Ghazi Salahaddin the Stealth Spoiler of peace Sabotages the Darfur Peace Talks in Doha
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
Stephen John Steadman, Senior Research Scholar at the Centre for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford University writes in his scholarly article “Spoiler Problems in Peace Process” that peace keeping is a risky business and the greatest source of risk comes from spoilers: leaders and parties who believe that peace emerging from negotiations threatens their power, worldview, and interests and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it!
While the Darfur rebel groups the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) were engaged in preparations to start peace process at the Doha platform to fid the ways and means that facilitate achieving a just and lasting negotiated political settlement which would address the root causes of the conflict and deliver the legitimate rights and peace dividends to the people of Sudan in Darfur, the NCP presidential adviser and holder of Darfur portfolio Dr. Ghazi Salahaddin Atabani , upon his return to Khartoum from Doha on Wednesday 3rd March 2011, declared that his regime will organise a referendum to determine the administrative status of Darfur based on the infamous 2006 Abuja peace deal dubbed as Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) within three months! Ghazi Salahaddin has been quoted as saying that what is going on in the Qatari capital,
Doha, is not negotiation sessions but expression of viewpoints on the document which the mediation has prepared! Furthermore, Dr. Ghazi Salah al-Din has also been reported to have made an arrogant inflammatory statement indicating that the regime he belongs to (will not be mortgaging the
Darfur peace negotiations to the armed movements)! Dr. Atabani, by saying so, is deliberately pouring more oil on the fire. But he may be planning to negotiate himself and bets on his failed ‘strategy from inside, which proved its abject failure since the day it was born, has been rejected by all the people of
Sudan. According to the infamous Abuja Accord, Article (6) Paragraph (55), a referendum on the administrative status of Darfur should have been carried out not later than 12 months after the General Elections in
Darfur which would be organized in conjunction with the National Election as per text piece in the Interim (Transitional) National Constitution. According to the Abuja Agreement (DPA) the time frame has expired by July 2010! And thus it has irreversibility lost the legal validity!
As it is known to everybody that the unresolved outstanding issues of the Darfur conflict which need to be met include the return of the lands (Hawakeer) that have been occupied by the mercenary militias from the neighbouring countries and allied to the NCP government, in addition to individual and collective compensation for those who were affected by the Darfur conflict, power sharing, wealth sharing, Security arrangements along with the return of Darfur, administratively, to one region as it used to be prior to dismantling it into three unrelated states. Furthermore, the one region of
Darfur should retain itsGeographical borders known at the exit of the British colonial power on January the 1st 1956. Moreover, the status of Darfur to become, administratively, one region and the position of Vice President were the thorniest issues which hampered to reach a peace deal between the government of
Sudan (GoS) and the rebel group Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM). This eventually led to a deadlock when the GoS refused to concede to this demand. It was believed had it not for the refusal of Government of Sudan, the LJM could have struck the deal and signed an agreement. Therefore, the issue of
Darfur to become one region as before shouldn’t have been subject for a hasty exercise or pre-empted before being negotiated by the parties. Bearing in mind that this issue has been incorporated in the Power-sharing document provided by the Joint UN-AU Mediator Djibrill Bassolé’ and the host country representative H.E. Qatari state minister for foreign affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud for the rebel groups and also the GoS delegation to review and feedback prior to commencing direct talks.
Political analysts thought that the timing of announcement by the NCP government to hold a referendum on the administrative status of Darfur was intended to provoke the Darfuri armed movements, embarrass the joint mediation and the host State of Qatar and sabotage the negotiating process and a declaration of war to expose the people of Sudan in Darfur to a new wave of genocide and suffering. Observers indicated that they could find any logical interpretation or rational explanation for this mindless move and the act of vandalism selected by the Government of National Congress Party regime other than their despicable trick pass on to their evil objectives to implement the so-called settlement of the peace at home.
Everybody knew the sinister objective of the National Islamic Front (NIF) in dividing the Greater Darfur Region and dismantle it into three unrelated states of north, south and west in 1991. The (NIF) intended to break up the strong social fabric that kept mutual respect, common destiny and peace between different tribal groups in
Darfur through kinship and intermarriage which existed over the decades among the population of the region; to impose its evil doctrine of divide and rule without a referendum. At this juncture, the logical question imposes itself, saying, why is the referendum now for the return of the same region of
Darfur to the previous administrative status, given the fact that it was not necessary to hold a referendum when it was divided into the three current states in the nineties of the last century!
It might be true that Dr. Ghazi Salahaddin Atabani Aga has got neither relatives nor friends among those Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees who have been living in those makeshift camps suffering the ordeal of the 8-year crisis. Nevertheless, one would have expected him, at least, to show empathy to some fellow human beings who have faced adversityin all aspects of life without any prospects of expecting any improvement in their lives. It seems that working within the ranks of authoritarian regimes is necessarily erasing the humanity of the individual even if that person is a doctor and perhaps that is the malady which affected the conscience of Dr. Ghazi Salah al-Din! Therefore, it is not surprising those individuals such as Dr. Ghazi Salah al-Din and ilk who grew up and nurtured in the confines of the callously notorious Pan-Arabism – Islamism Front to behave inhumanely against the victims of injustice and tyranny. But all that does not relieve him of accountability, retribution and restoration of the full legitimate rights to its owners, the people of Sudan in Darfur sooner or later; and we are certain that this will soon be the case whether the (NCP) Government of Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir likes it or not.
The National Congress Party (NCP) entity seems to have not yet learned the lessons from the unprecedented events taking place around the globe especially in the region the remaining
Sudan is part of it. This is likely to be attributable to their lack of vision and insight. The NCP president Marshal Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide he has committed against the people of Sudan in Darfur to become the first sitting head of state ever indicted by the ICC as well as the first to be charged with genocide, has promised the Sudanese to impose draconian version of laws in the post South Sudan secession which will take place by Saturday the 9th of July 2011. What is painful and sad is that these nefarious elements in the NCP do not care a damn no matter what misfortunes or serious woes affect the country as long as their despotic regime continues to exist. That is why the racists group in the NCP regime rejoiced when the people of the South Sudan voted with an overwhelming majority in the referendum stipulated by the Naivasha accord, the CPA which stopped two decades of civil war (1983-2005) in
Sudan. Observers believe that some hard core separatist NCP members would wish to see the back of
Darfur, Kordofan, the East to rule the remaining part of the Old Sudan, infamous territory referred to as “the Hamdi Triangle”. And indeed the government of Omar al-Bashir it has focused all development projects of the country in the area of land north of Khartoum on the Nile River and in the foregoing “Triangle” in the form of bridges, highway roads, health and education services and dams. Therefore, the NCP is not interested in the rest of Sudan, and necessarily des not give any importance to the cause of the people of Sudan in Darfur, Kordofan, Eastern Sudan or the Central Sudan and elsewhere other than the “Hamdi Triangle or the NCP Enclave”!
The elements of the National Congress Party (NCP) government in
Khartoum prove on the hour their true position of being spoilers of peace processes as defined by Stephen John Stedman. The spoilers of peace in the NCP group fall in the category known as “Total Spoilers of Peace” of the subtype dubbed as inside Spoilers who tend to use "strategies of stealth i.e. strategies of secrecy " to undermine the peace process, and demand total hegemony over a situation. They may be acting out of fear when they usually demand some sort of physical protection or acting out of a sense of fairness, where they demand material benefits but when acting out of a sense of justice, they tend to demand recognition or legitimacy!
In a nutshell, and at this particular point in time it can be said despite the importance of the return of Darfur to its previous unified administrative status as a region but the priority at the moment must be given for the person who is suffering the devastating continuing scourges of the dreaded war, which does not spare anything green and dry in the first place. This was the goal of the Darfur armed movements of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and its other fellow Darfuri movements such as Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), which came to the Doha Forum in the Qatari State for the peace talks and have been present all the way to resume serious negotiations which would lead to an honorable and sustainable peace throughout the Sudan. This is in spite of their ability to struggle and readiness to continue fighting the war for self-defence and protection of their people against the atrocities of the genocidal NCP government. It is noteworthy to report that endeavors are being made by the rebel group JEM to facilitate the participation of the Darfuri rebel factions of Minni Minnawi (SLAMM) and Abdel Wahid Mohammed Nur (SLASW) to the peace process, which is underway in the
Many wonder as to how come the government of Sudan wants to hold a referendum on the people of Darfur right now when majority of them are living in those camps without shelter as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees, while others reside in the Diaspora as Asylum Seekers abroad while the Janjaweed, both domestic and those the NCP government brought them from the neighbouring countries still occupy the lands of indigenous peoples, as if the government of
Sudan believes that the issue of the people of
Darfur has no owners and convinced themselves that way! After all, the Darfur issue will remain alive in the form of deeply felt revolution and struggle in the field of war, at the negotiations forums and in international diplomacy, in order to achieve an overwhelming landslide victory of the enemyand complete recovery of the legitimate rights to their respective owners; and that is not impossible; revolution and revolution until victory; slept not the eyes of the cowardly!.
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at [email protected]