpose is to complete absolute transformation of the country. Then unity shall come in at the end.
Sham unity established in June 1947 brought us through a bloody journey. That is the very reason if nothing has changed; this is what Salva Kiir surmised by stressing that, “Secession that brings peace is better than unity that returns the country to war”.
It seems misplaced for the north to think, by manipulating laws to arrive at unity will advantage
No, it will not.
In 1998, the SPLM wrote a small booklet charting out its Vision, Program and Constitution (1998:12), dubbed as “peace through development”, track 3.
Realisation of National unity puts pluralism and democracy first which
have not yet recognized until today.
Development does not need creation of “unity fund” which GoNU OR NCP has created to buy citizens votes for unity. Developemnt needs sincere and equitable distribution of oil wealth at 50-50% to the south so that
GOSS can develop the south.
No, the problem is no longer development as such, neither can unity be solved through deceit, the problem is the quality and diversity of the system, especially in regard to viable constitutionality, rule of law, freedom and equality of citizens, free and fair system, respect of human rights, and genuine democracy. Without these elements of a good nation,
is wasting time.
MISCONCEPTIONS ON THE UNITY AND SEPARATION
However, I have endeavoured to look at problems of unity and Garang’s theory on how Khartoum can achieve unity, I was purposed to expose misconceptions on the theory of making attractive, which Khartoum has translated into money for buying unity , rather than the central issue of transforming Sudan in order for unity to be possible. The misunderstandings are as follows:
The idea that we must unite because Secession of southern
will open doors for breaking up in the north and
is not true.
Breaking up has its causes the world over. For example, the former
broke up to 15 republics because their union could not satisfy them. The Serbian province of Kosovo gained her independence last year in 2008 from
simply it could not find its aspirations within a united
has not broken after Kosovo left.
Within the continent and neighbourhood is the state of
which seceded from
in 1993 because what linked it with
could not work. However,
the point is, the remaining parts of
did not experience further secessions.
Even if the secession of the south opens up separation in other parts of the north such as Southern Kordofan, Southern Blue Nile, and
, the problems that will lead them to separation is not the south but bad and poor oppressive system in the north. As long as that system is still there, the tendencies for separation shall always be there. I bet. President gave sterning warning in
this month that the secession of the South “will open the appetite of separatists in any position in the North and South and
whose borders were determined by the colonial powers,”. Thereafter he empasised the dire need for unity and that it is the interest of both NCP and SPLM. The fact that these colonial borders were demarcated without the local consent is a receipt for immisciblility of identities and interests within these so-called colonial borders. They can not be left intact since they have sown and brew conflicts. They must be redfined to cater for the interest of the conflicting diversities like in the
The “other separatists”, President was referring to are the Nubians, Funj,
who have been cheated equally.
shall learn from other nations in a hard way.
“We are keen on unity and many in SPLM [Sudan People Liberation Movement] are keen on unity but it needs work. Some powers want to keep us occupied by side issues so that we are suddenly faced with referendum and the result is division of
,” he said.
The creation of the so-called “UNITY SUPPORT FUND”, which has filled the air with bad sign, is a misconception of the theory of amking unity attractive. Unity support funds is a simple way of telling the sudanese citizens
wants to buy unity. If not , then what is the meaning of the unity support fund when oil proceeds are not share fairly and given out for development? The Sudanese president noted that theirs is a fund for supporting unity using remittances from oil revenue saying that more development work will be undertaken in the South.
Why can’t that money be given to the south for developemnt without being labeled as unity support fund?
We will not vote for unity because there is hurried, induced and politically oriented development in the south.
With or without development, precondition for unity is the complete change in
. Erection a water tap in my home
in Jonglei can not convince me to sell my destiny for sham unity.
The NCP hopes to purchase unity using money and material things, with the creation of
unity support fund. We quality of the politcal systems, where all sudanese are stakeholders ,not even merely development.
President Beshir hopes to find unity in the referendum laws which he said shall be manipulated to give them unity. He said,“ we are doing our level best to work hand in hand in formulating the referendum laws. These shall be laws that will bring the end result of the referendum to favour the unity of the country since we both believe that unity is the best option for the
May be, the reason as to why the seat of Referendum is put at Khartoum could
lead us to conclude that there is something fishy to take place at the end of tunnel.
I do not see how such laws will influence the outcome of the referedum. My fellow country men and analysts will need to look at that critically.
cannot disentangle itself out of her own trap. Two things lie at the hand of
, realization of the attractive unity and restoration of peace with justice. The SPLM has rejected both ugly unity and mere or sham peace.
The future of the
depends on the interpretation of the theory of making unity attractive.
While for the Sudanese citizens, their last chance is in the next elections to vote for change and democracy in the
Unity cannot come in the referendum in 2011; unity can come in the next year’s 2010 elections when SPLM wins the elections.
FREEDOM IS INDIVISIBLE, EITHER WE HAVE OR NOT
In his last letter to OAU on October 31 1966, William Deng Nhial hinted a common saying that, “there is a useful saying “freedom is indivisible”. citizens of ... country must either be all free or not free. Contradicting this principle has been the cause of many internal unrests in many independent African countries”, warned Willliam Deng. Then he went a head by saying that “we think that the policy of forcible assimilation can not work in the 20th century where modern international ethics, the United Nations Charter which recognises the right to self-determination and the desire for the world peace, have replaced the policy of the dark ages when might was always right” William Deng, N. Loro, And Peter M. Biet proclamied. [Southern Sudanese Pursuit Of Self-Determination By Yosa Wawa, 2005]
The following quotations drawn from a speech delivered by John Garang during signing in Nairobi January 9 2005
help in explaining what unity means and what it does not mean to the southern Sudanese in particular and Sudanese citizens in general.
“... the right of self-determination, which is one of the cornerstones of the comprehensive peace agreement, is a blessing rather then curse as many northern Sudanese fear. I want to assure you that we will all work together with the National Congress Party and other political forces in the
so that we develop a new paradigm so that we keep our country together.
“Surely by democratic we do not mean return to the sham procedural democracy of the past, which was a camouflage for the perpetuation of vested interest. In that sham democracy civil rights were subject to the whims of rulers. The majority of Sudanese regions remained peripheral to the central power and was treated as an expendable quantum only to be manipulated through political trickery and double-dealing.
“Failure to appreciate the wealth in diversity was another cause of national crisis. For diversity, viewed positively is a mutually [word indistinct] phenomenon and ultimately a source of national cohesion and strength. Viewed otherwise, that is as a source of dissimilarity or distinction, it shall lead inevitably to the ultimate disintegration of the country as threatens today... and which at all costs we must avoid.
“This is the context and the value of the comprehensive peace agreement we have signed today. It provides the
with a real and perhaps the last opportunity to make a real paradigm shift from the old
of exclusivity to the new
of inclusivity achieved not through force but through the exercise of the right of self-determination.”
The above bolded paragraph does not talk of unity to be based on development, neither on the use of money to make it attractive nor on the fear of Sudan splitting into many parts, it advocates for the total shift from Old Sudan to New Sudan. no thing can purchase unity than fulfilment of this vision. So both parties NCP and SPLM, incase they have disgressed from the meaning of the theory and their duty towards it, let them accept
has no single Soul to keep its body together. The english poet Michael Drayton (1563 - 1631) made this important message for both the North and the South.
Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part,
Nay, I have done: you get no more of me,
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly, I myself can free,
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again
Be it not seen in either of our brows,
That we one jot of former love retain./
Rengo Gyyw Rengo, Jr is a Southern Sudanese university student undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Developmet Studies in
. Comment to [[email protected]]
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