Articles and Analysies
When General Gration Finally Spoke, the NIF/NCP Went Ballistic!. By: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.
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Nov 29, 2009 - 7:01:32 PM

When General Gration Finally Spoke,   the NIF/NCP Went Ballistic!.


By: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, MD.


At one time it all appeared that the US administration after    successfully brokered the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed by the warring sides in 2005, remains to have the monopoly to   all the keys that would unlock the many doors in the Sudanese politics that were rendered inaccessible by the century long mistrust between the northern and the southern parts of this big and Oil rich African giant.. This much the southern Sudanese believed and was why they were the first to voice concern when the time came for the former US President George W. Bush to leave office. They very well predicted that the implementation of the CPA would be very much affected by the change in administration and how negatively that could reflect on the fragile peace that had begun to slowly spread its wings over a region better known for intractable civil wars.


And when the new Obama administration took over in the White House, every south Sudanese eye was on this young energetic leader who promised amongst other things, to see that the peace in the Sudan is well taken care of, a full implementation of the CPA and an urgent solution to the Darfur crisis. “What a beautiful dawn”, everybody said. Though Obama was not quick to appoint his special envoy to this volatile region, the disadvantaged blacks Africans of the grossly marginalized Nuba Mountains, the Southern Blue Nile, the million Darfuris languishing in the refugee and IDP camps and the war ravaged south Sudan, still kept their hopes very highly and that how long it takes, they still believe in the power of faith and that the new administration would no doubt live up to its promises.


Whatsoever happened following the appointment of the retired General Scott Gration has not been exactly  what the people were  used to in as far as the previous administration’s  approaches  to the Sudanese dossier was   concerned. Many of the victimized people in the western province of Darfur never hesitated to express their disappointment for how the soldier turned diplomat was conducting business with the National Islamic front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) of the indicted President Omer al Bashir, especially when he issued that statement which up to the moment is being taken to mean the denial of the genocide that with the whole world’s confession took place in Darfur between 2003 - 2004. And not   too long this was also followed by   voices of disapproval   from the South, when General Gration begun praising the Islamists of Khartoum and went on to   paint a rosy picture of these fanatics over some dubious    cooperation  and understanding that he in a futile attempt  wanted to  accredit to  the NIC/NCP. Not only that, but Gration even went as far as lobbying for the cancellation of the US imposed sanctions on Khartoum, a move that pushed the SPLM Secretary General Pa’gan Amum almost to break ranks with him (the envoy), when Amum went ballistic to stress to the US lawmakers that unless the sanctions on the Sudan is maintained and possibly its  screws tightened even the more, the stubborn NIF/NCP will never voluntarily work for the full and timely implementation of the remaining benchmarks of the CPA.


However general Gration continued with his same initial soft and appeasing approaches whenever he visited  Khartoum, at a time that many people with much experience, expertise and clear   background knowledge  on the Sudanese conflicts were doing all they could  to warn him (Gration)  to revert to a more tougher   methods otherwise he was doomed to fail in making any break through with these Khartoum Islamists who are known to be   good survivors and will never waste any chance to buy time using their well rehearsed    delaying tactics. Who will blame this envoy if not his government? And the most logical conclusion would be that, though Mr. Gration would have realized early in the process that he was using the wrong frequency in dealing with hosts in Khartoum,    he might have resorted to protecting  his pride by  not frankly admitting to his lack of experience in dealing these “Awlad Fatima”.


The US policies on Sudan has been role played by the triad of the State Secretary Hilary R. Clinton, US representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice the, and the Obama special Envoy to the Sudan, retired General Scott Gration. Many analysts    have labelled the two iron  ladies’ as the Hawks of the new administration  of course not forgetting the Vice President Joe  Biden, while the choice of Scott Gration was basically intended to show the soft and friendly face of the administration to the Islamists of Khartoum thus allowing them to loosen their guards a bit.


On October 19th 2009, the US State Secretary finally announced its country’s new Sudan Policy. "In the past, the United State ’s approach too often has focused narrowly on emerging crises," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "[We] are approaching two key issues — Darfur and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement — simultaneously and in tandem."


However the long awaited new U.S. policy has three objectives:

1.       To end the fighting in Darfur and so the suffering of people there.

2.       To shore up and fully implement the north/south peace deal.

3.       And to ensure that Sudan does not become a terrorist haven as it was in the 1990s when Khartoum hosted Osama bin Laden.



“We will employ calibrated incentives as appropriate and exert REAL PRESSURE as needed on any party that fails to act to improve the lives of the people of Sudan ,” Clinton stressed.   But exactly what form those consequences might take or what kind of incentives the US intents to offer, was not immediately revealed, however the much respected and credible, “Africa Confidential” newsletter reports that possible military intervention can not be ruled out…….the one external threat the NCP Jallaba really fears. On this very occasion it became very clear to our friend Gration that whatever he had been doing or did in Khartoum , Juba, and Darfur was just a warm up to his duties in the Sudan . Now  the new approach if it embodies  the spirit of the new US policy and  something completely different   from those that    made the public opinion to shy away from  the General’s  previous style of smiling and shaking hands of those ruthless murders like Nafie Ali Nafie and Ghazi Sulahaldeen, would win him back the confidence of the victims and not the friendship of the victimizers. All that which happened prior to the 19th of October 2009 should better be remember from today as    personal endeavour from the  General Gration in his attempt to enter into the Sudanese mind. May he from now onwards hang to the    new deal under the new policy and completely do away with those unchartered and rather over simplified diplomacy, which have no receptors in the brains of the   Khartoum based NIF/NCP gurus.


It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see that as soon as the New US Sudan Policy was declared, Gration’s initial reaction was the statement that he immediately made and it instantly transformed him into a new man with a clear mission as the retired pilot quickly    declared that, “the clock is ticking and we’re acutely aware of the urgency of our task and the shortness of our timeline ... Success requires frank dialogue." It is in this context that we can analyse the current row that the US State Department’s declaration of its doubts on the credibility of    the 2010 elections to take place in the Sudan ,   and so would be the fate of the referenda and the popular consultations to follow in 2011. The reasons cited by the US administration to support its scepticism lies in the   well established  lack of political will between the NCP and the SPLM to resolve their differences over a list of   sensitive issues ( border demarcation, voter registration, the Security laws and even the   constituencies   to be contested since the eleven parliaments in the entirety of  south Sudan have   without any   exception rejected the 5th population Census results and hence do not recognize the geographical constituencies nationwide that are based on these   disputed results ……and others).


There is NO doubt that the reports taken back to the US through its Special envoy to the Sudan are  based on the finds on the ground following his several visits to the Sudan and specifically so on his last trip  where he visited, Darfur, Abyei, Juba and Khartoum the capital. He did also    talk to the authorities as well as the citizens in these areas; as such it would be unfair to look at his reports as pre-cocked findings as the NCP is trying to make it appear. Is he not saying the truth when he pinpointed the issues of the border demarcation, the stalemate between the peace partners and the much suspected voter registration process? But those NCP quacks who hurried to argue that the Sudanese judiciary is capable of professionally overseeing the conduction of credible elections do not really count as sensible. Which judiciary are we talking about here, when the same judiciary can rain 50 lashes on an under aged south Sudanese Christian girl of 16 for only wearing    an around the knee skirt, something not a crime unless in the sick eyes of the Islamist hypocrites. But how worse still is it to inflict such a barbaric corporal punishment on a minor something with    the admission of many Sudanese Muslim lawyers is even 100% against the Sudanese Laws. Who of all the fathers in the entire world would accept his daughter to be caned 50 lashes in the name of a Faith that is not his nor hers? A Judiciary that can not protect the rights of the minors is in no way fit for anything, leave alone huge matters like the elections. Is it not true that the Kenyan Attorney General is now being investigating by the ICC over his short comings in initiating the course of justice in the crimes that followed the Kenyan elections?



Again the presence of the 70 or so foreign observers should not be cited as some thing that will avoid any irregularities in the coming elections. Their role is only limited to record and report any irregularities that would occur. However  there is a  lesson for the Sudanese people , rulers and ruled alike to learn from our Kenyan and Zimbabwean brothers, that prevention of the irregularities in elections especially in volatile areas like the Sudan should be the way forward.   We can not afford to wait until the damage is done and lives are lost. It must be rightly understood that though our major political parties are monopolising the government facilities and now using these facilities for the promotion of their own parties while denying it to others as a tactic to win the elections on an unlevelled ground regardless of its transparency or fairness leave alone the credibility, would definitely land us into an unimaginable post election chaos. The US administration is quite aware of the undisputable fact that an incredible election can only make things worse in places like the Sudan , where there are already existing cracks in its social fabric.


However given the new US policy on Sudan , the administration should act faster than ever before to use all the possible carrots and sticks in a degree that can make the two Sudanese peace partners to consider their duties towards their people more seriously. For the sake of securing the three key corners of the US Policy on Sudan, the NCP that has the capacity and not the will and the SPLM that have the will but lacks  the capacity should both received an American VIP treatment to fill in what each group is lacking and it is  if  and only if this  is promptly done and to the precision then  would be post election bloodbath  be successfully avoided.


It remains in the centre our Sudanese political system that our leaders who come into office through military coups like the incumbent president; tend to be    forced by their cronies    into clinging in office even when they have practically ceased to be of any usefulness. The truth must be said that given the current situation, the Sudanese president has completely become a paralysed politician and the psychological pressures of being a fugitive can not be overstressed, even if he is to remain at large for a while. And those who follow the Sudanese media on daily basis will have realized that the post of the president has become practically an honorary post, whereas his duties are now all being carried out by his Vice Ali Osman Taha, his senior assistant Nafie Ali Nafie and those of Ghazi Sulahaldeen and Mustafa Osman. So where does the morality of having a suspected, indicted criminal as a presidential candidate fit in? Is this in itself not a slap on the face for the World Justice System?


General Gration has so far done his job to his best and finally he has tabled his report before US administration waiting to be handed the necessary prescription with which he can    hopefully salvage the staggering    CPA and see to it that peace and justice is realized in Darfur . It is no secret that the Islamists in their desperation to save the back of their military leader Omer al Bashir, have gone out to sacrifice everything including the Sudan and its people. It is not too long that this resources rich part of the beautiful African continent will soon be dragged into an abyss by the suicidal NIF/NCP fanatics.  At the same time it should be clear to these greedy NIC/NCPs not to try anything stupid, and they should not forget the huge foreign presence in the country, that makes the Sudan a special case. We are practically under the protection of the International community whether we acknowledge it or not. With 10 thousand UN troops in southern Sudan alone, and well over 20 thousand others in Darfur, ranging from the military, the police, the logistics personals as well as the observers and the diplomatic corps, the Sudan with its numerous problems, under the myopic Islamists has become the number one world hot spot.



Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan . Can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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